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Frequently Asked Questions

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Information Regarding all Leather Products

Leather is a natural product, each different type of skin reacts in a different way to each and every treatment. Whilst we only supply the finest quality products with a proven track record, we can not, and do not, guarantee the results that you will achieve applying them. Always test in a small un-obtrusive area before undertaking the job.

Information Regarding Fiebing's Products

Leathers vary porosity and fibre structure, so no two leathers will accept a given dye with uniform results. Basic tanning agents react differently to dyestuffs. A dye applied to chrome-tanned leather may produce quite another result when applied to vegetable-tanned leather. And not all tanneries use the same tanning process, so individual chemical combination in surface colours and finishes will vary. The patience needed to test each dye or combination of dyes to achieve the perfect final produce is known to the experience craftsman. It is during this critical testing that he relies completely on the quality Fiebing's chemicals for reliable results. Note: leather dyeing is extremely important to the finished leather product! Yet it's easy to do wrong. Fiebing's consultants urge you to read all of the following information carefully. If you will take the time to do this - and follow the advice given - your chances of producing a product of genuine beauty will be greatly enhanced.

The outstanding oil dye from Fiebing's delivers excellent coverage, even dyeing product for high quality results. Available in a large range of colours.

Leather, in order to accept any dye uniformly, must be throughly clean and free from grease (fingerprints), wax and other top finishes. Caution: A cleaner that is too harsh may remove the natural leather oils, destroying pliability and increasing the tendency for the leather to crack. It is therefore wise to invest in a specially formulated leather cleaner - such as Dye Prep - which will remove dirt without drying out the leather.

Having selected the colour desired, a difference in dye solutions should be noted and the dye handled accordingly. Where excess pigment appears settled at the bottom of the dye-bottle, resist the temptation to shake. In all colours this precipitation is excess and the liquid already carries in solution a sufficient saturation to do a thorough job.

Allow plenty of arm room so you can work reasonably fast. Use piece of woodskin, cloth or the dauber furnished with the bottle as your applicator. Apply the dye in broad strokes, covering as large an area as possible with each stroke to prevent streaking. Don't dab it on. If streaks remain, or if you have missed spots, repeat the above procedure over the complete area. Don't attempt to "touch up" spots - it is seldom successful. Note: An over-all second coat of dye will usually result in a deeper colour. It is worth repeating here that streaks resulting from dirt or grease will not disappear with a second coat. When the dye has dried, excess surface dye should be removed by rubbing with a soft cloth woolskin. This will also brighten the colour. Black dyes may tend to rub off even after wiping. This can be prevented by the application of a protective wax or Saddle Lac coating.

An alternate dyeing method for covering large areas evenly is to apply the dye with a spray-gun or air-brush. For the latter, it may be necessary to thin the dye with Fiebing's Dye Solvent.

After leather has received its basic surface and edge colour through one of the several dyeing methods, there remains a choice of finishes for various effects. The result of your efforts to achieve the finish you desire are directly related to your patience and care. All attractive finishes require strict attention to detail because they are usually very subtle when they're correct. These Fiebing's products will serve you well and will respond dramatically to your best efforts.

Wax finishes are obtainable in liquid form for convenient application: See below.

A liquid wax sealant, available in a selection of colours, is wiped on with a cloth, allowed to set for 3 to 5 minutes, and then buffed lightly with a soft cloth, woolskin, or brush. The result ... a rich, soft, velvety lustre. A leather wax dressing for a quick finish of lasting durability. Light buffing imparts high gloss. We stock the balm in a Neutral finish.

Now, shine and condition all leather goods, such as saddles, belts, handbags, shoes and boots with a flexible wax finish that will last and last. Give your valued leather possessions that special Fiebing's touch.

Care preserves ... Care strengthens ... Care cleans ... Care beautifies ....

A basic understanding of leather work can be mastered by many, but the difference between an average result and work of distinction almost always lies in the subtle, rich beauty of the finish. It is this rich beauty that commands highest profits for the leatherworker and provides the satisfaction that comes from knowing you have achieved a product of the highest quality through your own efforts. All Fiebing's products are meant to help the craftsman achieve superior quality. Each of our products is accompanied by detailed instructions to help you improve your leather-crafting techniques each time you do another project.

Information Regarding Leather

Leather is a collective term for all hides and skins which have been tanned. These can come from any type of animal. Most leather is produced from cow, sheep, goat and pigskin.

The majority of leather products are made from cow-hide especially in the upholstery trade as these provide the skin area needed to cut the largest panels.

Sheepskin has a soft handle and is used predominantly for clothing. Pigskin, is used for clothing especially in its suede form, and also in the lining of footwear.

The quality of leather is determined mainly by the condition of the grain/surface. In general, the hides from poorer countries are less well nourished and less well kept and so have more surface damage such as scars, insect bites and disease marks. Those from richer countries have a better grain quality and are much cleaner so demanding a higher price.

As a rule the cleaner the surface of the hide, the more the natural the look of the leather can be preserved through the careful use of dyes and pigments. Often leather is printed / plated to produce a special effect or enhance an already natural grain. However, it is rare for a hide to be completely free of defects, indeed many prefer some of these to be seen as they serve to add character to the leather. Often though the surface of the hide is too rough to use as it is. It then has to be buffed (or corrected) and pigments more heavily applied to create a cleaner surface.

The thickness of hides before tanning can vary significantly. To obtain a uniform substance the hides are fed through a splitting machine. This yields a grain portion and an underneath flesh layer that is called a split. Splits need heavy pigmenting and plating to provide a clean surface and so have less of the natural look of a grain leather.

Suede is made predominantly from good quality split which is buffed into a fine napp that gives it the familiar velvety look. A similar process is sometimes used on grain leather which can produce an ultra fine sueded finish commonly called nubuck.

The tanning process more commonly involves the soaking of hides in alkaline chrome salts to preserve them from decay. Sometimes vegetable based tanning agents are used instead. This creates a less dense and more rigid feel but provides a more traditional look to the leather. It also allows for easier crafting and embossing. Vegetable leathers are used mainly in the bridle and leather goods trades.

Information Regarding Delivery

We offer free return delivery on all orders over £100. Make sure you provide us with your delivery address at the checkout.

New laws prohibit the transportation of some chemicals by Royal Mail. We use a specialist courier to deliver our liquids that fall under this law. All our products that come into this category are marked as a "special shipping" product.

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