Dyeing Leather With Morgan Parish
Color us impressed.
Dye-master Ayeisha Mesinger of the way-slick, hyper-pigmented line Morgan Parish has painted and stained pretty much anything that can take color—horsehair and cobra skin? Check and check. One of her favorite materials to amp up: leather. “It’s definitely harder than dyeing fabric because it’s a tedious process, but you can be more precise with where your dye goes because it’s hand applied,” Ayeisha explains. “It’s definitely worth it!” Here, she shows us her ways.
Step 2: “I get my leather ready by lightly buffing it with a small piece of very fine sandpaper to take off any finish. Then I dampen the leather with a wet sponge to make it more porous so it takes the dye better.”
Step 3: “I use the cotton ball wand to dab the dye on the leather and then the sponge to layer the color. Painting leather really just involves acrylic leather paint or any acrylic paint that has a good elasticity, like Liquitex. I was going for an ombré effect here, so I used a water-based stain instead of an alcohol-based stain, which would create a more intense shade.”
Step 4: “I let the dye dry and wipe off the excess with the sponge before adding on more layers to get the color I wanted. Usually the color will look lighter when it’s dry, so I try to keep that in mind.”
Step 5: “Once it’s dry, you can use either a matte or glossy finish to seal the color into the leather.”