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Finish for flexible leather (belts, etc.)
#1
Hello again.  The aforementioned Achaemenid reenactor in California is asking me about a weapon belt that's dyed red.  I told him this was achievable if he wanted one made of veg-tan (something I'm not convinced was used early in the period, but that's another question entirely) but that the brush-on dyes I'm used to using tend to bleed onto clothing unless sealed.

So I'd like to know if there's a period-appropriate sealant.  I've experimented with beeswax, but it seems like if it's melted into the surface for a good bond, the leather turns white whenever it flexes and the color can only be restored by heating it until the wax melts again.   Am I applying it wrong, or do I need to use a different material?

Thank you.
Dan D'Silva

Far beyond the rising sun
I ride the winds of fate
Prepared to go where my heart belongs,
Back to the past again.

--  Gamma Ray

Well, I'm tough, rough, ready and I'm able
To pick myself up from under this table...

--  Thin Lizzy

Join the Horde! - http://xerxesmillion.blogspot.com/
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#2
(10-01-2018, 04:23 PM)Dan D\Silva Wrote: Hello again.  The aforementioned Achaemenid reenactor in California is asking me about a weapon belt that's dyed red.  I told him this was achievable if he wanted one made of veg-tan (something I'm not convinced was used early in the period, but that's another question entirely) but that the brush-on dyes I'm used to using tend to bleed onto clothing unless sealed.

So I'd like to know if there's a period-appropriate sealant.  I've experimented with beeswax, but it seems like if it's melted into the surface for a good bond, the leather turns white whenever it flexes and the color can only be restored by heating it until the wax melts again.   Am I applying it wrong, or do I need to use a different material?

Thank you.
I've dyed goat leather with a mixture of cochineal and madder and sealed it with beeswax melted into linseed oil.  Beeswax melted into a drying oil like linseed oil is also a traditional oil painting medium.  Once it is dyed rub the sealant on and wipe off excess color, when it dries color shouldn't come off unless it gets really wet. As usual a bunch of tests are always a good idea before spending $ and accidentally ruining a whole piece.  I'd melt beeswax in double boiler, and carefully stir in twice the amount of linseed oil.  It might briefly solidify the wax, but gently mix and stir and then let cool. It will darken the color a bit too.
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#3
Interesting. I'll give it a try this week.

What did you use the leather for?
Dan D'Silva

Far beyond the rising sun
I ride the winds of fate
Prepared to go where my heart belongs,
Back to the past again.

--  Gamma Ray

Well, I'm tough, rough, ready and I'm able
To pick myself up from under this table...

--  Thin Lizzy

Join the Horde! - http://xerxesmillion.blogspot.com/
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#4
I used this mixture on a pair of sandals and a pair of Greek boots I made. The leather was veg-tan. The sandals were also dyed with madder root and cochineal. The mixture works fine.
Cheryl Boeckmann
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#5
I can't seem to quote folks on the forum! wheel keeps rolling... I used the leather for edging on helmets; Athena Areias has used it on larger pieces with success, as she says.
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#6
Sounds good. If it works on something that has to flex as much as boots, it'll work on belts.
Dan D'Silva

Far beyond the rising sun
I ride the winds of fate
Prepared to go where my heart belongs,
Back to the past again.

--  Gamma Ray

Well, I'm tough, rough, ready and I'm able
To pick myself up from under this table...

--  Thin Lizzy

Join the Horde! - http://xerxesmillion.blogspot.com/
Reply


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