The Steampunk Empire

The Crossroads of the Aether

Hi all... been around here for a while but I mostly lurk. I finally have something to post about... :)

So I'm getting ready for the Steampunk World's Fair and I bought a great leather jacket for its design. But the leather is... well its cheap. It is a sort of carmel color and very "flat". I'm looking to somehow add highs and lows to it so it doesn't look so painted...

I think taking sandpaper to it will ruin it because the leather is soft and thin... so I'm looking for other suggestions. I was thinking about saddle soap and/or shoe polish to add a darker wash over it... but I'm no leathersmith. If anyone has suggestions I would appreciate it!

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You can actually purchase leather shoe dye in various colors, that'd be my suggestion. I've had luck purchasing from here:

It's pretty affordable, comes in a complete kit, and from what I gather is easy to use (as I didn't have to go in and explain it to the person I purchased it for) Maybe you could purchase two different colors and use them to make the leather seem a bit more mottled or something of the like.

If you go with shoe polish use the "cake" wax not the liquid.  Start with a color that is as close to the original as you can find and then blend in darker browns.  You can also get neutral which will give you an overall polish sheen.  Keep in mind the sheen you get is directly related to how much you buff the leather after you apply it so getting highs and lows is simply a matter of rubbing.
If you try and overdye the coat you still should use a top coat sealer or neutral polish to seal it all.  Again, stay away from liquid polish-it dries out the leather and if your's is that thin you will get cracking and shrinking.

CVS, Walmart and many food stores carry Kiwi™ shoe polish wax-the little round tins. 

Thanks for the advice... and the frightening prospect of Viagra expansion (pun intended. >:D )

I'm no professional at it, however from what I have read and the little work I've done with it. There are two main everyday chemicals that you can use on leather to age, or strip it.  Pure rubbing alcohol will take the "shine" out of it and pure acetone will take the actual dye out of the leather(however this is a painstaking process if it's a dark color).  But I think some pure rubbing alcohol on a rag with some elbow grease will get you the look your looking for.  I did it last year with a jacket I bought from goodwill, worked good.  Start on a small spot that somewhat out of line of sight in case it's not the look your going for.  And DO NOT waste you money on leather aging products from leather stores online or in person.  It's just alcohol or acetone in a fancy bottle from my experience.


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