Anyone DIY dye their pebbled leather bag? I'm considering. Would love hints.

Cat8

Member
Jan 5, 2014
33
5
I'm thinking about dyeing an oasis bag to a dark red and I'd love to hear hints from those who have dyed textured leather. I've been researching online and it's suggested to use a scrubbie on leather when applying deglazer or leather prep. It also seems common to first use Fiebings, penetrating dye, followed by Tarrago, self shine dye.

Two questions:

1. Does using the scrubbie during leather prep mess up the pebbled leather? Does it work just as well for AW leather to simply rub on the leather prep with a soft cloth? I'm wary of destroying the beautiful texture of AW pebbled leather.

2. Will the Tarrago leave the surface shinier than most AW bags? I've seen the Tarrago self shine dye used a lot on Bal bags. Makes sense since the finish on Bal bags is a touch shiny. I find my rockie has a lower, softer sheen. I'm thinking of using Resolene instead. Will this work ok? Seems the Tarrago really evens out the color of the dye, which I like, but I think the finish might not suit my AW bag.

Thanks!!
 
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Sakuranobaka

Member
Mar 9, 2010
6
1
I would love an answer to this as well because I just received a Fumo wristlet today. The silver is all worn and I really want to redye it black.
 
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Cat8

Member
Jan 5, 2014
33
5
I dyed my Angela handbag this weekend and love the results.

One thing to know, I bought this bag, used, off of Ebay. When it arrived it was in great shape except it smelled like it had been stored in a musty basement. I didn't return it because I had gotten a very good deal, Angelas are getting harder and harder to find as the style has been discontinued for years now, and I failed to notice the seller stipulated no returns. (Oops!) I have always wanted an Angela, so although I was not at all happy with the way the bag smelled, I was happy to have it around to look at. From afar.

A week of airing out, two days of sitting with socks full of baking soda inside, and two days of sitting with a Natural Air Sponge inside, and the bag smelled better. Between treatments, I wiped the leather down with a rag dampened with vinegar and water. It still smelled a bit musty to me, but I have the nose of a bloodhound. My husband said the bag smelled ok so I moved on to dyeing.

This Angela was purchased in the Oasis color with rose gold HW. I have a black rockie with brass HW and I've always wanted a rose gold studded AW bag as well, but I wasn't sure about the Oasis part. When the bag arrived, I knew the color was not for me. It's a pretty combination, the oasis with the rose gold HW, it's just not my color.

First I tried the Fiebings dye in Dark Red. I treated a spot with Fiebings Leather Prep and applied the dye on just a spot to test the color. I'm attaching pics of the bag in its original color and one of the spot test.
 

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Cat8

Member
Jan 5, 2014
33
5
Moving on to dyeing the entire bag...

I wasn't sold on the Fiebings dye color. I pictured a dark red and the Fiebings looked more purple than I preferred. Also, I'd been looking online at others who had dyed their handbags. Seemed the Fiebings was hard to apply evenly. I bought some Tarrago Self Shine Dye in Dark Burgundy to try and redden up and even out the final color.

The instructions with the Tarrago dye specified applying the preparer with a scrubbie. I proceeded carefully since I did not want to destroy the nice leather on my Angela. The scrubbie was not a problem, at least not for me on this bag. I started on the pleated panel with the two small zipper compartments. Here is where I made one mistake. The leather here, at least on my bag, is thinner than anywhere else. I soaked it with preparer, not on purpose but I have just too heavy a hand, and after the bag was dyed and dried, the pleat flared out. I'd apply the preparer with a much lighter hand on thinner leather if I ever dye again.

After using the preparer with the scrubbie on every leather surface of the bag, I applied one coat of Fiebings. I followed that with one coat of Tarrago and I left the bag to dry overnight. At this point the bag looked so dark reddish purple, my six year old described it as brown. I was optimistic it would dry a little lighter.

The next day, I rubbed the whole bag down with a soft cloth. Some dye rubbed off and the leather felt a little stiff and dry, so I applied some Lexol and rubbed her down again. This softened up the leather and got up more of the excess dye.

I cleaned the hardware with rubbing alcohol, q-tips, and a soft rag. I got most of the dye off the hw but it stained a little bit. I'd read others had no problem getting dye off their hw, but that wasn't the case for me. I wouldn't say it's noticeable from a normal distance, but if you're particular about your hw be very careful keeping dye off your studs. It's also a pain to get out of the grooves, this bag has cupcake studs, so avoid applying dye to your hw if possible.

The end product of my DYI dyeing project turned out more purple than I'd hoped. It looks like an Iodine AW handbag, which is kind of a good thing IMO. It wasn't what I was going for but I'm still really happy with the result. Leather dyeing has the reputation for being tricky and from this one experience, I'd say what is tricky is figuring out how to get your final color. I wanted dark red, I bought dark red, but the bag turned out dark purple. Makes perfect sense in hindsight as the bag started out a light blue. Dark red + light blue = dark purple. I thought a blue as light as Oasis would be covered completely by dark red but I was incorrect. Other than that, the whole process was more time consuming and labor intensive than difficult.

I've been carrying my Angela around for the past few days and I'm loving this bag now. It's a perfect color for fall and I'm thinking will serve well into the winter. One unintended consequence of dyeing, all the products I used seemed to lift even more of the musty smell off the leather. Good experience all around!

Hope this is helpful to other PFers who are considering dyeing at home.
 

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MulberryHeaux

Member
Apr 13, 2018
98
36
I dyed my Angela handbag this weekend and love the results.

One thing to know, I bought this bag, used, off of Ebay. When it arrived it was in great shape except it smelled like it had been stored in a musty basement. I didn't return it because I had gotten a very good deal, Angelas are getting harder and harder to find as the style has been discontinued for years now, and I failed to notice the seller stipulated no returns. (Oops!) I have always wanted an Angela, so although I was not at all happy with the way the bag smelled, I was happy to have it around to look at. From afar.

A week of airing out, two days of sitting with socks full of baking soda inside, and two days of sitting with a Natural Air Sponge inside, and the bag smelled better. Between treatments, I wiped the leather down with a rag dampened with vinegar and water. It still smelled a bit musty to me, but I have the nose of a bloodhound. My husband said the bag smelled ok so I moved on to dyeing.

This Angela was purchased in the Oasis color with rose gold HW. I have a black rockie with brass HW and I've always wanted a rose gold studded AW bag as well, but I wasn't sure about the Oasis part. When the bag arrived, I knew the color was not for me. It's a pretty combination, the oasis with the rose gold HW, it's just not my color.

First I tried the Fiebings dye in Dark Red. I treated a spot with Fiebings Leather Prep and applied the dye on just a spot to test the color. I'm attaching pics of the bag in its original color and one of the spot test.
Congratulations, it looks amazing! I have a metallic light blue Rockie that I wanted to dye cola red. I'm guessing it's going to come out the same colour as yours lol!
I just dyed my silver Rockie Black with Fiebings. I have Tarrago Self Shine Dye and was going to use it to go over the bag as the last layer in order to create that nice sheen. I'm worried that the dye is not sealed and will run in the rain or transfer when rubbing against my clothing. Is there something to seal it with?

Oh crap! As I'm typing this I just realized I should have dyed the silver Rockie red and the metallic light blue Rockie Black. I'm an idiot. Dumb question but can I redye the Black one cola red?