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A Question On Immersion Dyeing

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  • 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
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 4, 2006
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      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
    • Saint Phlip
      ... 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,
      Message 2 of 7 , Jun 4, 2006
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        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.

        http://www.dharmatrading.com/html/eng/1893-AA.shtml?lnav=dyes.html

        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]
      • Red
        First, 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
        Message 3 of 7 , Jun 4, 2006
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          First,
          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,
          Red

          --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, "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
          >
        • Saint Phlip
          ...
          Message 4 of 7 , Jun 4, 2006
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            On 6/5/06, Red <red@...> wrote:
            >
            > First,
            > 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.


            <Much snippage of good information on dyeing leather with indigo snipped)

            Having done a bit of further research on the topic today I discovered that
            the best solution to dissolve indigo in for dyeing purposes is a mix of
            amonia and alcohol- not sure of the proportions. However, what you'll have
            will fade and wash out really easily, so if you use it for garments, a bit
            of sweat will have the appropriate portions of your anatomy turning blue-
            quite possibly highly amusing, but perhaps not the effect you might want ;-)

            Still looking, but what I'm finding indicates that woad might be a much
            better natural dye for your purposes. Certainly, it's more permanent.

            --
            > 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]
          • ren_junkie
            Thanks for the info. No, I don t know terribly much about using indigo, I have never dyed fabrics before. But, having said that, my woman is inhumanly happy
            Message 5 of 7 , Jun 6, 2006
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              Thanks for the info. No, I don't know terribly much about using
              indigo, I have never dyed fabrics before. But, having said that, my
              woman is inhumanly happy when using indigo, so I have an experienced
              dyer on hand. The results do sound quite interesting, but I didn't
              realize it would act that way, or that it was worked at cuirbouile
              temps. Don't think it will work for what I was hoping for. Of
              course, if anyone happens to get that rather toxic-sounding
              amonia/alcahol mix to work, please let me know.

              Oh, I don't know the exact amounts of dy I will need, but I am
              anticipating enough to fill the average family pool...lol. It's
              gonna be beastly expensive, but I'm hoping the end result will
              justify the cost.

              Oh, I know that there will be vaiations from hide to hide, and even
              on the same hides. I want it consistient, but I want it to vary with
              the hide, not due to me. I hate when I'm dyeing something and I put
              more coats on one piece than another, or I do this spot a bit
              different than another. As long as it's variations in the leather
              causing the variations, that's fine. I mean, that's where the beauty
              of dyed leather is. If I wanted it perfectly consitient, I'd paint
              it.

              Woad, you say? Hmmmm, that's interesting. I would like to use
              naturaly and traditional dyes as much as possible. Maybe cheaper
              than Fiebings, and honestly, I just think it would be all kinds of
              cool to have natural dyes on my armour. Guess I'll have to give my
              woman the recipies from 1588. It'll just break her heart to get to
              play with all those new dyeing techniques....lol.

              Thanks,all...

              Christopher
            • Thomas Thurman
              Don t know if you have found this before: http://www.elizabethancostume.net/dyes/segreti.htm And using indigo for leather: 336. To dye skins blue. --Take for
              Message 6 of 7 , Jun 6, 2006
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                Don't know if you have found this before:

                http://www.elizabethancostume.net/dyes/segreti.htm

                And using indigo for leather:

                "336. To dye skins blue. --Take for each skin 1 oz. of indigo, and grind
                it well with strong vinegar, and to each ounce of indigo take one
                foglietta of vinegar, and dip a paintbrush or a hare's foot into it, and
                lay it upon the skins, and dry them in the shade. Then give them a second
                coat, and let them dry, and they will be very beautiful. And if you boil
                the vinegar a little with the indigo, the skin will be of a much brighter
                and fuller colour."

                Don't ask me what a foglietta is specifically :) I think most period
                recipes don't specifically use immersion because dyes could wash out the
                alum that the tawed leathers used. I would also recommend (if using this
                recipe) to use it on the lightest veg-tan stuff as alum tawed stuff is
                *BRIGHT* white.

                Brian

                > Thanks for the info. No, I don't know terribly much about using
                > indigo, I have never dyed fabrics before. But, having said that, my
                > woman is inhumanly happy when using indigo, so I have an experienced
                > dyer on hand. The results do sound quite interesting, but I didn't
                > realize it would act that way, or that it was worked at cuirbouile
                > temps. Don't think it will work for what I was hoping for. Of
                > course, if anyone happens to get that rather toxic-sounding
                > amonia/alcahol mix to work, please let me know.
                >
              • Ellen Bartel
                A foglietta is 240 mLs or a cup (8oz). Ellen Bartel ... grind ... it, and ... second ... you boil ... brighter ... period ... out the ... using this ... stuff
                Message 7 of 7 , Jun 6, 2006
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                  A foglietta is 240 mLs or a cup (8oz).

                  Ellen Bartel


                  --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, "Thomas Thurman"
                  <tthurman@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Don't know if you have found this before:
                  >
                  > http://www.elizabethancostume.net/dyes/segreti.htm
                  >
                  > And using indigo for leather:
                  >
                  > "336. To dye skins blue. --Take for each skin 1 oz. of indigo, and
                  grind
                  > it well with strong vinegar, and to each ounce of indigo take one
                  > foglietta of vinegar, and dip a paintbrush or a hare's foot into
                  it, and
                  > lay it upon the skins, and dry them in the shade. Then give them a
                  second
                  > coat, and let them dry, and they will be very beautiful. And if
                  you boil
                  > the vinegar a little with the indigo, the skin will be of a much
                  brighter
                  > and fuller colour."
                  >
                  > Don't ask me what a foglietta is specifically :) I think most
                  period
                  > recipes don't specifically use immersion because dyes could wash
                  out the
                  > alum that the tawed leathers used. I would also recommend (if
                  using this
                  > recipe) to use it on the lightest veg-tan stuff as alum tawed
                  stuff is
                  > *BRIGHT* white.
                  >
                  > Brian
                  >
                  > > Thanks for the info. No, I don't know terribly much about using
                  > > indigo, I have never dyed fabrics before. But, having said that,
                  my
                  > > woman is inhumanly happy when using indigo, so I have an
                  experienced
                  > > dyer on hand. The results do sound quite interesting, but I
                  didn't
                  > > realize it would act that way, or that it was worked at
                  cuirbouile
                  > > temps. Don't think it will work for what I was hoping for. Of
                  > > course, if anyone happens to get that rather toxic-sounding
                  > > amonia/alcahol mix to work, please let me know.
                  > >
                  >
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