The Ultimate Leather Dyeing Guide

The Ultimate Leather Dyeing Guide

When looking to buy a high-quality leather product, the options are endless. From the types of leather to quality dyed leather, there are so many choices to help you find your perfect style.

Dyed leather can add personality to any outfit, creating a fun sense of style for any occasion with pops of colour. Why not brighten up your wardrobe by adding a coloured jacket like the Trudy Women’s Pink Leather Biker Jacket to your outfit, or grab the Penelope Women’s Olive Leather Handbag for a stylish accessory.

Below we have created the ultimate leather dyeing guide to help make your leather buying decisions as easy as possible.

How is leather dyed?

Dyeing leather became popular in the late 19th century after mineral dyeing was invented. It was a faster way to process leather and allowed for a wider variety of colours.

Knowing how to dye leather allows you to understand the process behind your leather jacket creation, as well as understanding how it can add a layer of protection to your jacket, and how it can make the jacket last longer. 

Leather dye penetrates the surface of the leather, sinking deeply into the leather and adding colour to the fibres to create bright coloured looks, or just to enhance the natural colours of the material. Applying dye strategically to leather can help to create unique looks and patterns for your leather jackets. But how can you dye leather?

Dyeing leather involves applying a coloured pigment that has been mixed with a base or alcohol, oil or water. Once the pigment is mixed it is applied to leather fibres to alter the natural tone of the leather, either adding vibrancy, or enhancing the natural colour of the leather. 

Leather dyeing follows a few basic steps to create unique looks. The leather is first cleaned and prepared for the dye, secondly the dye is applied and allowed to dry, and once dry it is conditioned. After following those three steps a surface finish will be applied to the leather to create a layer of protection.

Preparing Leather for Dye

First the leather is wiped down to clean any lingering oils or dust to create an even surface for the application. Next the leather is hydrated using a light coat of oil (usually olive oil or jojoba oil), hydrated leather will receive the dye application to a better standard.

Preparing Leather Dye

When preparing the leather dye, the dye is diluted with a base of either water, oil or alcohol depending on the base of the dye that is being used. Diluted leather allows the colour to be built gradually, whilst also ensuring any patches can be covered. If undiluted dye is applied to leather it may reach the desired colour at a faster rate, but it will be much harder to remove any patchiness, and may result in the leather ending up a darker colour than desired.

Applying Leather Dye to Leather

Leather dye is applied slowly, layer by layer, with a soft cotton rag to achieve an even coat of the desired colour. The application involves applying the dye in gentle, circular motions to cover the leather, and leaving it to dry fully between layers. Applying in circular motions allows the dye to reach all sides of the grain, hopefully reducing any patches that may occur.

Once the desired colour has been achieved the dye is left untouched to dry for twenty-four hours, to avoid smudging the dye.

Conditioning the Leather for a Perfect Finish

Once the dye has completely dried, a layer of wax based conditioner is applied to the fabric, re-hydrating the leather after the dyeing process, as well as sealing the colour.

The wax is applied in the same way as the dye, with a soft cotton cloth in circular motions to ensure an even coverage. Allow the conditioner to dry, and buff with a clean dry rag to finish.

Using a wax conditioner helps to seal in the colour, meaning it will last longer without fading.

Does Dyed Leather Fade?

Dyed leather will fade over time as will most natural leathers. The sun is a natural leather dye, so prolonged UV exposure will change the colour, fading dyed leather, or darkening some natural leathers like unfinished vegetable tanned leather. Other reasons for colour fading may include friction or regular wear and tear.

To prevent dyed leather from fading, proper leather care is essential. With the proper care, leather colour will last for years without fading.

Clean Leather Regularly

Cleaning your leather items frequently can help to reduce fading due to natural oils and any dirt on the leather. Using a damp cotton cloth, rub the leather gently to remove any dirt and oils.

Moisturise Leather for Long Lasting Colour

Preventing colour fade in leather can’t be achieved by cleaning alone. As leather ages and is exposed to the elements it begins to dry out, which results in faded, ashy looking leather. Regularly conditioning leather helps to reintroduce natural oils into the leather, resulting in a refreshed appearance.

Specialised conditioners are available to help you keep your leather items looking fresh and vibrant.

Avoid Leaving Leather in Direct Sunlight

Sunlight is a natural bleaching agent, so keeping your leather items stored away from direct sunlight will leave their colour feeling vibrant without any fading. Wearing your leather jacket in the sunshine won’t be a problem as long as you continue to use the correct leather care, and avoid being out in the sunlight for prolonged periods of time with your leather product.

UV protector sprays are available for leather items, which can be regularly re-applied to prevent sun damage.

If you find that despite taking care of your dyed leather it has still faded, there are re-colouring kits or surface level dyes that can be used to restore your jacket to its former glory.

Discover High-quality Coloured Leather at Hidepark

At Hidepark we have a variety of coloured leather bags and jackets, like the Roman Men’s Olive Puffer Leather Jacket.

Explore our wide selection of coloured leather garments, including men’s and women’s jackets, coats, vests and bags.

If you’re on the hunt for the perfect coloured leather product, Hidepark is the place to be. 

Contact our team for any enquiries, or check out our FAQs for more information on our quality leather products.