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Thread: 2008 Ford King Ranch leather – dyes rubbing off onto my shirt, what would you suggest?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default 2008 Ford King Ranch leather – dyes rubbing off onto my shirt, what would you suggest?

    Found your address on a forum.

    Sounds like you know your stuff.

    My truck's driver's seat is rubbing the color onto my clothes (the dye comes off on my shirts, etc.).

    It's a 2008 King Ranch Ford with the chaparral color.

    What would you suggest I use?

    J Frederick

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Greater Vancouver, Canada.


    Dye crocking (dry rubbing off of dyestuff) and bleeding (wet rubbing off of dyestuff) is only one of the compounding issues related to the denaturing of leather into rawhide. The others include finishes and grain cracking as shown in picture #2, the general darkening effect from the body oil, grease and sweat contamination from all these pictures. I would suggest a complete restoration from removing the penetrated foreign contamination from below surface to leather rejuvenating (fatliquor replenishing for leather softness and strength) to surface cracks repairs to color refinishing.

    It depends how far you want to go, a temporary stopping just the dyestuff from further migrating or a comprehensive restoration.

    Remember that leather is first grown from the field, begins as an amphoteric protein fiber with an ionic positive (+ve) charge in the process prior to preserving with an ionic negative (-ve) charge tanning agent to turn it into leather. Main leather constituents that are added to impart softness and strength is by fatliquoring (fat, oil and water) and the dyestuff that enhance aesthetic. Both these basic leather constituents are also ionic negative (-ve) charged. So the leather is hold up together by hydrogen bonding between the ionic positive (+ve) charged protein fiber and the ionic negative (-ve) charge fatliquor and dyestuff. Just like magnet unlike poles attracts.

    Sweat is the main culprit that denatures leather. Sweat has traces of urea and this attracts the natural bacteria from the atmosphere that when ferments and shift alkaline charges the protein fiber ionic negative (-ve), thus weakens the ionic attraction between the leather protein fiber and the other constituents.

    To revert the denaturing of the leather will require the leather protein fiber to strengthen its ionic positive (+ve) charges. As mentioned protein fiber is amphoteric, thus pH influence below leather isoelectric point (pI) will shift the protein fiber ionic (+ve), bleeding will stop with this renewed strength of ionic attraction.

    The approach to control dye bleeding is simply use Acidifier-2.0 to saturate the alkaline overexposure stain. Bleeding will stop but the unpleasant appearance remains.

    A holistic approach that may involve some removal of existing finishes that will require a complete restoration may be a realistic long-term solution for an overall appearance without the bleeding or crocking.

    A holistic approach will take this route:

    1] Stripping:
    Stripping with surface repairs especially to picture #2 for a complete restoration.
    Use Stripper-2.3 with horsehair Brush-1, Eraser-4 and appropriate 2000grit sanding.
    Note that Stripper-2.3 has a pH value of 2.3 below the isoelectric point (pI) of leather, will protonate the protein fiber ionic positive (+ve) simultaneously with better bleeding control.

    2] Degreasing;
    Below surface degreasing to remove the darkening effect, what we see is less than what is in. The reverse side of the leather is more absorbent thus able to hold more of this dark mess.
    Use Degreaser-2.2 follows with Acidifier-2.0 for rinsing from above surface and Hydrator-3.3 for below surface.
    Note again the suffix of the products suggest their pH value, thus pH 2.2, 2.0 and 3.3 helps return the leather chemistry integrity while removing unwanted foreign contamination. This process is repeated with each drying cycle bring out more of the suspended soiling particulates until the darkening effect reduces its size eventually.

    3] Leather Rejuvenating:
    This is done with Hydrator-3.3 to check for surface tension and precondition the leather structure to accept the Fatliquor-5.0 efficiently with a pleasing appearance. Surface fatliquor remnants if any is further drive in with Hydrator-3.3 ready for repair.

    4] Repairs:
    Surface repairs to roughness of damaged skin are rectified with Adhesor-73. Structure weakness if any from over-stretching are strengthen with Impregnator-26 as an option.

    5] Redyeing:
    Transparent dyestuff that coats over existing finishes is a revolutionize approach to impart a more even appearance than the traditional “staining” dyestuff. In practice the darkest noticeable stain remains on the leather damaged surface as blemishes will be the deciding factor on using the lightest custom match dyestuff to just camouflage it. Have to get familiar with transparent dyestuff before the actual application as intensity is build up and uneven application will also shows. Use transparent coating dyestuff - Aniline-76.

    6] Topcoat:
    Topcoat decides its desired luster of gloss, satin to matte for restoring the original finish. Without these topcoats, the dyeing would be: a) poor in aesthetics such as bronzing hue and tactile sensation; b) susceptible to crocking when dry and bleeding when wet: c) poor physical properties such as wet rub, sweat resistant and scuff resistant; d) poor in ageing properties such as soil resistant and wet cleaning resistant. Use AnilineTop-76.

    7] Protector:
    A buttery-feel protector reduces friction squeaks that translate into reduce friction rubs that prolong the wear of the topcoats. Its non-film forming characteristic allows natural leather transpiration for seating comfort. Its non-stick protection shields the detrimental effect of sticky soiling. Its natural buttery-feel protection increases the leather resistance to wet and dry rubs, thus reduce stretch, scuff and abrasion. Use Protector-B+ (leather-scented) or Protector-B (scentless).

    Roger Koh
    Leather Care Consultant

    Product information

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    Leather Doctor Kit – Auto-Aniline Leather Dye Refinishing Kit

    Leather Doctorฎ Kit, auto-aniline leather dye refinishing kit is design for color refinishing from the simple sunlight fading to the severely body oil, grease and sweat damages. Most severely penetrated, prolonged and neglected stains show a darkening effect with probable finishes damages affecting the structure, dyestuff and topcoat. When contaminated stain feels sticky, it may be a sign of leather denaturing to rawhide. When sign of color is transfer to a damp white towel, it may indicate alkaline overexposure. When leather is stiff, it is a sign of diminishing fat and oil. Protein fiber, the main component of leather is amphoteric while the other constituents (tanning agent, dyestuff and fatliquor) are not and contamination that causes shifting of the protein pH value weakens the leather constituents’ ionic attraction. Restoration to both the leather structure and the finishes would include the following sequence of procedures. Remaining contaminated damaged finishes if any, may be removed for an even appearance with Stripper-2.3. Contaminated alkaline soiling is removes with Degreaser-2.2, a waterbased (pH 2.2) multifunctional degreaser that emulsifies greasy contamination besides controlling dye bleeding and strengthening the attraction between the ionic tanning agent and fatliquor. Deflocculated and suspended soiling is towel extract, thereafter rinse with Rinse-3.0 or further pH balanced with Acidifier-2.0 to a squeaky feel that prevents the leather from reverting to rawhide. Hydrator-3.3 relaxes stiff leathers and removes surface tension free from surface blotchiness prior to fat and oil replenishing. Fat and oil is replenished with Fatliquor-5.0 to rejuvenate the leather for the desired suppleness when dry. Custom redyeing commences prior to topcoat refinishing. Protector-B+ imparts a non-stick rub-resistant protection with a buttery-feel that shield against sticky soiling and reduce friction noises. Note that the mentioned product suffix number denotes its pH value in this holistic leather-safe aniline leathers dyestuff and topcoat refinishing system.

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