Although dyeing leather is more of an art than a science, the basic procedure is quite simple.
Step 1: Select a dye Select a suitable dye, which will be depend on the type of leather you are working with. Alcohol-based dyes add a strong color to leather, but tend to stiffen it. Water-based dyes do not add as strong a color, but they are better at preserving the leather's natural suppleness.
Step 2: Clean the leather Clean the leather surface, taking care to remove any coating or dirt present.
TIP: Use a commercially available leather deglazer.
Step 3: Dampen the leather Spray the leather with water, or dampen it with a moist sponge until it is uniformly wet.
Step 4: Apply the dye Apply the dye evenly with a clean cloth.
Step 5: Let the leather dry Allow the leather to dry. As it dries, flex it occasionally to keep it from becoming stiff.
Step 6: Buff the leather Buff the leather with a soft, clean cloth to remove any excess dye.
FACT: Did you know? Egyptians made a red dye called "madder," extracted from plants, about 4,000 years ago.