Dyeing natural leather with persimmon (Kakishibu)

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Will Zach, Apr 16, 2021.

  1. Will Zach

    Will Zach One Too Many

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    I post this here as some were interested in this method. I believe @dudewuttheheck bought a Kakishibu belt from Japan. Applied in multiple layers and exposed to sunlight, persimmon gives a really vibrant russet color. I bought the dye from Amazon (Turner Odorless Persimmon Dye). It is pretty dilute, and in one application there is not much color. But apply multiple layers (4 in this picture), expose to sun for a few hours, and you are off to the races! Pretty cool stuff. Kakishibu is an art in Japan, you can buy various fabrics, paper, and even jeans dyed in persimmon. I make my own belts from blanks, and this is certainly a fun project. But it is hell of a lot easier to dye a natural belt than a jacket, particularly if you need to apply four layers. On the picture below, bottom left is uncoated, bottom right is one application, top is four applications plus a few hours of sunlight. Some people in Japan keep it in sunlight for a month!

    Kakishibu.JPG
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2021
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  2. ton312

    ton312

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    That turned out beautifully! The process seems more akin to staining wood. Very cool!
     
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  3. Will Zach

    Will Zach One Too Many

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    Yes, the persimmon juice acts as a stain (it is actually used for staining wood). The cool part is that it gets darker with age and has antimicrobial properties, too, so I bet a persimmon-stained jacket will not catch mold or fungus...:)
     
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  4. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

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    Thanks for showing us this!
    Can you continue to update the thread with development pics? I’d love to see it after a month of sun!
    Thanks @Will Zach.
     
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  5. KissMyMuscle

    KissMyMuscle One of the Regulars

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    This looks amazing. I had a pair of Kakishibu dyed jeans, they are beautiful.
     
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  6. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    congrats, nice russet color result, how different sun tanning affect the color? does it change it to more red? yes please keep this thread as log of its color development as time progress

    I wonder if mexican tannery use the same in their tanning bath, their natural leather easily develop red suntan, while locally tanned vegtan here develop more brown tone.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2021
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  7. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    i wonder if saltpeter can be used to make red tone in sun tanning, i remember my grandma cured ox-tongue and sausage into nice red/ oxblood using salt peter by rubbing onto it. and it also preserves meat :D
     
  8. dudewuttheheck

    dudewuttheheck Call Me a Cab

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    Yeah I do have that belt. My buddy Wild Frontier Goods is also doing a collab with Moto in which he is doing that to one of their jackets.

    That color looks very nice on yours.
     
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  9. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    i'm thinking about sun tanning, how to balance the sun tanning process to sun bleaching? I think we need to keep adding something to react with UV into a tan everytime we suntan leather, just by baking a natural leather in the sun probably at first it will darken to a point and from there the process may turn into bleaching. that's why I think after awhile it reaches a plateau where tanning and bleaching nullify each other's result.
    so probably there is a method to this, maybe not baking it in full sun or on certain hours of the day only where UV is low but other light spectrum is active? maybe baking it under the sun short time, apply oil on it, and bake again? I don't think you can just leave leather in full sun all day, it will just dry it out and will probably look paler in result

    our skin is different since our skin is alive, it produces melanin as reaction to sun if not mistaken and dried out epidermis shedding off.
     
  10. Will Zach

    Will Zach One Too Many

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    I think sun tanning persimmon just makes the color deeper, does not change the hue much. It most definitely has to do with oxidation of of the persimmon dye. Couple of observations - the leather (and fabrics, too) get considerably stiffer after multiple coatings with persimmon. Also, the belt, which has started out with a matte, natural finish, is much more shiny after multiple applications. Whatever this persimmon is, it is a serious resin, good for coatings on different substrates. If I were coating a jacket I would not apply more than two coats, and let sun do the rest.
     
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  11. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    and dye-ing large panel with something that is translucent and may build up color is not easy, you can easily get streaky result with wrong tool or application. I feel for jacket you better spray the whole jacket damp first with water, and use a white sock or tshirt made into a bun tied together and use that to pat around the color to not get streaky or swirly result.
     
  12. Will Zach

    Will Zach One Too Many

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    ^^
    That is exactly what I did in the first application to the belt. I took an old t-shirt, made a small bun stuffed with some round cosmetic wipes. Tied the bun with a rubber band - that was my applicator. The application came out extremely even. But in subsequent layers I wanted a streaky effect, so I used a cosmetic brush. Very easy to get a blotchy, uneven effect that way. Bun is the way to go for evenness.
     
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