Tulsa Leather Care is a re-dyeing, and repairing specialist...We re-dye and repair Furniture..Auto interiros...Hand bags....and Jackets...Feel free to call us (918-227-0326) or email us (TulsaLeatherCare@gmail.com) for information regarding your project.....We offer moble service,  as well as MAIL IN service...918-227-0326...TulsaLeatherCare@gmail.com...Our mailing address is:...Tulsa Leather Care 1006 W. Taft #364,...... Sapulpa, OKlahoma...74066

Does my bag have to be dyed black? Or what color can my hand bag be re-dye to?

If the finish of the leather is kind of slick, and (just a bit) hard like in many Coco Chanel bags, than it might dictate using a solvent based dyes only.

Solvents based dyes are (in essence) powdered pigment that's dissolved in alcohol and benzene. When solvent based dyes are applied, the solvents that the color particles were dissolved in evaporate leaving only the color.

Because the molecules of alcohol, benzene and dissolved aniline powder is so small, solvent based dyes have  tremendous penetrating capabilities, but the draw back is that they are also translucent.

When using a (any) translucent dye to cover a strong color (or any color) , you always have to remember that these dyes act just likea lens, because the underlying color will show through the dye that your applying, and influence the over all finished color .

When dying a red colored leather (lets say..... a couch) to a dark brown using solvent based "aniline" dyes, you would use a green dye over the red. Why? Because when using aniline (solvent based) dye the underlying color will show through, and red (the existing color of the "couch") and green (the dye that your applying) are the two colors that make brown.

As you applied the green (translucent aniline) dye to the red leather, you would imediatley see the color look BROWN.

This is true for every aniline (solvent based) dye color except black.

Unlike aniline dyes (which are translucent and solvent based) , opaque dyes are water based, and while they will penetrate into the leather, there's a grater portion of the colorant (opaque colorant) that sits on top of the leather.

If the leather of you bag is too "slick" than there could be adhesion, and penatration problems associated with using the opaque water based dyes. And so solvent based dyes would be the best choice, but this would also be limiting in your color selection.

Prior to the use of either kind of dye the leather is "stripped" by washing it (with cloths and brushed) with acetone, and alcohol. This prepares the leather to accept the dye which ever types it is.

Most bags will accept either the translucent solvent based product, or the opaque water based colorant. It seems like there's (to date) only really two bags that HAVE to have solvent based dye used on the A Coco Chanel bag, (with the leather in the chain handles) and any thing paten leather.

For bags that are to (for lack of a better word) hard and non porous to accept opaque dyes, and do bright a color (like hot pink, fascia, purple, or some other bright color) and so in many situations the best option (and really only option) is to re-dye the bag black with the solvent based dye.

On these kinds of leathers (which are few and far between) if we were to use opaque dyes
we end up re-dyeing the bag about 5 times to get to "true color".
NOW,..........We're happy to re-dye something 5 times, it's no problem, but what ends up happening is that the (supposed) 5 coats of dye start to get thick, and can dramatically change the feel of the bag, and have poor durability.

So, there's the long answer to a short question...

Does my bag have to be dyed black?