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dyeing suede shoes?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Joel_Cairo, Mar 11, 2007.

  1. Joel_Cairo

    Joel_Cairo Senior member

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    How does this work? I've done overhauls on calf by just stripping the finish and painting on some of that inky meltonian color, but can I do that to suede? Do I need a pro?
     
  2. Joel_Cairo

    Joel_Cairo Senior member

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    bump in hope of late night input
     
  3. Joel_Cairo

    Joel_Cairo Senior member

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    For the love! Please somebody help me out on this one... gotta know whether to buy those "right size/shape/price, wrong color" chukkas or not.
     
  4. Ivan Kipling

    Ivan Kipling Senior member

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    I have dyed many, many pairs of leather shoes. Excellent results. I stripped the leather down with an acetate solution, then painted on the dye. Afterward, I sprayed on the finishing color. No problems. But with suede? Perhaps a spray dye would work, straight off. I don't see why suede wouldn't take to spray 'paint.'
     
  5. Joel_Cairo

    Joel_Cairo Senior member

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    I'm gonna try bumping this question one more time. THe cobbler wants $40 to dye some suede shoes... can I do it myself for $6 with a bottle of that leather dye stuff?
     
  6. skalogre

    skalogre Senior member

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    I'm gonna try bumping this question one more time. THe cobbler wants $40 to dye some suede shoes... can I do it myself for $6 with a bottle of that leather dye stuff?

    Try it, say, near the bottom of the tongue where if it does not work out ok it will not be visible.
     
  7. Ivan Kipling

    Ivan Kipling Senior member

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    I still think a spray dye would be your best option.
     
  8. texas_jack

    texas_jack Senior member

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    Can't imagine how you re-dye suede.
     
  9. Ivan Kipling

    Ivan Kipling Senior member

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    texas_jack, what you'd be doing simply would be to spray color, over the color that's already there. If you're going darker, I think it might work.
    Leather shoes were not difficult for me to dye. Usually we bought white, or another light color, then dyed them whatever shade we needed. Suede could be another story.
     
  10. texas_jack

    texas_jack Senior member

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    I would think that if you got enough dye on there to cover the previous job the suede would mat, then it wouldn't be suede anymore.
     
  11. Joel_Cairo

    Joel_Cairo Senior member

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    Suede could be another story.

    This potential "other story" is what has me worried. Like you, Ivan, I've dyed leather before by stipping and slathering on that inky dye (this was pre-SF, when I wanted some greenish tan rubber-soled no-name shoes to be a respectable shade of brown). I just didnt know if suede was more complicated. The cobbler said it would be no problem (so long as I hadn't "sealed up" the suede by waterproofing the shoes) for them to treat them in some kind of color-bleaching way and then dye them thoroughly. "$40-$45" he said. Im just wondering if I can do it on my own for cheaper, as I'm looking to get some stone-ish tan chukkas to a chocolatey dark brown.

    Thanks to all of you who have responded in my time of need [​IMG]
     
  12. Ivan Kipling

    Ivan Kipling Senior member

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    Interesting about the water proofing! As a matter of fact, I have waterproofed my suede shoes. How much good it did, I don't know. Keep us posted. The spray dyes at my local cobbler's shop, are very inexpensive. They work, great on leather that has been stripped, then painted. The spray is the final touch.

    Very curious about suede. As another poster suggested . . . try a hidden part of the shoe's tongue . . . see what happens.
     
  13. JohnMS

    JohnMS Senior member

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    I've dyed a bunch of Allen Edmonds calf shoes with Lincoln shoe dye with great results. The last time I purchased some shoe dye I noticed that LIncoln makes a suede dye in a couple of colors. I haven't tried it, nor do I know how it might work differently on suede than on calf.
     
  14. Ivan Kipling

    Ivan Kipling Senior member

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    Thanks, JohnMS . . . Lincoln polish is excellent!! Have never tried their shoe dyes.
     
  15. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    It seems like there is always a pair of suede shoes at the thrifts when I go - maybe you should get a trial pair first? I would think that sponging dye onto suede would work just fine - the problem would be getting the color even. A darker color would be much better for that reason. Then after dyeing, they would probably need to be brushed out to restore the nap.
     
  16. Joel_Cairo

    Joel_Cairo Senior member

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    here's what google turned up for "lincoln suede dye".:

    "Suede Dye and Dressings
    Lincoln Suede Dye and Dressing is used for cleaning and restoring suede, and like materials, to their orginal color and appearance. Lincoln Suede Dye and Dressing is available in more than 15 fashion colors. Lincoln #10 Black Suede Dye and Dressing is used to dye any color suede to black. "

    Reading between the lines, it seems Lincoln is not to be used for changing a color to something darker, but along the same gradient. They seem to say "it'll clean and restore original color" or "it'll black out everything"... I'm a bit wary of trying my hand at an off-label use of this stuff (if its anything like calf dye, its virtually tattoo ink)
     
  17. chobochobo

    chobochobo Senior member Moderator

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    I've been following this thread for a while to see what the definitive answer is. I bought a pair of EG Dovers in suede off the board that have a small stain on the vamp (I knew it when I bought it). The shoes are nice and the colour is great too, sometimes I think about the spot, but most times I just forget about it. I've tried Saphir suede cleaner etc, with no real improvement have toyed with the idea of 'masking' the spot by dyeing the whole shoe. This would of course, change the colour (which I like) and may end up a complete mess anyway. So, I would love to see the results of others first [​IMG]
     
  18. sartort

    sartort Senior member

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    revived from the dead.

    Joel, what did you end up doing? I am curious about dyeing suede as well.
     
  19. Joel_Cairo

    Joel_Cairo Senior member

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    revived from the dead.

    Joel, what did you end up doing? I am curious about dyeing suede as well.


    In the ~10 months since I was faced with this conundrum, I've devised a novel workaround: buy like 5 new pairs of suede shoes in every shade imaginable. no muss, no fuss.
     
  20. distinctive

    distinctive Senior member

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    If anyone cares, dyeing suede is easier than dyeing calf. Fiebings makes a dye that soaks into the knapp (sp?). Sometimes more than one coat is necessary. Like any other dye, you can only go darker.
     

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