A Step-by-Step Guide to Fiebing’s
The Fiebing Company is known for manufacturing and developing high quality dyes, stains, finishes and leather care products in the USA. Fiebing’s has a vast array of products to help you customize your leather piece to your liking. Choosing the right products for your project can be daunting when first starting out, so we hope you will find this guide helpful!
Before getting started, there are a few key points to keep in mind when dyeing leather. It is important to wear latex or some kind of protective gloves, and to make sure you are in a well-ventilated area. It is recommended to do a full test run on a scrap of leather from the same hide. This will help to ensure you are satisfied with the final color of your leather.
Step 1. Choosing the right leather dye
Depending on the type of leather you are working with, and the end result you would like to see, there is a specific type of dye you should be using.
Professional Oil Dye:Created specifically for natural strap leather, vegetable tanned leather and bag leather. The benefit in using this product is that it is a little easier to control the evenness of the dye. Professional oil dye is also less prone to drying out your leather down the road. This means you won’t have to condition your leather as often. You will find that the oil dye colors are a little darker than the Leather Dye and LeatherColors.
LeatherColors:This is a less toxic leather dye that is used as easily as Feibing’s Leather Dye. If you live in California, this is the only option you have for purchasing a dye from an Internet based website.
Acrylic Dye:A leather paint that is used for coating a smooth surface, and is considered to be paint, rather than a dye. This product is perfect for creative projects, where you want to create a design of your own. You can achieve a true white and yellow as the paint sits on tops of the leather, rather than penetrating the leather as the other dyes do. These paints can be mixed together to produce a custom color for your project, or cut down for a lighter color by adding water.
Step 2. Prepping your leather
Once you have chose the perfect dye for your project, you can move onto prep. It is important to make sure your leather is clean before starting the dying process. Any dirt or oil needs to be removed, as it will impede the color from penetrating the leather. It is also important to clean the leather if there is any existing finish, dye, lacquer, wax, and oil. Fiebings Dye Prep is appropriate for the removal of dirt or oil. Fiebings Deglazer is best to use for any remaining finishes left on your leather.
-Apply each coat with a light layer and allow each layer to dry before applying the next one. With each coat added, the leather will become stiffer.
-For a more even coloring, dye the entire surface a second time in the opposite direction
-If you want to dilute the oil dye you are using, or to be able to spray die use Fiebing’s Leather Dye Reducer
How to apply Leather Dye, Professional Oil dye and LeatherColors: First you will want to lightly dampen your leather with water or Dye prep. When your leather is still damp, apply the dye with a light layer in a circular motion with a dauber or cloth. At this point you want to saturate the leather when applying the dye so that it penetrates the leather in one even layer that isn’t too thick. (Side Note: It’s a good idea to dilute your dye with Fiebing’s Leather Dye Reducer and use a light coat for the first layer, as you can always go darker and use more coats of dye) After the dye has set for a minute, wipe off the excess dye with a cloth and buff out the leather so that you get any excess pigment that is left. Let it dry for a few hours to see if you are pleased with the color. If not, than you can apply another light coat if necessary.
Step 4. Top Finishes
These products are designed to be used once you have already dyed and dried your leather to seal, waterproof, shine and protect your freshly dyed leather!
Bag Kote: This will achieve a very soft finish, and is water based.
Tan Kote: This finish will also help to achieve a soft look, however it is not water resistant. This is a resin Based formula that is best used on belts and saddles.
Hi Liter: This with leave your leather dark brown in color, and dries with a matte finish. It may take a few coats to get to the darkness you are looking for.
Resolene: The most durable of the finishes we offer. It is flexible, water resistant and dries into a glossy finish.
Leather Balm with Atom Wax: Available in three different colors (neutral, black, and brown). This finish is used to polish and soften already smooth leather, and is not water resistant.
Antique Finish: Water based dye that will give your leather an aged look. This can be used on your leather after water based, spirit based or oil based dye has been used.
Aussie Leather Conditioner: This is an excellent product to use after you dye your leather. This conditioner is also used for bringing out color, preparing leather for polish and waterproofing your leather.
Carnauba Creme: A protective wax finish that is only used on smooth leather. This will keep scuffmarks and fingerprints away.
100% Pure Neatsfoot Oil Compound:This product will replace evaporated oils in your leather. You will find this will occur in leather that is exposed to the outdoors consistently.
4-Way Care: This is a cleaner and conditioner that will help to enhance the finish and strength of your leather. Each leather fiber is coated with leather oils and waxes, that will strengthen your leather overall. The waxes and leather soaps in this product will help in keeping your leather clean.
Beeswax:Fiebing’s sells pure beeswax cakes. These are used for filling cracks in leather.
Saddle Soap Paste:This cleaner is one that Fiebings is best known for. It can be used on shoes, boots, saddlery, and other items made with smooth leather. Not only cleans, but strengthens leather as well.