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Creating New Leather Finishes

Leather drying in the sun

A lot of the leather used by MEW Designs is sourced from an Australian based factory, that offers ‘out sorts’ for sale. These are hides that are unable to go to the larger customers for a variety of reasons. Some are even one off test runs of new processes. Others may have been unsuitable as they are too large or too small to work with the production line of that particular customer.

Some of my favourite out sorts are the result of a failure during the application of the finishes. This can leave unique marks or patterns that are completely random.

One particular outsort had an area of stripes with a suede finish in one area with a chrome coat on their others. I realised that this would be the perfect test of how dye would take to both these finishes.

Image of a white leather hide with purple dye splatters
Initial application of the dye to see how it would be absorbed by the different finishes
White leather hide with dye some areas have soaked in, others the dye has run making drip lines
The darker areas are the suede finish where the dye has soaked in quickly, the areas with a denser finish the dye has is lighter and takes longer to dry, allowing experiments to get different effects in the finish

Once the colour has been added the leather is sealed to ensure that the new finish is durable and to reduce the risk of colour transfer between the leather and other surfaces.

This was then turned into a MEW Designs pattern, the Marie Tote

Creations are available in my store

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