Leather starts out the colour determined by the tanning agent that is used. And while these agents typically lead to tones of brown, yellow, blue-grey, and white, leather can be dyed in a splendid array of hues to meet the customer’s needs.
Two processes are used for colouring leather. The one involves dyeing the leather with actual dyes, and the other, the pigmentation of the surface of the leather with binder-based colouring.
Following the tanning process, most leather is dyed all the way through. Dye stuff is used for this, which is liquid dye not unlike the ink used for colouring textiles.
During the dyeing process, the leather is fully immersed in a bath of dye fitted with rotating barrels. Any excess colour is rinsed out to prevent one colour from contaminating another.
Different leathers intended for different uses are dyed in specific ways.
An example of this is smooth leather, also referred to as aniline leather, which does not receive any additional pigmentation to the surface. This type of leather is dyed only and receives no further layer of colour on its surface.
Other examples include nubuck and suede, both of which are only dyed also. At times, patterns will be embossed on nubuck. Embossed nubuck was especially popular in the furniture manufacturing business in the 1990s.
Another variety of leather is called drum dyed leather. This is the result when smooth leather is dyed in such a way that mechanical damages are stained with the same tone in the area of damage as the rest of the surface.
This method is effective for getting rid of most types of scratches and/or small defects.
Treating Sensitive Leather
Sensitive leather is particularly prone to getting wet and dirty. This type of leather is typically treated with a protective layer of pigment following the dyeing process.
Examples of this include leather used for making furniture that you’d sit on when playing at online casinos in Canada, car interiors, shoes, bags, and clothes in general.
Spotting this type of pigmentation colouring is easy as a drop of water rubbed into sensitive leather will not seep through the surface.
Leather A Versatile Product
So versatile a product is leather, that it can be printed and painted. What’s more, tattooing, etching, and laser patterning is also possible.
Even the hair in the hide of leather can be coloured for specific design purposes.
Leather can also be laminated, which is a process that involves coloured film being glued to the surface. This process typically results in patent leather, or PU-leather.
7 Steps To Dyeing Leather
- Prepare your workstation. You will almost always need a large working surface, and with windows open and a fan turned on to help dilute the fumes of the dye.
- Apply a deglazer. Deglazer should be applied using a clean cloth. This will rid the leather of its seal and expose the fibres for better absorption of the colouring agents.
- Spray the leather with water. Spraying the leather with water will help the product to evenly absorb the colour.
- Apply the first coat. Dye should be applied using a cotton ball or a sponge, and in a circular motion.
- Let your leather dry. Allow a full day for this process.
- Add additional thin coats until the desired colour has been reached.
- Finally, buff the leather using a finishing agent or sheen.