When working with natural vegetable tanned leather, I often want to customize the color added. I recently came across Angelus leather dyes which offer a wide variety for me to choose from. Dyeing leather is one of my favorite parts of this craft, and having a high-quality leather dye makes it even better.
Angelus leather dye is a specialty product used to apply color to leather. Dyes work by using pigment transferred onto the surface with an alcohol solution, providing a permanent color to the leather. Angelus dyes are available in various colors and sizes, priced around $5–$20.
Angelus leather dyes can be a great method for changing leather color. Let’s look at how the dyes work and their pros and cons.
What Is Angelus Leather Dye?
Angelus leather dyes are coloring supplies used to change the color of leather permanently. Dyes can be applied to unfinished and finished leather but will require preparation. By using an alcohol solution, pigments are transferred onto the leather surface and then dried.
Dyes come in a wide variety of colors and sizes. They may also be diluted or mixed with other colors to achieve the perfect shade for any project. Angelus leather dyes require a finishing coat to prevent dye transfer and protect the color.
What We’ll Explore
- Clearing up Myths & Misconceptions
- When You Might Use Angelus Leather Dye
- Angelus Leather Dye Quick Reference Table
- Angelus Leather Dye Types and Variations
- Angelus Leather Dye Characteristics
- Angelus Leather Dye Pros
- Angelus Leather Dye Cons
- Angelus Leather Dye Manufacturing Process – How They’re Made
- Angelus Leather Dye Costs
- Alternative Options to Angelus Leather Dye
- Experienced Tips for Working with Angelus Leather Dyes
- My Personal Research with Angelus Leather Dyes
- Angelus Leather Dye Care and Maintenance
- Helpful Angelus Leather Dye Insights
- Key Takeaways
Clearing Up Myths & Misconceptions
A common issue some may encounter when using Angelus leather dye is the color not penetrating the material. This is not a fault of their project but rather a lack of preparation before using the dye. Many leather items have a protective coating that must be removed for the dye to stick to the leather.
For those looking to re-dye, a finished product must first be cleaned and the previous finish removed. This may require an additional product known as deglazer. Preparation is key to achieving a uniform color that will not fail during use.
When You Might Use Angelus Leather Dye
Angelus leather dyes are the perfect supply for adding color to leather. This works best with natural vegetable tanned leather as it has no protective coating. With this dye the leather becomes a blank slate and can be colored in any way.
Angelus leather dyes also help restore well-worn leather items. Often the sun or damage can cause leather to fade. With the help of Angelus leather dyes, the color can be put back into the leather, making an item look new.
These leather dyes may also be used to recolor a leather item. Those who would prefer their leather product in a different color can use Angelus leather dyes to achieve this goal. When recoloring, however, the leather must be prepared by removing the protective finish with a deglazer. This allows the new color to soak into the leather without any issues.
Angelus Leather Dye Quick Reference Table
|Angelus Leather Dye
|Alcohol, color pigment
|3 fluid ounces, pint, quart
|Cost Range ($)
|Shake before use, always use a clean applicator, and remove any contaminants
|Stores sealed in the original bottle, upright, and away from any heat sources
|Re-dyeing, restoration, and adding color to leather products
|How Long It Lasts (on average)
Angelus Leather Dye Types and Variations
Angelus has two dye types, regular and suede. They are both alcohol-based dyes, but the suede dyes use less pigment. This helps prevent the nap of the suede from hardening when applied.
Both types of leather dyes are available in various colors and sizes. Additionally, Angelus offers a neutral dye that can dilute the other colors. With the help of natural dye, any shade of a color is possible for the perfect finish for any project.
In this helpful video provided by Angelus Brand, we get detailed answers to Angelus leather dye concerns, including preparation, suede, and regular Angelus leather dye.
Angelus Leather Dye Characteristics
All Angelus leather dyes are alcohol-based, meaning the solution used to transfer the pigment onto the leather is denatured ethyl alcohol. In practice, this solution seeps into the leather and dries quickly but may leave pigment on the surface.
Pigments used for leather dyes are materials ground into a fine powder. They can be natural from plants and animal tissue or artificially created. Pigment provides the color in the leather dye. After being transferred to the surface with the alcohol, the pigment will remain bound to the leather, creating a permanent, wear-resistant color.
Dyes can be applied to unfinished leather, as well as finished leather, but will require preparation. By using an alcohol solution, pigments are transferred onto the leather surface and then dried.
Common sizes for Angelus leather dyes are 3 fluid ounces, a pint, and a quart. The 3 fluid ounce size is a great choice for small projects, testing a color, or mixing colors. These are often the best choice for the majority of people.
Pints, which are over five times the size, are intended for those that dye a lot. A pint can cover multiple large projects and are ideal for popular colors. Quarts of Angelus leather dyes are solely for business uses. With leather dye having a shelf life, hobbyists will most likely only use this amount of dye after its expiration. Quarts are ideal for those with constant manufacturing needs and many large projects.
Aside from the different sizes and colors Angelus offers, they also have suede leather dyes. Unlike their regular leather dyes, suede-intended products have less pigment. This lowers the color saturation achieved with a single pass but helps keep the nap smooth.
The reduction of pigment prevents the dye from hardening the fibers of the suede. In addition, their proprietary mixture does not cause the leather to dry out despite utilizing alcohol.
Angelus also offers a neutral leather dye, also made using alcohol. This clear product is intended to be mixed with other dyes to lighten the final color. This helps more finely control the outcome of a project, allowing multiple coats to build a color rather than a quick full saturation.
Angelus Leather Dye Pros
Adding or recoloring leather can be an important process for crafters and consumers. With leather being an expensive material, dyes must also perform at a high quality. Angelus leather dye provides this in the following ways.
- A wide variety of colors
- Dries quickly
- Wear-resistant and permanent
- Can be diluted to create more shades
- Soaks deep into the leather fibers
Angelus Leather Dye Cons
Angelus leather dyes are often a great choice for those looking to color leather. While they may perform well for most, the product has a few potential drawbacks.
- Leather must first be prepared to accept dye
- Dyes may rub off on other items
- Leather items become dried out from the alcohol in the dye
- Dyes must be sealed using a finishing product
- Dyes may cause the leather to stiffen
Dr. Lakshmi Chembolli, from the Department of Dermatology Venereology, and Leprology at PSG Institute of Medical Sciences & Research in Coimbatore, India, found that while uncommon, re-dying a leather shoe may cause dermatitis depending on the dye. In places such as India, with fewer health regulations, harmful dyes may be more common, causing skin irritation for those who dye their shoes.
Angelus Leather Dye Manufacturing Process – How They’re Made
The color for Angelus leather dyes are made from powdered pigments. Organic plant or animal tissue is ground into a fine powder, which adds color to the leather by bonding to the fibers. All Angelus leather dyes are alcohol-based solutions, specifically denatured ethyl alcohol.
When combined, the alcohol solution allows the pigments to be transferred onto the surface of the leather in a liquid form. Once on the leather surface, the alcohol will quickly dry, leaving the pigment behind and coloring the leather.
Angelus Leather Dye Costs
The size of the bottle solely determines the cost of Angelus leather dyes, as the color does not change the price. Starting at around $5, all their leather dyes will come in 3 fluid ounce bottles, a perfect size for hobbyists or singular-use projects.
At around $15, Angelus offers a pint-sized bottle of dye and $20 for a quart. These larger sizes are intended for those who use dye continuously, with both offering more than enough dye to complete multiple large projects.
Alternative Options to Angelus Leather Dye
Many other brands of leather dye work very similarly to Angelus. Fiebing’s Pro dye is another alcohol-based alternative. In addition, brands such as Eco-Flo offer oil- and water-based dyes. These alternatives will have different dry times, saturation, and rub-off, but they are a great alternative.
Leather paints may be a potential alternative for some. While they do not seep into the surface of the leather, they can still be used to add color. Leather paints sit on top of the surface but can target smaller areas without spreading.
Experienced Tips for Working With Angelus Leather Dyes
- Shake the dye bottle well before use to distribute the pigment
- Dyes can be diluted if a lighter color is necessary
- Always condition the leather after dyeing is complete to restore hydration
My Personal Research with Angelus Leather Dyes
I decided to dip-dye some leather to see how good Angelus leather dyes are. My goal was to see how the leather looks, if it bleeds, and how it behaves when experiencing different types of wear.
I used a black Angelus leather dye on a natural vegetable tanned leather for my test. I completely saturated the leather in a small container filled with dye before setting it aside to dry. This method, known as “dip dyeing,” often produces an even color with deep penetration.
My first impression of the finished dye was great. It had a nice, even color without any metallic sheen. The leather dye left a slight satin finish that could be buffed if desired. When I cut into the leather, the dye made it through most of the material with very few natural fibers remaining.
A big problem with any leather dye can be a rub-off. Dyes that produce a lot of rub-off may ruin clothing when used or color other items it is in contact with. With dip dyeing, the leather may have a lot of excess dye, potentially causing more rub-off.
Since Angelus leather dyes use an alcohol base, they soak into the leather well and dry thoroughly but leave some pigment on the surface. When I ran a cloth over the leather, there was very little dye transfer. Black leather dye is notorious for having this issue, so I was pleased with the results. However, the leather would still require a protective coating to truly seal in the dye.
Different leathers may handle dyes poorly, causing some dyes to crack when bent or lose their color when scratched. Ideally, a leather dye should be durable enough to use the product normally without fear of the dye failing.
When testing the Angelus leather dye, I started by bending the leather. The alcohol in the dye caused the leather to become stiffer, but there were no problems when bending the leather. I then scratched the surface, revealing equally dark leather fibers underneath. While the area was damaged, the scratches did not remove the color.
Finally, I wet down the leather using a cloth. This pulled a lot of color out of the leather but did not seem to make it any lighter, showcasing the resiliency of the dye when exposed to liquids.
I was very happy with the quality of the Angelus leather dye. It performed well in all my tests, although it slightly dried out the leather. This can be taken care of by rehydrating the piece with a leather conditioner. Those who choose to use Angelus dyes can be sure that the dye will last through wear and have little to no dye transfer with a protective coating.
Angelus Leather Dye Care and Maintenance
How To Clean Angelus Leather Dyes
It is key to keep all Angelus leather dyes free from any contaminants. When dying, use a clean applicator, and keep the bottle closed when not in use. However, if the dye does become contaminated, it is best to act quickly.
Remove any large debris before it can taint the dye. If necessary, the dye can be poured out and funneled back into the bottle to help remove contaminants. If the dye was accidentally mixed with another, pour it until it comes out clean. This may waste some dye, but it saves the rest from being ruined.
How To Maintain Angelus Leather Dyes
Before using any Angelus leather dyes, they should be shaken well. This helps distribute the pigment inside the bottle, providing a more even color when applied. A clean applicator should always be used with dyes. A dirty applicator can easily taint the dye, potentially impacting its color. Any contaminants should be removed when possible. Keeping a clean dye is key to consistent coloring results.
How To Store Angelus Leather Dyes
Angelus leather dyes are best kept in their original containers closed tightly. They should be set completely upright on a surface that can get dirty in case of leaks. Since leather dyes are flammable, they should be kept away from all heat sources and in a controlled environment.
Helpful Angelus Leather Dye Insights
Does Angelus leather dye come off?
Once applied, it is difficult to remove Angelus leather dye. The dye sinks deep into the leather, past the surface. Products such as a leather deglazer may have varied levels of success at removing the dye.
What is the difference between Angelus leather dye and leather paint?
Angelus leather dyes soak into the fibers of the leather. Not only coloring the surface but penetrating the material. Their leather paints, on the other hand, sit on top of the surface. Building up layers as it is added. If one were to scratch, the leather paint would come off, while the dye would reveal colored fiber.
How long does it take for Angelus leather dye to dry?
The drying time for Angelus leather dye is around 20 minutes between coats. The company, however, recommends a final drying time of 24 hours before using a dyed leather product. In addition, once the dye has dried, adding a finishing coat with another 24 hours for the coating to dry is also recommended.
Is Angelus leather dye safe?
Angelus leather dye is entirely safe to use. However, the dye must be stored away from heat. Their leather dyes are flammable, which may be dangerous if stored improperly.
- Angelus leather dyes are alcohol-based and are sold in many colors.
- Dyes require the leather to be prepared before application.
- Leather dyes can be used to add color to natural leather.
Adding our own colors to leather is a great part of leathercraft. It allows for customization and restoration. With the help of Angelus leather dyes, our leather projects can look their best for years to come.