Dyeing Leather without dye.

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bobnewboy

Settler
Jul 2, 2014
880
290
North West Somerset
Walnut husks from the fruit, and/or leaves soaked in water for a few weeks. Just don't get the 'juice' on your hands! The resulting fluid creates brown through to black colours, and is very permanent.
 
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Black Sheep

Maker Plus
Jun 28, 2007
1,539
0
North Yorkshire
photobucket.com
Depends on the leather, some leather will take on a nice tan finish just by treating it with Neatsfoot oil and wax, no need for dye. It's always worth trying an offcut.

Sometimes you can dye leather and then it changes colour when you oil it or treat the leather with some product, so it's always worth experimenting.

Rich
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,298
1,391
McBride, BC
Test on scrap leather to make certain that there's enough tannin in the leather for these to do a good job:
These recipes are many centuries old, originally used in the wood carving business.

1. Iron dissolved in vinegar creates iron acetate. That complexes with the tannins for a dary grey to black.
Even a water rinse will carry of what ever residual acidity there might be.

2. Big plastic bag, dish of genuine ammonia bleach in the bottom. Put the leather above the dish, seal the bag.
If there's enough tannin, like the fabulous English oak woods, you get black. Out in the air, the rest fumes off in no time.
Sheep's urine was the original source, like the old Harris tweeds.
= = =
If you're not happy with the first tests, rub the leather with a very strong cheap black tea for the tannin and let it dry.
Then the iron stain or the ammonia. I like to carve some birch and the tea treatment is essential.
Otherwise, the wood just looks a dirty pale grey.
 

leaky5

Maker Plus
Jul 8, 2014
752
49
Basildon
Depends on the leather, some leather will take on a nice tan finish just by treating it with Neatsfoot oil and wax, no need for dye. It's always worth trying an offcut.

Sometimes you can dye leather and then it changes colour when you oil it or treat the leather with some product, so it's always worth experimenting.

Rich
Thinking about it, the bag I linked may have also been treated with Neatsfoot oil and then polish
 

Hibrion

Maker
Jan 11, 2012
1,231
3
Ireland
You'll need to buy a sealer or wax regardless of what you do. That alone will turn into a nice tan/brown eith use. If you want dark or black you might as well just purchase a small bottle of dye. I recommend fiebings proffesional oil dyes. For the sake of less than a tenner for the smallest bottle it'll save you a lot of hardship.
 

ChrisWebb2020

Member
Mar 1, 2016
49
0
37
Kingstanding, Birmingham
Method please ?

M
My apologies, I should have said hibiscus. Comfrey gives you a khaki greenish colour. I was sure I had read that it was used for cardinal robes.

But it is technically making dye, but at least it's a traditional and natural method, rather than using premade dye.

https://www.diynatural.com/natural-fabric-dyes/

I hope this is useful.

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