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10717Re: [medieval-leather] A Question On Immersion Dyeing

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  • Saint Phlip
    Jun 4, 2006
      On 6/4/06, ren_junkie <ren_junkie@...> wrote:

      > Actually I have a bunch of them, but let's just start here.
      > I want in the near future to start playing with immersion dyeing, as
      > I rather think that will be a better way to make all the pieces to
      > a suite I make all match better than dyeing each piece individually.
      > First question, and the only one for today: How would Indigo work on
      > veg-tan leather? I recently found out it is indigo used in blue
      > jeans (I'm a textile retard, ok? lol), and I rather like the color.
      > In fact, I have spent quite a lot of time and fiebings light blue
      > and reducer trying to get a blue that looks the way I want. I have
      > seen jeans in a very similar tone of blue, so.....Would indigo work
      > for this, or would indigo be a bloody disaster? My woman has a lot
      > of indigo experience in fabrics, so she can help, but she has zero
      > experience with leather. So I turn to you, to let me know if it
      > would be a waste of time, or if the dye would take and be stable,
      > and all I would need to find out is what intensity to make it for
      > the tone I want.
      > Thanks, all,
      > Christopher

      Well, while batch dying will help give you a MORE consistant color, the
      thing to remember with leather is that, rather like different batches of
      fabric, each hide will take the dye slightly differently. You'll even find
      variations within a single hide- that's a natural result of using a natural
      material. However, it certainly should provide you with the MOST consistant
      results- it's how the commercial outfits do it.

      I see no reason why indigo wouldn't work, as long as it was in the proper
      fluid base. Best colors I get are from spirit dyes, which I think uses
      denatured alcohol for a base. Have you given any thought to how much in
      terms of sheer volume you're going to need, what you're going to dye it in,
      and how you're going to deal with the excess? Batch dyeing of fabric
      generally requires the fabric to swim freely in the dye bath, and to dye
      about 15 lbs of fabric, I use a 50 gallon plastic barrel.


      Dharma is an excellent company to deal with as far as dyes go. Orders arrive
      quickly, and accurately, and they have a tremendous amount of information on
      fabric dyeing on their site. I'm sure much of it will be transferable to
      leather, since they sell dyes for both plant fibers and animal fibers, as
      well as the natural dyes I gave you the URL for.

      Just be careful what you plan to do with the excess. A relatively "minor"
      spill of some grease that was thinned by (what else?) degreaser and a power
      washer, in an attempted clean up, here in CT, cost the company here who
      screwed up over $60,000 to clean up, once all was said and done. The EPA has
      NO sense of humor.

      Be careful, have fun, and DO tell us about your experiences.

      > --
      > Saint Phlip
      > Don't like getting old? Beats the Hel out of the alternative.
      > The purpose of life is not to arrive at the grave, a beautiful corpse,
      > pretty and well-preserved, but to slide in sideways, thoroughly used up,
      > totally worn out, proclaiming, "Wow! What a ride!"

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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