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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sun 29 May, 2005 5:44 pm    Post subject: Alcohol and leather?         Reply with quote

I have a sword grip from Albion that is darker than I was looking for. It's been suggested that rubbing it with a little rubbing alcohol on a rag will help lighten it up. Do I need to worry about the alcohol messing up the leather or the glue that holds it on?

Thanks!

Happy

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Aaron Schnatterly




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PostPosted: Sun 29 May, 2005 6:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad-

Most dyes that I am familiar with are spirit-based. Alcohol may take some of it off. I do not know the full process that Albion uses to dye or secure the grips, but I'm certain that a quick call or email to Mike would help. Friday when I was talking to him, I didn't think to ask if they're in or out Monday for the holiday...

One thing to be mindful of - alcohol dehydrates and will strip oils. You may want to treat it again afterwards with some preservative. Mink oil is one that I have used in the past, but remember that it will darken things again somewhat.

I have not used it before, but there is a specific thinner that is sold to "dilute" the dyes. This may pull some of the dye out even after it is dry. Below is a link - this is for a quart, but I'd bet it is available in a smaller size...

http://www.tandyleather.com/prodinfo.asp?numb...p;mitem=67

Good luck, Chad, and let us know what turns up, will you?

-Aaron Schnatterly
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 29 May, 2005 7:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For the most part, there are two types of dyes used on leather: oil-based dyes and alcohol-based (spirit-based) dyes. Most people are going to use oil-based dyes when they are able because of several factors, including ease of application, richness of color, etc. For the brighter and more unusual colors, if's often necessary to move to an alcohol-based dye just to get those colors. I have no idea what Albion is using on your blue grip. That would be the first thing to find out.

I'm guessing that they're not using the spirit dyes, but who knows. Either way, they've likely also applied other things on top of the dye itself. For many of their colors, they seem to use an antiquer to give the dark shading. On top of that, they use something to seal it. I've no idea what Albion uses for the final seal, but this is an important point to anybody who wants to alter the color after-the-fact.

While alcohol will change the shade of color or pull out some color of a dyed leather, a better solution is to use the actual solvent intended for the type of dye that's been applied. But more importantly, the sealer needs to be removed to get a consistent result from this. This is going to be done with an appropriate solvent or deglazer, again depending on the products used.

You can wing it, and just start throwing solvents on it, but you're going to get unpredictable and, most likely, splotchy results from doing this. A bit of information goes a long way in situations like this.

If you do end up messin' with it, you'll want to condition it afterwards and reseal it.

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sun 29 May, 2005 7:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan and Aaron,
Thanks for the info. The alcohol thing was Mike's suggestion; I was just looking for confirmation from others.

Happy

ChadA

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