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Is there a way to dye leather naturally ?

Discussion in 'Sheaths & Such' started by Chapp, Jul 25, 2018.

  1. Chapp

    Chapp

    59
    Mar 28, 2018
    Without toxic dying method. I would like to brown natural leather a little, but only with something natural, unharmful and ecologic.
     
  2. Ryanol

    Ryanol

    763
    Aug 24, 2011
    How bout some oil? Or are you looking for a bigger color shift.
     
  3. seabil

    seabil

    157
    Apr 8, 2015
    Lots of natural dyes. Seeds, leaves, bugs, minerals. Ask someone who does weaving or textile stuff or do some readings/research. Example: Walnut husks will color most anything.
     
  4. seabil

    seabil

    157
    Apr 8, 2015
    Lots of natural dyes. Seeds, leaves, bugs, minerals. Ask someone who does weaving or textile stuff or do some readings/research. Example: Walnut husks will color most anything.
     
  5. Horsewright

    Horsewright KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 4, 2011
    Sure, pure neatsfoot oil (warmed), light coat, set it in sun. It'll darken up. Remember to turn your project over!
     
    Bigfattyt and duramax like this.
  6. rtmind

    rtmind

    96
    Mar 8, 2013
    I've tried the vinegar and iron filings suggested in an earlier post. Makes a great stable black. Just remember to neutralize in a baking soda solution and hit with some neetsfoot oil when dry.
     
    GABaus likes this.
  7. Chapp

    Chapp

    59
    Mar 28, 2018
    What can I use for light coat ? How do I apply it ? I just want to brownish it, not blacken it, will it works ? How many time in the sun ?

    What about leather thickness ? I can buy a leather with 1.4cm or 2cm thickness, will it be enough ?
     
  8. Horsewright

    Horsewright KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 4, 2011
    What are you making? That leather seems pretty thick?
     
  9. Chapp

    Chapp

    59
    Mar 28, 2018
    I'm making a leather sheath for a small fixed blade (Izula) and a leather sheath for a larger fixed blade (Esee 6).
     
  10. rob5leather

    rob5leather

    10
    Jul 26, 2018
    Tea or walnuts. Search it.
     
  11. Horsewright

    Horsewright KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 4, 2011
    If ya meant mm and not cm they would probably work for ya. I use a brush to paint a light coat of oil on.
     
  12. gdpolk

    gdpolk KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    337
    Sep 19, 2011
    I’ve dyed one with my own blood on accident once. It takes a lovely warm reddish brown color. That process was a bit painful though.

    I’ve also seen rendered bear fat darken rawhide sheaths nicely. I’ve never tried it on vegetable tanned leather but I would assume it could work similarly.
     
    Hengelo_77 likes this.
  13. gadgetgeek

    gadgetgeek

    May 19, 2007
    In my experience any oil will darken leather somewhat, as will age. I'd say your best bet is get the leather you want to work with, and start experimenting. Everyone's process is going to be a bit different, and so is every piece of leather.

    I've also darkened leather quite a lot with a blow-drier and beeswax, it does stiffen the leather quite a lot, so that is a consideration, but another method worth considering.
     
    GABaus likes this.
  14. DB_Cruiser

    DB_Cruiser

    108
    Jul 17, 2018
    I am just getting into doing some light work with leather, so I am no expert. This may not be the best thing to do, but I was playing around a bit with coffee (well, espresso, actually). Seems to work for a slight color shift that darkens suitable to my tastes with a little saddle soap. Here are a couple of pieces. The color I started with and one after a 4 hour soak in some left over espresso and a saddle soap rub.

    [​IMG]
     
    GABaus and Bigfattyt like this.
  15. Danke42

    Danke42

    Feb 10, 2015
    Brains. Can't get more natural than that.
     
    DB_Cruiser likes this.
  16. Dogdrawz

    Dogdrawz

    337
    Aug 15, 2016
    There is a thread on here that discussed Neatsfoot oil & an oven. Came out a bit on the darker side.

    Mmmm......brains! :eek:
     
  17. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    I've done the neatfoots oil, coffee, brown shoe polish (for an antique finish in the low points), vinagroon (pretty smelly not sure I got the mix right, but the leather was black as sin!)
    Also have used snow seal, and aussie leather conditioner.

    Leather will darken with just the conditioners and waxes and carry/use.

    These slips have no color in the leather. Just an occasiona condition.
    [​IMG]

    Same slip..[​IMG]

    Now...

    [​IMG]
     
    GABaus, Horsewright and DB_Cruiser like this.
  18. Horsewright

    Horsewright KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 4, 2011
    Life is the great dyer!
     
    GABaus likes this.
  19. Elgatodeacero

    Elgatodeacero Basic Member Basic Member

    503
    Jan 5, 2014
    I have used concentrated coffee and the grounds to soak for a nice brown color, soak for minimum 2 hours.

    I have also used pomegranate juice from fresh seeds to get a very pink color, and after a auick coffee dip its a nice reddish brown.

    Walnut husks (not shells), chestnut pods, pomegaranate rinds, many things can be boiled down for an earthy brown and yellow color.
     
  20. DB_Cruiser

    DB_Cruiser

    108
    Jul 17, 2018
    I understand that every animal has enough brains to tan its own hide and enough guts to make sausage from all the meat. Nature's cool like that.
     

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