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Leather Dye Rubbing Off


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Does anyone know how to keep leather dye from rubbing off ?   I thought a saw a post about it recently, but I can't find it.    I just finished a sheath out of elk hide, and I had some black/dark brown dye laying around.  I don't have much experience with leather.  I applied the dye.  Then I put a wax coat on top, but the dye keeps rubbing off when I wipe it down with a cloth.

The dye I think is Browns something or other,  the label is colored over.      Also, the bottle says,Harmful/Fatal if swallowed,  should I be worried if I handle the sheath and then eat something or prepare food?  I still have dye on my hands I can't get off.

I believe the elk hide was tanned, if that makes any difference.

Any help on the subject is appreciated.

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I find it helps to let it dry for a few days, then scrub the heck out of it with a cloth of some sort before waxing.  That seems to take off the leftover dye.

If your elk was chrome tanned the dye probably won't take, though.  I wouldn't worry too much about the dye stains on your hands, just don't take a swig from the bottle.;)

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Getting an acrylic waterproof leather sealant will sort all your problems. Dye, allow to dry as Alan said and then a couple of coats of acrylic sealant and it will not rub off. I use this for leather tankards and I dont get dye on my face when I drink from them! I do use eco-flo dye which soaks in really well and dries very quickly. There is a huge difference between a good dye and a naff one. Can make or ruin a piece.

20190405_173624.jpg

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Cool.  I'll have to track down some sealer.      I imagine I'll have to remove the wax I already put on before I use any.   Any easy way of doing that without cooking the leather ?

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To seal the leather after you dye it you need to use a clear coat to lock in the color.

Tandy leather sells several suitable products such as satin sheen of gloss sheen.

after the color is locked in the you can apply wax on top of it to polish it up.

 

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14 hours ago, Joshua States said:

I usually coat my leather work with a Fiebings product called Acrylic Resolene.

Yeah, I've been looking around for Resolene,  but can't find it locally.   Will have to look online. The Color rubbing off seems to have stopped for now.  I Just let it sit and dry over a couple days.    It seems somewhat stable now.  Will have to see how it works over the next few weeks.  I haven't done anything to the sheath since it was made.   I think my initial problem was that I did it all in a few hours.  I guess I didn't give the dye enough time to set/dry, then when I added the wax I think it all sort of mixed in.    Since the wax is nice and hardened now, like I said, seems stable.  Only time will tell.  Not even sure what kind of dye it is, since I didn't buy it, and the container is all inked over.   The wax I used is from a block of I believe "Canning Wax", I got from a yard sale a while back.  Probably Parafin.   Not sure if it's the best to use,  but it's worked in the past.   Seems to get much harder than beeswax itself.

Thanks all  for the help,  I will see how the next sheath comes out.  

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  • 11 months later...

From what I've read all over about Resolene is to mix it 50/50 with water. I used it like that on a couple sheaths now. They look pretty good (I think). Straight Resolene will make it shiny and most don't want that on a sheath. It will darken the leather...just a little. Put on a couple coats. Drying in between coats. Helps this helps.

2 Knife sheaths.jpg

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I have not tried the 50/50 mix for the resolene. I do buff it a little by hand with a soft cotton cloth after it dries. That usually reduces the high gloss to a more satin finish.

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