Tuesday, May 24, 2011

DO Pilgrims of the Flying Temple Part 5

Now we move on too dying the leather. Below is a picture of some of the products I use, Eco-Flo and Fiebing's leather dye. Both are water based so they dry very quickly. The Eco-Flo is thicker and is much better for blending with other colors and can create  more natural patters and streaks. The Fiebing is very good at even penetration and can produce a very even coloring. I tend to prefer the eco-flo because its ability to blend with other colors and it pools well on the embossed leather providing added depth. For this project I used a single light tan eco-flo dye.

With all dyes the longer it sits on the leather the deeper it will penetrate and the darker it will be. When applying dye you want to apply it with a soft cloth in a circular pattern for an even distribution of color. To ensure the dye penetrated into the embossing I apply a heavy coat and lightly wipe away the excess. 

Once your project is dyed you need to seal it. water based dyes will run if you get them wet. While it can be a cool effect it is annoying to get covered in ink every time it rains. There are several ways to seal leather and I have pictured a few below. Eco-Flo has a water based sealant that will produce a satin finish, Fiebing makes a liquid wax the can be polished to a high shine, or you can just use bee's wax and some elbow grease. For suede and pre-dyed leather I also use a spray sealant the you would use to seal leather boots.

 My personal favorite and the one I use 90% of the time is the Atom wax. It is easy to apply, dries quickly, and can be polished to various levels of shine. Also depending on how long you let the dye dry before applying you can produce some nice aging effects.
 For this project I applied two coats of the wax letting it dry between applications and I made sure the dye was very dry. If you apply it when the dye is still drying you will get a streaked effect that I wanted to avoid with this project. Once the wax dries I used a soft rag and some elbow grease to polish the surface to a medium shine.

Next time we talk binding and pulling it all together...

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