Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Greenville area / SC
Dying a saddle shouldn't be a huge problem. Although I've never done a saddle, I've dyed numerous bridles, reins, breast collars, and saddle bags. It would be simpler to start out with a lighter saddle but which ever saddle you choose, it would be helpful if it didn't have a clear finish on it. The clear finish will hamper the leather's ability to take the dye.
In any case, the key to successful dying of the leather is in the preparation. Go over the saddle several times with alcohol or a suitable leather prep. You want to remove as much of the oils and finish as possible (you will put them back when you are finished dying the saddle). I would buy several bottles of a good quality dye such as Kelly's and apply with a sponge brush, using a small brush to get into the tooling. I would apply several coats and let it dry for a day or so before applying leather conditioner. If you did it correctly, it shouldn't bleed on your clothing - mine never bleed on my horse or my hands.
One last thing, be sure to do it in a well ventilated area, have a drop cloth under the saddle, and wear gloves!
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Last edited by iridehorses; 11-03-2009 at 01:55 PM.