Leather has been the go-to material for shoes, boots, purses, jackets and much more for centuries. While leather goods used to come in only one color, professionals can now dye leather in nearly any color imaginable.
But the question we get from many of our customers is “How is leather dyed?” Continue reading to find out the answer.
Soaking vs. spraying
The most popular coloring method—and the one that delivers the best results—is soaking leather in an aniline dye. Artisans place the leather in large dying drums and spin ink into the product until the dye has been absorbed all the way into the leather. You can tell if your leather has been dyed in this fashion by turning the piece over. The underside will be the same color as the topside if it is soaked in aniline dye.
Leather can also be sprayed with a topcoat of paint. This process is faster and cheaper, but it may result in a lower-quality product that shows more wear and tear. That said, there are ways to care for leather that have been sprayed to ensure it retains its beautiful color for years to come.
Caring for dyed leather
Regardless of how your leather was colored, it’s crucial that you take good care of it. Even the finest leather dye can fade or become discolored if you’re not careful. Follow these tips to ensure your leather looks great for decades:
- Clean spills ASAP: Accidents are bound to happen. When they occur, you’ll want to clean the spill as soon as you can. The longer a liquid sits on leather, the more likely it is to seep through and leave a permanent stain. In most cases, dabbing the spot with a damp cloth can lift the stain. Avoid using any soap or harsh cleaners on your leather, as this can result in permanent damage.
- Condition: All leather products should be conditioned every few months. There are plenty of commercial leather conditioners out there, but you can make your own using a mixture of olive oil and white vinegar. Simply place a few drops of your commercial or DIY conditioner on a soft cloth, and buff it into the leather.
- Protect: Leather sealants will defend against stains and the elements. Again, purchase a bottle of mink oil or leather-safe shoe cream, and buff it into your boots, shoes or purse every few months. Along with giving your leather dye some protection, this process will make your leather shine and look brand new once again.
Come to us for all of your leather needs
Whether you’re in the market for a new pair of boots, shoes, a purse, belt or any other leather accessories, be sure to buy them from Acadian Leather. We specialize in creating custom products made of crocodile, alligator, snake, ostrich and any other exotic hide you can imagine.
Schedule an appointment today to start making your custom leather shoes, or call us to learn more about how leather is dyed.