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A tack color question - to dye or not to dye??

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  • A tack color question - to dye or not to dye??

    Years ago I was given a beautiful bridle/breastplate set by a not so horsie relative. The bridle is made of beautifl, soft quality English leather, but...here are the issues. Firstly it is London tan (that color sucks on my white horse) secondly, I believe the set is event oriented as it has green padding - EVERYWHERE, but more importantly, the green padding is suede, not smooth leather, even the reins, where there should be rubber is green suede instead! I have NEVER seen suede padding on any tack. The effect is lovely, although it would make my white TB look like a Christmas decoration!! I hate both London and GREEN, but one of my doubts is using/cleaning suede where it will get all the sweat and dirt off the horse. Wouldn't it get disgusting after a few uses?? Now my thought is to take the set to a local tack maker and dip the whole set in his black dye!! I'd still have the suede to deal with but it would be black!!
    Any thoughts on my problem??? Anyone else ever had tack with suede??
    Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma

  • #2
    Thoughts on your problem.

    2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

    A helmet saved my life.


    • #3
      TheHorseProblem has it. You're much better served selling it to someone with a chestnut or bay. Trying to dye something like that after-market always ends in disaster. And don't ask me how I know.
      In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
      A life lived by example, done too soon.


      • Original Poster

        But, but, but...it is SUCH a nice bridle other than the color and suede!! You don't think it would dye????
        Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


        • #5
          Ebay, and by yourself another nice bridle that doesn't need a color change.


          • #6
            Originally posted by crosscreeksh View Post
            But, but, but...it is SUCH a nice bridle other than the color and suede!! You don't think it would dye????
            No. Trust me - don't do it.

            I don't know what sort of finishing treatment the manufacturers put on good quality leather, but whatever it is, it f&%s up any and all attempts to change it after the fact.

            I think it's a little like changing a wood finish/stain; you have to remove whatever is the "finish" or the protective layer on a piece of wood furniture before you can paint or stain it. I'm convinced that leather is no different. And my attempts to stain/dye leather have borne out my theories.

            Oh, and the higher quality the leather, the less likely it is to take a dye. JME.
            In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
            A life lived by example, done too soon.


            • #7
              Oil it, see what happens.


              • #8
                Dyeing anything with suede CAN be done, but it's not really easy. There are suede dyes that work without changing the texture. But I don't think they're exactly easy to come by. Also, most manufacturers put a silicon-based product on leather to make it shine a little, and this will prevent any dye from effectively soaking in. I'm with the others, it's just not worth the hassle. Ebay it and buy something that you really love.
                "The best hearts are ever the bravest"


                • Original Poster

                  Thanks for the suggestions. I've never done any good at all selling on eBay. Usually lose my shirt...I'm a great buyer, though!!! I hate to just give up on this bridle. Maybe I'll try carefully dying the green suede black and oiling the leather!!! I can experiment on the martingale..I never use that!!
                  Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma