Dying a Saddle

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Dying a Saddle

This is a discussion on Dying a Saddle within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category

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  • 1 Post By trailhorserider

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    02-20-2012, 03:40 PM
Dying a Saddle

Would I be able to dye this saddle a dark brown?

Beartrap saddle-J and M saddlery--handmade in | Greenbush ME 04418 | Classified Detail | Uncle Henry's
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    02-20-2012, 03:42 PM
You could but it's a major job and you might be getting in over your head. I find the Fiebings yellow paste saddle soap darkens leather a bit.
    02-20-2012, 03:52 PM
Well, its not really going to be me its going to be a person at my tack shop. Lol. I have to pay for dye and $50 for her to do the whole thing.

Thanks. (:
    02-20-2012, 09:41 PM
Personally I would just oil it really good. Neatsfoot will darken leather. The plus side to is that will darken and condition at the same time. And it's VERY hard (in my experience anyway) to get the dye to take evenly in the leather, especially if the saddle is used. And dyed leather will show scratches more than oiled leather.

So it's theoretically possible, but I would recommend neatsfoot oil instead.

Look at it this way, if the dye doesn't take evenly your saddle is going to look really botched. And saddles are too expensive to botch. You would hate to have to live with a crummy dye job!
smrobs likes this.
    02-21-2012, 06:44 AM
Green Broke
Pretty saddle. Neatsfoot oil will work well darkening it and you won't have to worry about dye rubbing off onto clothes.
    02-21-2012, 07:48 AM
Although I have never done a saddle, I have done a lot of other tack, including bridles, reins, and breast collars. If prepared properly and using the right dye, it shouldn't be any different. The dye has never come off my tack, even after getting caught in the rain.

If the person knows what they are doing it should work fine. Going from light to dark will work but dark to light might present a real problem. $50 for the labor + materials is not a bad price, IMO.

Oiling the saddle will never give you the look you are going for.
    02-21-2012, 11:05 AM
Yeah, the above saddle usually sells for around $800 and it doesn't look that well used so I'm jumping on it. Lol. The only thing holding me up now, is waiting to get paid for a saddle.
    02-22-2012, 12:46 AM
I don't think a dyed saddle is consistent in color, it's too big & your body is rubbing against it constantly. I have dyed other stuff, like bridles & reins, those are fine as the expanse is not nearly as great as a saddle, so little inconsistencies are not noticable.
    02-22-2012, 01:04 AM
Super Moderator
You have to scrub the saddle with a deglazer to get any leather sealer off. Otherwise, the dye will not be able to soak into the leather. If the deglazing doesn't get all of the sealer off, it will keep the color from being consistent.

It is a hard job, but doable.
    02-22-2012, 11:04 AM
The person I was going to have do it has been doing it for years, but the saddle was given to the woman's friend.

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