I bought a leather headstall for my mare. The company and picture claimed the leather was a dark color. I was hoping to try to match my saddle. Unfortunately, the headstall is lighter in color. It's more of a chestnut color and I'm looking for a dark oil/walnut color.
Does anyone or has anyone ever dyed leather before or know if its possible without ruining the leather or drying it out? If possible, does anyone know how to go about doing this?
I have darkened a light headstall before with Olive Oil and also Neatsfoot Compound. Some took one coat, a few too several coats.
I have dyed a headstall with shoe dye before, not something I would recommend, it was messy and I do not think it came out nice enough to Show in for example.
i have before (i make wallets, coin purses, knife sheaths etc. to sell) and its kind of annoying. i would recommend if you have like a leather shop or saddle maker somewhere near by see if they would do it for you. they should be able to match it up depending on the leather...
or you could always try to exchange it for a darker one....
or dye it yourself....
Just want to add...
I think Fiebings(sp) makes leather dye with a sponge dauber on the bottle. He uses that for dying the hand rubbed edges on the headstalls he makes. Might be a little less messier.
Try Tandy Leather, if you take your headstall into one of their stores(if there is one near you) they will normally be more than happy to help pick a dye and tell you how to do it.
You need to strip the finish off or the leather won't take the dye. If any finish remains, the color will be patchy. You need to get it out in the sunlight and check it from various angles. I'd suggest you go with an oil dye rather than a spirit dye. With the oil dye you have more control over the color, ie if the first application isn't dark enough, go with a second or third. With spirit dye once it touches the leather that's what you get. I suggest you do tiny test spots on the poll area where no one but you will see them. Allow the leather to dry before doing another application.
I had ordered the following headstall from Chicks and the picture depicted a much darker leather than what arrived. It wasn't even remotely close! The one I received was more chestnut in color and when I called, they told me that the one I received was the darker color of the two they had! I thank you all for your advice and help on this, but the more I read, the more I think I may just return it as I'm worried about not dyeing correctly and really ruining it!
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