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10720Re: A Question On Immersion Dyeing

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  • Red
    Jun 4 11:24 PM
      Congratulations on getting this far. Now for the bad news...While it
      is possible to get a blue color from indido onto leather, it will not
      turn out like you think.
      My wife and I attended a fabric and dye retreat last year hosted by
      Griffin Dye Works. I taught basic stamping and belt making, my wife
      soaked up as much knowledge as possible.
      First, indigo is hard to work with. Any natural dye will work
      differently than modern chemical dyes, be it Fiebings, Rit or
      whatever. And indigo is more difficult to use than most others,
      apparently. All the ladies made a big deal about having "the indigo
      pots going" and having an expert there to help with them. On wool,
      linen, and cotton, it took lots of heat, lots of attention to detail,
      several soakings, rinsing, soaking, rinsing, drying, soaking, etc.
      At the end of it all, my wife was happy with the results she
      achieved on her linen. Then she took a bunch home to try on various
      types of leather. You can't heat it up the same, or it will turn the
      leather hard and brittle...so, in the end, the best results were
      achieved using a stronger solution and longer soaking.
      The blue was a deeeeep neo-electric blue. It was very pretty. It was
      also, very gritty. There was a lot of surface residue. If you rinse
      it, lots of color comes off. To get a decent dark blue, it ends up
      being more like a paint than a dye. Lots on the surface, a little
      penetration. Apparently, that is an issue with indigo...penetration
      and gripping power.
      If you rinse it to just what pentrated well, it ends up very light,
      and usually mottled in color.
      Now, both were nice effects. But, it was lots of work, lots of time,
      and the effects were not at all like we, or you, hoped it would be. I
      could have gotten the same effects with Fiebings, with lots less
      effort, and more control.
      So, to answer your question: Yes, it can be done. No, it's not easy.
      No, it won't look like blue jeans.
      That being said, try it. If you find a better way, or get better
      results, please let me know, cuz I would love to be able to use it. I
      just haven't found a way to make it easy, or get the effect I want. I
      have considered mixing it up thick and using it with a gesso or gum to
      make a paint, though. When time allows.
      And if you're in California, the same dye retreat weekend is held
      every year. This year it's in mid-late October. You can try any
      natural dyes you like, they use hundreds.
      Best of luck,

      --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, "ren_junkie" <ren_junkie@...>
      > 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
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