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Leather shoe dying

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  • resinous
    Junior Member
    • Apr 2012
    • 8

    Originally posted by schuur View Post
    what kind of dye would i use for "destroyed goatskin"

    here is a pic of the material, dying from sky blue to black
    I did this to my dbss by exactly following kuugaia instructions and was very happy with the results. The process was very easy and I am going to do my TVA boots next


    • blackfedora
      Senior Member
      • Jan 2012
      • 507

      Dyeing of a pair of CCP AM/2449 CUBA-PTC/36 shoes. CUBA is reversed scarred horse. the toe portion of these shoes are leather and becomes scarred and suede as you traverse to the heel section of the shoe. The original colour was soft warm grey with only the slightest hints of tan around the lacing area. I found it hard to match with things and not wearing them. So after much consideration, I made a change.



      The process: After consulting with my cobbler, he made several insightful remarks. Suede is something he will not dye at his shop for the reason being that the results are somewhat variable. He noted that some of the suede will be "lost" when dyeing and buffing and become more leather like. In my case, this did happen a bit after dyeing, but precautions were taken to not rub it extensively during the process, and most of the nap was preserved.

      Dyeing:First the shoes were cleaned and dried (they weren't that dirty to start with though). A total of 4 coats of Fieblings black dye were applied. 2 pairs of coats, 2 days apart. All dye was applied with the "cotton ball on a stick" that comes in the dye box and for finer details and crevices, a small paint brush was employed. A rolling-dabbing action was employed, not (sc)rubbing. The first couple of coats gave a blue-grey colour and later on true black with a copper-like reflection on the leather portion was the result. After drying another day, the leather was rock hard and to a lesser degree so was the suede portion. Also note that the suede portion sucks up dye like a sponge and required a great deal of dye to avoid a blue tone.

      Total dye used: 230mL or slightly less that 2 boxes of dye,

      Conditioning: I was advised to be very careful about conditioning the suede as it might result in a gummy mess. I did so anyways. The application of Collonil black shoe conditioner was carried out with a new, ultra soft tooth brush so as to both decrease the amount of "buffing" on the suede portion to make a uniform colour. Collonil black shoe conditioner is a German made product and has a thick gel-like consistency.

      Total conditioner added: 6-7mL

      Oiling: After the conditioning, the suede softened up, but the leather was still quite hard. I had the fear that such hard leather may crack up use that I oiled only the leather parts. Using a small soft paint brush and a steady hand, I carefully oiled only the leather portions, the heels and soles 2 times with a 1 hour period of waiting between coats. Neatsfoot oil was the product used for this portion of the project. The result after 1 day of standing was a nice and pliable leather.

      Total oil applied: 35-40mL

      The laces were also dyed by soaking them for 15 minutes in the leather dye, then removing the excess dye by pulling them through a rag. they are still kicking off a little residue, but that should cease sometime this summer. Edit: This turns out to be a bad idea and I end up with black fingers every time I tie the laces. I tried washing the laces, but with little improvement. I will probably have to soak them in acetone to remove the residual colour. It would probably be best to use a black cotton fabric dye on the laces in future experiments.

      Hopefully this helps someone in their future dyeing endeavours.
      Last edited by blackfedora; 03-06-2015, 06:48 AM. Reason: resizing images, edits and updates


      • kuugaia
        Senior Member
        • Feb 2010
        • 1007

        ^ Awesome blackfedora, the results look spectacular. Great job and cheers for taking the time to post it all on here. :)

        On a side note, you should resize your image to roughly 600px width.


        • Sverrenor
          • Feb 2012
          • 31

          I've dyed lots of leather boots and jackets before. But it always ended with the infamous blue sheen. In Denmark all I know of is Bjørns Narvsværte, which is so unable to make the leather pitch black.

          After reading this thread (thanks for great advice!), I'm going for the full lot on amazon; Fiebing's, Collonoil, Lexol, and Neatsfoot.

          However, I wanted to ask for advice regarding reversed horse skin. Would it be too drastic to start dying these?:

          I'm thinking about copping the Guidi's above, but if dying them is not recommendable, I probably won't make the purchase.


          • boandaropax
            Junior Member
            • Mar 2014
            • 23

            Ahhh everything looks better in black. A fantastic DIY.


            • blackfedora
              Senior Member
              • Jan 2012
              • 507

              Refurbishing old CCP drips

              I figured I should eventually post this: my refurbishing of an old pair CCP drip sneakers. The pair in question was from the first 2010 batch that made it to Atelier in NYC. They were purchased in 2011 and sold to me in their original col.19 state as shown below. In this particular case col.19 = olive drab-ish with grey undertones and marbled grey and green polyurethane drip. I wore them fairly regularly in all northern climate weather for about 15 months at which time the colour began to look haggard in more than a few spots and the leather sole was beginning to show through some spots on the bottom of the shoe (although the normal cracks on the sides of the toebox had barely grown). Also the old laces were out of steam, looking kind of like a product of swamp water and used dental floss.

              The laces were retired and the dust removed with a warm damp clothe. Residual oils that may inhibit dye penetration were removed with a careful wipe of a chloroform soaked rag. Care was taken to not rub the drip portion too much as I am unsure if any negative consequences would result. Similarly to my above post where I dyed a pair of CCP derbies, the shoes and drips were "painted" with Fieblings black dye. 3 coats were applied with a 1 day wait in between in each coat to allow for complete solvent evaporation. Very little dye is actually required to attain full coverage of the drip portion and the result is permanent. The leather at this point is rather dry and the colour is a copper tones black. Use of 2-3 coats of Collonil black shoe conditioner (1 day between each treatment) to both restore some pliability to the leather and tone the black to a rich and copper tone free hue was next carried out. Since I wear my drips year round and wanted the leather to be water/salt resistant, I applied 2 coats of Neatsfoot oil. In some other posts in the "Cobbler, shoe care, DIY" section of this forum, it has been noted that Neatsfoot oil can rot stitching. Although there is probably some merit to this assertion, it has never happened to me in 5 years of treating various leathers with this product and it was recommended to me by my cobbler (3rd generation with 40 years of experience) as the a viable means to repel winter de-icing salt and water effectively. Last the bottoms were vibrammed is a manner that is explained here and taps were installed. In the future, I may have the vibrams trimmed a bit to line them up more smoothly with the bumpers. After 6 months of wear, the drip portions were touched up in 5 minutes with fresh dye to remove the accumulated scuffs and made them look fairly new again. Part of the lacing area was also resewn after it was caught in a door once which sliced the leather.


              • shuit
                Senior Member
                • Apr 2012
                • 410

                Impress with the outcome of the sneaker J, fantastic post. I was gonna just shoegoo the entire sole and mimic the drip texture once mine runs down close to leather instead of vibramming the whole thing. It'll be nice to have nick shave the vibram heel portion off yours a bit and retap the nail on top.. the rubber run out fast and I think it'll probably keep the shoes more balance as well. I used to nail tap on top of the vibram rubber on my dunk and it feels "off" when I walk.


                • Lois Grüveltner
                  Senior Member
                  • Jul 2010
                  • 204

                  Blackfedora, this is one insane process but with the result you have achieved now totally worth it - I'm speechless!
                  Last edited by Lois Grüveltner; 03-05-2015, 01:54 PM.


                  • nvsnli
                    Senior Member
                    • Mar 2013
                    • 197

                    Nice blackfedora, looks mint!