Colorfill leather?

Those who work with leather, how do you colorfill? I want to turn the brown that the laser engraves black to make it stand out before I dye the rest of the piece. I have been working with leather for years, but this is defying me. I have tried dye (even with masking, and careful application, the dye leaked out of the engraved area), and leather paint. I really thought the paint would work, but when I try to dye over it (I use aniline dyes I mix myself), the paint runs, even after letting it dry for a day. I know there must be a way. Any ideas? :slight_smile:

I’m thinking stain it first. Then a fine tipped brush.

? Try a thicker acrylic before you remove the masking.

It’s not a perfect solution, but something I’ve been doing with the bracelets with words on them is using the vinegar / steel wool solution to darken the engraved parts. It has to be done AFTER the piece is finished, though, and the piece has to be finished with something water resistant (e.g. shoe polish), so the liquid can’t darken it anywhere else.

It doesn’t create a total black, but does seem to darken the engraved part a bit.

I’m no leather worker… but I think back to when my mom made custom area rugs… that process was to basically cut and create inlays. That might not work with what you’re doing though.

I wonder if one could use gouache as a resist. It might work better than transfer tape. I’ve used it before as a wash technique with India ink. The gouache should wash off of the leather afte the dye has set, I would think.

1 Like

Might also give liquid Friskit a try…I have no idea if it would damage the leather or not though, so test on a scrap first.

Thanks, all, for the replies. I think I am going to try oil base dye next and a thicker masking. The answer is out there lol. Good thing I have many scraps of leather to play around with (ie: mess up).

And you’ve already tried an antiquing gel or stain?

1 Like