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Dressage saddle leather fading

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    Dressage saddle leather fading

    Older CWD monoflap saddle’s cantle is fading and turning a bit green. I realize they use many colours including green in the tanning process to get black, is that correct?

    Is there a way to correct the colour? Saddle is in excellent condition but I think riding in the rain has take. It’s toll on the leather colour.

    #2
    Typically water alone won't leach color out of leather. Usually fading is caused by using the wrong cleaners or conditioners for the type of leather, or by cleaning too often. Sunlight can also factor in. Short of redying, I don't know of any way to correct the color, but you can probably slow the fading down by checking with CWD and using their recommended care instructions for that type of leather.

    As an example, for my Custom saddle, they recommend removing dust with a soft brush and sweat with a damp rag every ride. They recommend conditioning with Effax lederbalsam as needed depending on the climate.
    "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham

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      #3
      If you have a local "leather guy" you might check in about the potential to re-dye. I would never in a million years try something like that myself (DIY) unless it was an old beater saddle, but we have a local guy who has done some really cool restoration work on faded out tack, so it appears the pros can in fact make a go of it!

      Comment


        #4
        I’ve re-dyed saddles with good results using shoe dye. What do you have to lose?

        Comment


          #5
          I restored an old saddle just to see if I could once. I don’t recommend it. You have to Clean it, remove the finish, remove the dye, re-dye, reapply the finish. Tough to re-dye if you don’t know what you are doing, because it’s easy to get streaks and also natural variations in the leather will make you go bonkers. Not to mention the mess and dye that gets on your skin.

          IMO, it’s well worth paying a professional to do it.
          Banter whenever you want to banter....canter whenever you want to canter.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by NotGrandPrixYet View Post
            I restored an old saddle just to see if I could once. I don’t recommend it. You have to Clean it, remove the finish, remove the dye, re-dye, reapply the finish. Tough to re-dye if you don’t know what you are doing, because it’s easy to get streaks and also natural variations in the leather will make you go bonkers. Not to mention the mess and dye that gets on your skin.

            IMO, it’s well worth paying a professional to do it.
            True.

            Has anyone had theirs done by a pro and what were they costs/time involved? Inquiring minds want to know.
            “My horses are my friends, not my slaves” — Reiner Klimke

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by angelssix View Post

              True.

              Has anyone had theirs done by a pro and what were they costs/time involved? Inquiring minds want to know.
              I had a friend who paid to have her saddle redyed by the company fitter. My job was superior and streak free. That said, the product I used had a cleaner to use and remove the finish. The dye was mixed with a new finish. It literally took me less than 90 minutes to do the entire job.

              Comment


                #8
                I dyed a Newmarket coloured jump saddle a lovely dark Havana with no issue. Fiebings makes an oil based dye that I dabbed on, allowed to soak in and then liberally conditioned over top. Do not wear white breeches for the first couple of rides and it should all work out.

                If the colour change is minor, effax lederbalsam makes a tinted black version. This may help restore some of the correct black colour gently and with minimal effect?

                https://www.horsesports.co.nz/produc...m-black-500ml/

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by angelssix View Post

                  True.

                  Has anyone had theirs done by a pro and what were they costs/time involved? Inquiring minds want to know.
                  Roughly $300 -$400 depending on leather repair shop competition in your area.
                  Banter whenever you want to banter....canter whenever you want to canter.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Ah, black leather. Good brown leather ages and gets a wonderful patina and we don't mind gradations in the color. But even the best black leather can age in odd ways. Black is also something that's very difficult to touch up as there are all kinds of black out there. I'm sure at some point I used black Sharpies on scuffed black shoes and regretted the wierd green sheen.

                    I have ridden in a saddle that was professionally re-dyed and very well done but I feel like it changed the surface of the leather. It's an older Passier and my own older Passiers have a permeable unsealed surface that takes conditioning very well. The re-dyed saddle feels like the leather has been more sealed? Anyhow I have decided to just cherish the fade patterns on my black own Passiers.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by angelssix View Post

                      Has anyone had theirs done by a pro and what were they costs/time involved? Inquiring minds want to know.
                      Last year two of my favorite dressage saddles required re-dying. The first I did myself, since I wanted to learn how to do it on a schooling saddle that couldn't be ruined: a Stübben Lohengrin. The second, a Stübben Romanus, I had re-dyed by my amazing master saddler in MA, who took it apart for repairs of billets and seams, and while doing so dyed it from a dead faded gray-black to a gorgeous shiny jet-black. It was $150 for the dye job, took one week, and I'm completely happy with it. See attached before/after photos.

                      For any newer saddle I would recommend a professional re-dye rather than doing it yourself. For older saddles, and if it's not your only one and if you're curious to learn, I would recommend trying it yourself. Fiebing's Brown dye is forgiving and can be layered, I learned. Good luck!

                      PS: Best leather care products, I found, are by Leovet.


                      Click image for larger version  Name:	LOHENGRIN before and after.jpg Views:	0 Size:	19.1 KB ID:	10670065
                      Stübben Lohengrin 17", before and after


                      Click image for larger version  Name:	ROMANUS before + after.jpg Views:	0 Size:	22.3 KB ID:	10670066
                      Stübben Romanus 18.5", before and after
                      Last edited by Annie Burton; Jun. 14, 2020, 07:23 PM.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
                        Ah, black leather. Good brown leather ages and gets a wonderful patina and we don't mind gradations in the color. But even the best black leather can age in odd ways. Black is also something that's very difficult to touch up as there are all kinds of black out there. I'm sure at some point I used black Sharpies on scuffed black shoes and regretted the wierd green sheen.

                        I have ridden in a saddle that was professionally re-dyed and very well done but I feel like it changed the surface of the leather. It's an older Passier and my own older Passiers have a permeable unsealed surface that takes conditioning very well. The re-dyed saddle feels like the leather has been more sealed? Anyhow I have decided to just cherish the fade patterns on my black own Passiers.
                        Re-dying WILL change the surface feel because of the sealant. If you don’t seal it, the dye will come off on your breeches.
                        Banter whenever you want to banter....canter whenever you want to canter.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Annie Burton View Post

                          Last year two of my favorite dressage saddles required re-dying. The first I did myself, since I wanted to learn how to do it on a schooling saddle that couldn't be ruined: a Stübben Lohengrin. The second, a Stübben Romanus, I had re-dyed by my amazing master saddler in MA, who took it apart for repairs of billets and seams, and while doing so dyed it from a dead faded gray-black to a gorgeous shiny jet-black. It was $150 for the dye job, took one week, and I'm completely happy with it. See attached before/after photos.

                          For any newer saddle I would recommend a professional re-dye rather than doing it yourself. For older saddles, and if it's not your only one and if you're curious to learn, I would recommend trying it yourself. Fiebing's Brown dye is forgiving and can be layered, I learned. Good luck!

                          PS: Best leather care products, I found, are by Leovet.


                          Click image for larger version Name:	LOHENGRIN before and after.jpg Views:	0 Size:	19.1 KB ID:	10670065
                          Stübben Lohengrin 17", before and after


                          Click image for larger version Name:	ROMANUS before + after.jpg Views:	0 Size:	22.3 KB ID:	10670066
                          Stübben Romanus 18.5", before and after
                          That’s an excellent price for the re-dye. I wonder if the price would be a bit higher if no other work was done, since the take-apart charge may have been already included in the billet replacement and seams. Professionals will almost always break down the saddle for a re-dye, so they include that labor if all you are having done is the dye job.
                          Banter whenever you want to banter....canter whenever you want to canter.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            $900 Facebook Pony posted a tutorial on her blog about how she re-dyed.

                            https://the900facebookpony.com/2015/...eing-a-saddle/
                            https://the900facebookpony.com/2016/01/14/re-dye-redux/

                            The only part on my saddle that's fading is the trim; trainer says it's from the leather being too dry.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Hmmm - i've seen the black dye rub off onto white dressage breeches.
                              Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Originally posted by Jo View Post
                                $900 Facebook Pony posted a tutorial on her blog about how she re-dyed.

                                https://the900facebookpony.com/2015/...eing-a-saddle/
                                https://the900facebookpony.com/2016/01/14/re-dye-redux/

                                The only part on my saddle that's fading is the trim; trainer says it's from the leather being too dry.
                                I follow the $900facebook pony blog also. I had a black dressage saddle that was losing it's color so decided to follow the instructions on the blog. I ordered all the stuff on Amazon. At first, I was really nervous about it, wondering if I was going to ruin my saddle since the first step is to basically strip the saddle of all the old conditioner, etc with a liquid similar to acetone. Took a deep breath and did what she did including the sealant. It turned out looking better than new and never stained my breeches. It was really easy to do. I think what causes a lot of saddles to lose their color is from using the wrong products to clean them and or not cleaning the sweat off after each ride. Now, I only use Effax cleaner after every sweaty ride and Leiderbalsam when needed (mostly determined by weather/humidity.)

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  I followed the $900Facebook Pony tutorial and didn't have the same luck. The resolene didn't seal correctly and rubbed off on the seat. I've tried re stripping the seat and skipped the tan kote per Fiebings suggestion and still having problems. I don't blame the tutorial as most seem to have great luck using it but just wanted to say it isnt a perfect system! I'm not sure if my resolene was defective or what. I've tried applying with 12 hours in between coats and have applied both in my house and outside to ensure humidity isn't an issue.

                                  I still am not sure what to do with this saddle, I'm disappointed fiebings hasn't done more to help me and stand by their products.

                                  Comment

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