How to dye vintage stained vachetta and bring old bags back to life!

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  1. Everyone has been asking me for detailed instructions so I thought I would post them along with pics.

    Attached you'll see photos of a dyed brown Noé (i love the brown because it matches the canvas so well) along with an Alma and a Deauville. The more coats of dye, the blacker the result. I only did 2 on the Deauville so it looks kinda dark brown or black indoors and black like Macassar in sunlight which I like.

    You'll need (most items pictured below):

    Fiebings leather dye
    Fiebings Carnauba Creme
    Fiebings dye prep
    Fiebings Resolene
    Daubers (available at Michael's or on which is where I ordered all the Fiebings. You can try Michael's as well)
    Tiny fine line paintbrush (i am an artist and get mine at Michael's. These are a must for piping)
    Paper towels
    Bowl of water to occasionally clean your paintbrush
    Masking tape

    You can use Kiwi shoe dye but make sure you use a dye prep so the leather absorbs it and resolene so it'll seal... otherwise it flakes off or scratches off and you'll have to touch it up often. The Deauville pictured has not been sealed with Resolene yet. Resolene makes it waterproof and also keeps the dye from transferring to your hands or clothes when using Fiebings.

    Instructions in next post.

    Attached Files:

  2. Wowsa. Amazing. Excellent job. Thanks so much for sharing! I am intrigued.
  3. #3 Mar 27, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016
    Ok, so begin by taping off around the vachetta on the canvas if you are nervous. I do not do this because I have become a pro at it and don't need it. If you use Kiwi it'll wipe right off the canvas if it gets on it. Fiebings is a bit tougher to get off the canvas but if you catch it immediately it'll still come off with a bit of rubbing alcohol and a paper towel immediately after you get the dye on it. The coating on canvas is pretty resilient.

    Start by using a leather moisturizer (I use apple conditioner, LMB or Meguiars which can be found at any autozone or walmart) to condition the vachetta. Once it's dried (give it a few hours if you're not sure) let the dyeing begin!

    To dye, start by using the dye prep to thoroughly soak the vachetta. You can use a dauber or a cloth for this. Do it one area at a time... for example on the Noé I just started by working the prep into the bottom and dyeing it first then moved on to the straps trim etc.

    While the vachetta is still dark and damp from the dye prep (as soon as you finish prepping) immediately dye it. Dip the dauber in the dye and use long smooth strokes to dye every bit of the vachetta area. It dries to the touch within 10 minutes usually. I use a tiny paintbrush to do the piping, using my hand inside the bag to push up the piping and expose the sides. The dye will generally soak in and bleed to the edges without much effort and without having to risk getting too close to the canvas if you use a paintbrush dipped in the dye... You'll get the technique as you go.. steady hands! Brace your arms on something if needed) but have your alcohol and paper towel handy if you accidentally get it on the canvas and be sure after using alcohol and removing the dye on the canvas you wipe it off with a clean damp cloth to remove the alcohol.

    Once you've dyed it all, let it dry for a few hours, then follow the directions on the resolene. After that dries overnight, use the carnauba Creme to moisturize the vachetta and you're done! Moisturise it regularly. I try to fill any cracks with dye and resolene so they don't show as much but you can buy a filler from Fiebings in a neutral color to fill in cracks in vachetta if you want.

    The resolene will give it a glossy finish or you can go over it all with Kiwi shoe dye if you like the glossy ebene/Macassar look like the alma pictured.
  4. #4 Mar 27, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016
    Btw the more piping the longer it'll take. The Deauville took me about 6 hours start to finish... I'm a perfectionist... but the Alma took only 2 hours. The piping is the hardest part. For the handles you can usually slide the edge of your tape under the edge of the chaps and then not worry about getting dye all over the canvas.
  5. Oh this looks gorgeous!!!!! It looks like retiro!!! Love it.
  6. Amazing! If I did one I'd make a right pigs ear out of it!
  7. Thanks for the great instructions! My old Speedy has filthy handles but I wonder if I would be better having them replaced.....
  8. :lolots:

    If you do you'll need to do the piping as well so the patina matches, and it can be costly.
  9. Thanks for taking the time to post this. I can't wait to try it!
  10. You did an amazing job, however I still have some questions!! Does your Deauville have a matte finish after using the Fiebings Resolene and Carnauba Creme? If I want a glossy look I will first apply dye prep, Fiebing dye, kiwi leather dye, then resolene, and lastly the carnauba creme. So far do you see any cracking or color transfer from just handling the bag or by rubbing the bag with light color clothes? Is the bag water resistant, do you think the dye will bleed if it will contact with water?

    Sorry for throwing so much questions at you but I want to know all the informations before purchasing a pre-own bag and dyeing the bag, Thank you!!
  11. Have you tried dying before moisturizing? Do you think the leather would absorb the dye better if you dye it and then moisturize?
  12. You are brave, and did a great job! I'm not artistic, and would be scared to even try this. lol.
  13. Thank you!!! I cannot wait to try this!
  14. You did an amazing job! This might be something I want to try in the near future. Thank you for the detailed instructions too.
  15. Hi, what color did you use on the Alma? Black or brown?
    Btw, amazing job, those look like brand new purses ♡
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