TUTORIAL: SPOT-DARKENING BROWN LEATHER

Here are some tutorialsto help you find your way around the site. From posting images and changing the board style to distressing a jacket. You will find it here.

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Rick
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TUTORIAL: SPOT-DARKENING BROWN LEATHER

Postby Rick » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:35 pm

Although some people really like the look of the mismatched panels on their jackets, I like them to blend a bit better. If the distressing flows from new to distressed on the same leather panel, I do not mind that as much, but I prefer the panels that are butted together to look as if the distressing was done after the jacket was manufactured. Here is one solution.


This is my prototype Bruno Halfbelt. As you can see, the belt itself and the lower back panel are lighter than the upper back panel, and the appearance is a little to drastic for me.

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Using Kiwi BLACK dye, I applied it liberally on the belt. The trick is since you are using black dye - you want to wipe it off before it dries completely. It is better to wipe it off and reapply it, than to let it dry and have a black belt. Once you get a feel for the rate that the Kiwi dye dries, you can pretty much apply it, wait a few moments and wipe it off and get the effect you are looking for.

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You can see that the dye is still wet. This is when it gets wiped off. Do not apply too much pressure when wiping. I have had dyed jackets where the application of the Kiwi dye made the original dye become wet and when wiped too hard, you not only take the new Kiwi dye off, but you may wipe off some of the original dye making the area even lighter. Exactly the opposite of what you are going for. Once you wipe the dye a few times, you will know exactly how much pressure to apply.

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Here is the belt with half of the belt wiped down. I did this intentionally so you can see how to blend the areas without making overlap marks on the jacket. When you apply the overlapping layer you will want to apply it about 2 inches over the area where you stopped last time, and when you wipe it off, smear the dye even further onto the previously dyed area so that it blends seamlessly. I expect that if you have an area that shows overlap lines, you can use isopropyl alcohol to help blend it, but I would rather do it correctly the first time.

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For the last photo, you can see that I blended the belt and dyed the entire bottom panel as well so that it matches the jacket better.

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Now that I completed that, I noticed that the right gusset looked too light. We can fix that too.

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Again, you can see that the dye is wet here. This is just before I wiped it off.

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I did not let it sit too long. Even though the change is subtle, I wanted the gusset to blend into both the back and the sleeve panel.

So there you have it. This took all of 10 minutes and made a big difference in the continuity of the distressing in my opinion. Most people like to darken brown jackets by use of conditioner. While that works, it also fades after time and you will have to do it repeatedly as that happens. To match the color darkness, that also means you will be conditioning the lighter areas more than the darker ones. Using the Kiwi dye trick means do it once and it is done. Then the jacket can be conditioned as a whole for maximum protection.

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Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean. -- Ryunosuke Satoro

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Re: TUTORIAL: SPOT-DARKENING BROWN LEATHER

Postby superDrool » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:23 pm

Bravo Rick! :thumbsup: You are practically a cobbler. :cool:
"Logan, my tolerance for your smoking in the mansion notwithstanding, continue smoking that in here, and you'll spend the rest of your days under the belief that you're a six-year-old girl."

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Re: TUTORIAL: SPOT-DARKENING BROWN LEATHER

Postby hollowpond » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:56 pm

Your leather jacket kung-fu is good!!!

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Re: TUTORIAL: SPOT-DARKENING BROWN LEATHER

Postby GaryA » Wed May 15, 2013 11:27 am

Is it possible to cut the dye to dilute the concentration if one were only looking to darken the leather just a hair? Or for a newbie just starting out perhaps?

I'd jump to "cut it with some alcohol so it evaporates" but since alcohol is what you use to lighten, it'd seem these two would be incompatible.

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Re: TUTORIAL: SPOT-DARKENING BROWN LEATHER

Postby Rick » Wed May 15, 2013 1:04 pm

Yes, it is absolutely possible to cut the dye with alcohol depending on the chemical makeup of the dye (see below). Although it seems as if the two would counteract each other - think of it as the way you would by lightening the color of paint by using paint thinner or other paint removing solvents. Same principle.

Some dyes use acetic acid as a base - you will know them as they smell like vinegar, so I am sure you can cut those with vinegar. But who wants a jacket that smells like vinegar?

To be honest, I find it easier to just lessen the curing time. In other words, just wipe it off faster.

You will also want to keep in mind that there are several styles of dyes too - the one I favor (shown in the tutorial) is not too thin and is a good surface dye. If a dye has a high percentage of solvents, it is thin on a molecular level and will penetrate deeper than a surface dye

The Fiebings dyes however, penetrate quickly and deeply - I find it too permanent for my uses. It penetrates beyond the surface and into the leather itself and if you are not careful, you will not be able to easily remove the dye if you over-darken the leather. If you use that kind of dye you should dilute it first. It uses mostly ethanol (>30%) and isopropanol/rubbing alcohol (>5%) so I expect you are safe using alcohol as a reduction agent.

It is easier to apply several coats to get to the right shade than it is to glop it on all at once and hope for the best - then have to wipe it off with alcohol or acetone.
Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean. -- Ryunosuke Satoro


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