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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Leather Shop (Moderators: Marshal Will Wingam, Ten Wolves Fiveshooter)  |  Topic: Brewing Walnut Dye with Black Walnut Hull Powder 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Brewing Walnut Dye with Black Walnut Hull Powder  (Read 1079 times)
Johnny McCrae
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« on: May 27, 2017, 09:53:58 am »


Here is a recap of my experiences brewing Walnut Dye with Black Walnut Hull Powder rather than fresh Green Black Walnut Hulls.

I made five different Holsters and tried several different methods of dyeing and finishing. I finally got reasonably close to the results I was looking for. My main issue was uneven coloring and darkening in certain areas on a Holster. Dyeing a flat piece of leather produced good results. Dyeing a sewn item caused problems.

Attached are pictures of two Mexican Loop Holsters and a Belt. These were immersed in the Walnut Dye for 12 hours and finished per Ten Wolve’s procedures with one exception. I omitted the Lexol and Neets applications and went right to applying Skidmore's. So far this seemed to produce the best results with "Powder Brewed" Walnut Dyes.

My conclusions after all of this experimenting with "Powder Brewed" Walnut Dyes is that dye brewed with fresh Green Black Walnut Hulls probably works the best and is more forgiving. I do not recall having any big issues with uneven coloring or darkening with my previous batch of "fresh Green hull brewed" dye. Just speculating but that may be because when brewing with fresh hulls, the solution dissolves completely. The powder may not. I had to scoop out a lot of sediment after brewing with powder. The quality of hides does definitely make a difference. I cleaned everything with pure Lemon Juice before immersing. I also was able to go right to Skidmore's omitting the Lexol and Neet's application. This may not be the case with fresh Green hulls. I learned that it is only necessary to keep the Pistol in a wet Holster for one half hour to wet mold.

Finally, I would say that "Powder Brewed" dyes can be acceptable substitute for "fresh Green Hull Brewed" dyes but one must experiment and test to see what works the best. As soon as fresh Green Black Walnut Hulls are available again, I will brew up a batch.

Here is a link to a Tutorial I made about brewing Walnut Dye with Black Walnut Powder: http://www.johnnymccrae.com/BREWING_WALNUT_DYES.html    This Tutorial describes how I brew the dye with powder. If you decide to brew some Walnut Dye using Black Walnut Powder, please try a small batch first and do some testing on scrap leather.

Attached are pictures of the completed two Mexican Loop Holsters and the Belt. Also attached are pictures showing the darkening and uneven colors. Some Leather Workers may like the look of the darkening and uneven coloring.

Below is a note from Ten Wolves Five Shooter on brewing Walnut Dye with fresh Green Black Walnut Hulls.
Just a note on walnut hulls, TRY TO USE GREEN black walnut HULLS when making your dye, you will get much better results, problem is you can only get them once a year and usually the beginning of fall, if you have access to them, you can gather as much as you can and freeze them if you're not ready to cook your nuts at that time, later you can add the black walnut  powder to your batch and this will only enrich your dye, some scummy looking stuff will form on your dye after a while, this doesn't hurt your dye, just scoop it up and remove it, your dye will last for years if you just add to it and take care of it, natural dyes are the best in my opinion, they are through and through and won't wear or rub off...






* Holsters & Belt 6 after 2 coats Skidmores only.jpg (125.76 KB, 640x524 - viewed 76 times.)

* Holster 7 AS4.jpg (130.22 KB, 924x410 - viewed 58 times.)

* WH5 after 1 Neets 1 Skidmores 1-1.jpg (135.23 KB, 544x1093 - viewed 58 times.)
* TW procedurs.pdf (146.48 KB - downloaded 23 times.)
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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2017, 03:55:35 pm »

Good information, John. Thanks for the write-up and the link to your website in it. Lots of research there that should help others get started with their own walnut dyes.
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« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2017, 06:27:04 pm »

Well done John, this information can be used for years to come, thanks for doing this I know our members will appreciate all the testing you have done..

   tEN wOLVES Grin
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« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2017, 08:53:57 pm »

After all this time I've concluded I've put to much work into making walnut stain.

I've got the best batch I've ever had right now and it was a result of doing nothing.

I gathered two five gallon buckets of walnuts last fall I never found time to do anything with them. After sitting gathering rain water and sitting all winter in the Kentucky weather freezing and thawing (that's what makes our bourbon age so well Grin) I poured off through a screen and walla, a great batch of walnut stain.

It's a strong batch that I don't have to soak the pieces long and I get some highlighting on the edges with it which I actually like.
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« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2017, 12:08:01 am »

I like your method, Cliff. Grin Do you have a sample of the result you could post?
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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2017, 08:13:03 am »

I have had similar results to Johnny's. Really a nice color can be achieved.
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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2017, 10:00:03 am »

I like your method, Cliff. Grin Do you have a sample of the result you could post?

I just stained some belts in it, I'll post them up when I can get some pics.
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« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2017, 10:06:01 am »

I just stained some belts in it, I'll post them up when I can get some pics.
Looking forward to seeing them.
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« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2017, 10:22:18 pm »

Sounds good Cliff, I wish I could find another black walnut tree here, living here in Oregon I haven't found any yet, but if I do, you can bet I'll give your method a try, thanks for sharing...

tEN wOLVES  Grin
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« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2017, 10:36:22 pm »

You're welcome, give it a try. I guess we are lucky to have Walnuts all over the place here.
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« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2017, 06:16:55 am »

I recently finished brewing another batch of Walnut Dye using actual Black Walnut Hulls. Attached are some pictures (with a flash and without a flash). The darker pieces have several coats of Neets Foot Oil followed by a couple of coats of Skidmores. The lighter pieces have just a few coats Skidmores.
Both of these examples were immersed in the dye for around 24 hours. The It appears that I'll be able to control the darkness of the color with Neets Foot Oil and immersion times. Again each hide will react differently.

I'm encouraged by the fact that the color remains even after drying. I have several Holsters and a Belt in progress. It will be interesting to see how my new batch will work on these items.



* Sept 2017 flash.jpg (90.22 KB, 640x480 - viewed 30 times.)

* Sept 2017 no flash.jpg (91.17 KB, 640x480 - viewed 31 times.)

* Sept 2017 bending.jpg (85.88 KB, 640x480 - viewed 28 times.)
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« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2017, 11:36:22 am »

I like that sample on the right a lot. It's deep and rich. Interesting how well the neets foot oil changes the tone completely. That's a good batch.
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« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2017, 08:32:50 pm »

Looking good Johnny, well done pard, it does take a little time and use to understand what you're working with, there are so many variables that take play in natural dye, but it's always worth the time doing it..

tEN wOLVES  Grin
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« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2017, 06:42:40 am »

I've got me a new batch started for next year. Two five gallon buckets of green walnuts that had just fallen. Collecting rainwater and will sit freeze/thaw and brew throughout the winter.

Hope it comes out as good as this last years batch. I can't believe I went through so much trouble making and cooking down walnut dye before now. Last year mother nature did the work and was the best batch I've ever had.
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« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2017, 08:13:26 am »

I have two five gallon buckets left over. I think I'll also try your method. Thanks for the reminder Cliff.

I did get to dye a few Holsters with my new batch. So far it's looking OK. I'm not getting any of the uneven coloring by the bend on the pouch. Attached is the only decent picture I have.


* Back .jpg (173.59 KB, 297x632 - viewed 15 times.)
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« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2017, 08:40:09 am »

Looks good Johnny
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Leather Shop (Moderators: Marshal Will Wingam, Ten Wolves Fiveshooter)  |  Topic: Brewing Walnut Dye with Black Walnut Hull Powder « previous next »
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