Technician Product Picks for Leather Repair
Cleaning Rags, Mouth Atomizer Cleaners
, Hair Drier, Extension Cord, Razor Blades, Empty Mixing Bottles,
Sand Paper (#220, #400), Stirring Sticks.
Repair Tools: Palette Knife
, Grain Pads (various textures)
, Mouth Atomizer
, Ultra Torch
, Butane Refill
, Preval Sprayer Units
Repair Products: OBD (Orginal Bulldog) Best Friend
, Power Gel
, Big Blast Accelerator
, Leather Bee
, Leather Soft
, FCC (Fat Color Cat)
, Ultra Mesh
, Vinyl Underpatch.
Dying the Leather:
Premix Leather Dye, Forgiven Crosslinker
, Shields Up Topcoat
, Amigo Primer
One of the Biggest Challenges for a Technician
A very important detail in Leather Repair is the coloring process. This is very important. Years ago, technicians used Solvent dyes because it was the best for its time. Most experienced technicians can recognize that solvent dye has its pro's and con's. Solvent dyes are known to be very durable. So for plastics, solvents could have an advantage. However, solvent products - its strength is also its downfall. This is the case because its durability then becomes known as being too ridged or brittle for areas that require a measure of flexibility and 'breathing' ability. Leather is skin - so by treating it like a skin you will get better results. This includes the dye you choose to use and maintenance of the leather afterward, like cleaning and conditioning the leather.
What happens to leather when a solvent dye is used?
If not too much is used, you could 'get by' as a technician. For those who may only be able to use the solvent aerosols, your best option would be to utilize products that have color in them like Leather Bee, FCC, and NeXus so that you won't have to use as much dye. If too much dye is used, it will crack - then it will look like thousands of cracks throughout all the leather. If you come across this, fixing this the RIGHT way will be a lot of work and time consuming because ideally you would want to strip off that solvent and redye with Waterbase.
So what kind of dye is ideal to use when dying leather?
Waterbase. Now, I am sure that not all waterbase are "created equally." There are going to be some that are better then others. It isn't uncommon to hear technicians not happy with their waterbase. If you find this to be the case, remember that working with Waterbase can be a little tricky. #1) Have a good quality Waterbase and #2) Know how to use your products that work along with your waterbase.
#1) Good Quality Waterbase.
Usually the answer to this lies with what kind of BASE is added to the pigment. At Doc's Total Package, we use a quality base that we have had certain success with. We have tried different ones but we stick with the 2000 Classic Base
#2) Utilizing the products you use with your waterbase.
Increasing the success of your dye job and adding to the life of your dye work, it would be wise to make sure you follow all these steps closely:
1.) Prep your leather thoroughly. (Nothing can stick to a surface that has too much soiling or oils in it)
2.) Primer. Use your Amigo.
3.) Add Forgiven Crosslinker to your dye for extra strength. It only takes a few drops. A little bit goes a long way.
4.) Topcoat. Be sure to use your Shields Up topcoat once your dye work is complete. This is very important.
If you follow these steps properly, you will be able to utilize your Waterbase dye in the best way possible.
Why use Waterbase Dye?
To elaborate more on this subject, waterbase will retain the flexibility and naturalness of your leather. It will not become brittle and crack. It is formulated to give your leather the closest in appearance to its original factory dye job.
How to apply Waterbase Dye?
Thin coats is your answer. Spray a thin coat. Dry with hair drier. Repeat until satisfied with dye job. The reason you wouldn't want to apply to thick of a coat is because the thin coats adds to the strength of your waterbase coating and prevents it from peeling off. It is able to cure through and through this way. In repair work, LESS IS ALWAYS MORE ALWAYS.
How to Purchase your Waterbase Dye? How do I choose my colors?
Here are your options: Basic Primary Colors or Automatch Colors. What is the difference?
Technicians who buy the Basic Primary Colors can mix all their colors from scratch. These Basic colors consist of the primary pigment colors, such as: Black, White, Green, Blue, Purple, Red, Yellow, Yellow Oxide, Brown Oxide, Orange, Magenta, etc.
Automatch colors can be selected based on the color charts listed by the makes and models of cars. This could come in handy for a technician who either isn't very good at mixing their own colors yet or finds that they are doing a lot of work in a particular color leather. Buying it already mixed saves the technician the time of mixing it themselves.
Is it possible to utlize both ways? Yes! And you should! It may be helpful to buy a few Automatch colors to give you a color to start with, but you should have the primary colors available so that you can tint the batch of Automatch in case you need to. Of course, in time as you get more used to mixing colors - you may choose to just buy a few gallons of Black and White and a few Quarts of the other colors. This is very common for experienced technicians to do because ultimately to saves them money. Buying in larger quanities saves you money on product and shipping.