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View Full Version : Dyeing Saddles? good or bad idea?



tinyirishgnome
Jun. 14, 2011, 10:32 AM
I recently bought (cheap) Klimke dressage saddle. It is brown(remember, cheap purchase). I am considering dyeing it black. Anyone have any feedback or experience here? Kate Wooten, I am expecting your comments here. Oh, P.S, by recently purchased, I mean 8 or so months ago. My concern would be the staining of breeches as Im sure color would rub off some...right???

eventer_mi
Jun. 14, 2011, 11:09 AM
I wouldn't. Saddle leather is drum dyed, which means that the dye has impregnated the leather thoroughly. If you dye it black, all you will do is dye the top layer, which will almost definitely rub off on your breeches once you start to sweat, or it rains. Keep it brown - nothing wrong with brown tack! once your butt is in the saddle nobody will care what color your tack is, anyway (unless it's that "harvest gold" color that I've seen some Jaguars - ick).

Daatje
Jun. 14, 2011, 11:17 AM
I picked up a used Ansur Carlton in brown. I successfully dyed it black using oil based leather dye from Fiebings.

http://www.fiebing.com/Dyes.aspx

The edges of the flaps on my Carlton were very rough, so I also purchased a wax bar for edge finishing and hand rubbed the edges. The saddle looks a million times better than when I bought it and I got it for a bargain!

Tips for you if you decide to dye your saddle:

Don't dye the bottom. It will only mark up your white show pads.

Ride in your newly dyed saddle in black breeches for the first dozen rides or so.

A year after the dye job, my saddle is still a lovely rich shade of black, and I can ride in my white breeches without incident.

Good luck!

Xanthoria
Jun. 14, 2011, 05:00 PM
I had a nasty, stiff, cheap brown breastplate that looked to have been dyed by spraying on a plasticky layer of dye (regrettable ebay purchase.)

I stripped it with nail polish remover - pretty hardcore. Lots of dye came off too. Then I used detergent to clean it if I recall, and let it dry. By now it looked like an old bit of rawhide...:eek:

I did 2 coats of black Fiebings (wearing rubber gloves! over newspaper!) and let it dry between coats, rubbed off the excess with a damp rag, applied lots of conditioner and then a coat of beeswax to seal it.

Result: awesome! Never bled dye, and the leather was much softer and nicer! It ws a huge improvement.

eponacowgirl
Jun. 14, 2011, 05:59 PM
I would just get some conditioner that says "May darken leather" and go to town. I did a dark brown stubben that way and turned it basically black. :)

tinyirishgnome
Jun. 14, 2011, 07:01 PM
hmmm..... ok Kate Wooten, chime in...

netg
Jun. 14, 2011, 07:13 PM
I would just get some conditioner that says "May darken leather" and go to town. I did a dark brown stubben that way and turned it basically black. :)

This is my preferred method, too. But then, see my signature line.


I have a friend who is very particular about her tack and clothing looking just right. And she dyes her saddle, I think with the dye already mentioned. It looks fantastic all the time, and she does it every few years, I believe. (And she looks amazing. I always feel like a schlub around her because she puts everything together so well. I figure if SHE thinks dye works well, it must.)

KateWooten
Jun. 15, 2011, 09:20 AM
Sorry - internet is being flaky - I typed a long response and it lost it. Booo.

I do retouch saddles. I tend to avoid the actual seat area, because it's just bound to leach out onto white breeches when you're at your sweatiest and least inclined to be tolerant to your over-worked saddle fitter. I wouldn't attempt to make a brown saddle black though. Usually what I do is over condition the leather, and then add a little of the Fiebings dye to another bout of conditioner. I do it over a few days while the saddle sits there basting in conditioner.

I didn't see your dressage saddle did I ? I sent you some shims this week for the Courbette. You'll want to upgrade the Klimke next year anyway, so don't fret too much about it.

tinyirishgnome
Jun. 16, 2011, 05:43 PM
Hello Kate
No you didnt see my brown dressage saddle. And, yes, I received the shims. AWESOME! You do rock! Lets catch up? When will I see you next? Kentucky? Champagne RUN???

Carlybrianna
Jul. 17, 2013, 07:49 PM
I picked up a used Ansur Carlton in brown. I successfully dyed it black using oil based leather dye from Fiebings.

http://www.fiebing.com/Dyes.aspx

The edges of the flaps on my Carlton were very rough, so I also purchased a wax bar for edge finishing and hand rubbed the edges. The saddle looks a million times better than when I bought it and I got it for a bargain!

Tips for you if you decide to dye your saddle:

Don't dye the bottom. It will only mark up your white show pads.

Ride in your newly dyed saddle in black breeches for the first dozen rides or so.

A year after the dye job, my saddle is still a lovely rich shade of black, and I can ride in my white breeches without incident.

Good luck!



I'm trying to do my western saddle, how many 4oz bottles do you recommend? or how many did you use?