Author Topic: Leather dying  (Read 1458 times)

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Offline Pinewood Archer

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Leather dying
« on: June 25, 2019, 06:35:30 am »
Hello all,I was wondering if anyone knows if you can use walnuts to effectively dye leather? And if so does it hold to things like saddle soap or such?
Quality is not an act,it is a habit.~Aristotle
By a Carpenter mankind was made,and only by that Carpenter can mankind be remade.~Desiderius Erasmus

Offline Pat B

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Re: Leather dying
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2019, 06:46:02 am »
I'd think you could but I'd try to mix it with alcohol. Water would work but you'll have to wait for it to dry before working it.  It should be pretty stable but the other leather treatments will darken the leather so it shouldn't matter.
 I've never used walnut hulls for leather dye but there is no reason it wouldn't work.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Pinewood Archer

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Re: Leather dying
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2019, 07:51:41 am »
I actually just finished doing a general search on google and found a post on here from 2015 talking about it,I also found a place that gives a detailed run down on how to do it. My only gripe with it is that it seems almost everyone uses only water for it,I would imagine that oil would keep the leather conditioned much better than water or alcohol but I also think that making the dye using oil would be more involved/take longer.
Quality is not an act,it is a habit.~Aristotle
By a Carpenter mankind was made,and only by that Carpenter can mankind be remade.~Desiderius Erasmus

Offline Pat B

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Re: Leather dying
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2019, 08:57:44 am »
The thing about alcohol is it evaporates and set the dye better. Even if it dries the leather you can oil it to re-nourish it.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Pinewood Archer

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Re: Leather dying
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2019, 10:04:54 am »
That's a good point.
Quality is not an act,it is a habit.~Aristotle
By a Carpenter mankind was made,and only by that Carpenter can mankind be remade.~Desiderius Erasmus

Offline M2A

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Re: Leather dying
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2019, 06:29:31 pm »
I have used boiled walnut hull water to dye raw hide with good results. I think it would be similar to leather. Working with it that way I have, found it seems to have a good bit of surface tension. Maybe from oils or other compounds in the hulls?? Tried some home brewed vinegar one time to help but that didn't work. Never tried alcohol. Both these bow's handles are done that way. I'd say give it a go. Hope that helped some.

IMG_2541 by Mike Allridge, on Flickr

IMG_2452 by Mike Allridge, on Flickr       

Offline Pinewood Archer

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Re: Leather dying
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2019, 08:44:14 pm »
I have used boiled walnut hull water to dye raw hide with good results. I think it would be similar to leather. Working with it that way I have, found it seems to have a good bit of surface tension. Maybe from oils or other compounds in the hulls?? Tried some home brewed vinegar one time to help but that didn't work. Never tried alcohol. Both these bow's handles are done that way. I'd say give it a go. Hope that helped some.

IMG_2541 by Mike Allridge, on Flickr

IMG_2452 by Mike Allridge, on Flickr     



It did help a bit,also nice work,that bow looks awesome.
Quality is not an act,it is a habit.~Aristotle
By a Carpenter mankind was made,and only by that Carpenter can mankind be remade.~Desiderius Erasmus

Offline Pappy

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Re: Leather dying
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2019, 04:40:22 am »
I boil them down from time to time but have found if you don't add alcohol it will mold and go bad pretty quick, with alcohol it will last a long time.Also the longer you boil the hulls down the better the dye gets.[thicker/darker] Pretty watery and light if you don't boil for a good while. :)
 Pappy
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Offline Eric Krewson

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Re: Leather dying
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2019, 06:06:15 am »
Like Pappy my stain molded when I used water, I added denatured alcohol to my next batch and have had the same bottle for 20 years. I use it on arrow shafts mostly.

Offline Pinewood Archer

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Re: Leather dying
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2019, 05:51:19 pm »
I boil them down from time to time but have found if you don't add alcohol it will mold and go bad pretty quick, with alcohol it will last a long time.Also the longer you boil the hulls down the better the dye gets.[thicker/darker] Pretty watery and light if you don't boil for a good while. :)
 Pappy

Good to know,wouldn't want it going bad before using it all nor would I want a weak dye as that would serve pretty much no purpose for what I have in mind.
Quality is not an act,it is a habit.~Aristotle
By a Carpenter mankind was made,and only by that Carpenter can mankind be remade.~Desiderius Erasmus

Offline Hawkdancer

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Re: Leather dying
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2019, 08:21:26 pm »
About how much alcohol do you add?  After cooling and straining, I assume?
Hawkdancer
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Offline Pappy

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Re: Leather dying
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2019, 04:34:59 am »
Not sure on exact amount I add but probable about a shot glass to a quart and I have it boiled down pretty thick.  :)
 Pappy
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Offline Eric Krewson

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Re: Leather dying
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2019, 05:30:25 am »
As my water evaporated over the  years I replaced it with alcohol, initially I put a cup or so in a quart of stain.

I didn't strain my liquid, now it is like a thick paste. If I plan to use it I add some more alcohol, stir it up and put the pasty mixture on an arrow shaft and wipe it back off, makes a nice dark stain.