Wednesday, July 18, 2007



 I had this request: "I have been using block-out to keep my dye out of what I have stamped, but I can't get it to resist. Please help me with my leather resist problem."
[Block-out is unfortunately no longer available - the new water-based Neatlac is most definitely the best and even better than Block-out used to be]

Dyes and resist

My first answer would be that it could be that you are trying to use a spirit based dye over the resist and that will be less successful. 

On this scanned piece of leather I covered the bottom half of the leather with super sheen as a resist. On the very left I used antique gel on the leather - it wiped off nice and clean off the resist. 

 In the center I used Eco-Flo water based dye and although it did not wipe off the resist so very completely, the result is still successful. On the right I used a normal spirit based dye and the obvious result is awful. 

Now let us have a look at the intended use of a resist: 

Purpose: A resist is used before you use an antique stain to make sure the antique finish/stain does not change the color of the leather too much, but only gets into the tool impressions, so that it gives the antique effect. 

 Products: Several products can be used as a resist: Neatlac, SuperSheen, SatinSheen, Eco-Flow Top Coat, RTC. As you can see, all these products are also classified as finishes, i.e. they are also used as finishes on veg-tan leather after  (optional) dyes have been applied. 

 When to Resist: After tooling the project, you decide on a color for the project. This color change in the leather is achieved with dye. If you are also going to apply an antique stain to the project, and you do not want the antique gel / paste / liquid to change the overall color of the project, you need to apply a resist over the project first. 

Everyone recommends two layers of resist - and you must allow then to dry properly (I do overnight). The Effect: When you now apply the antique stain, and wipe it off with a soft damp cloth, the stain will only remain in the tool impressions and you will be able to wipe it off the smooth parts of the leather. 

You will have to seal in the antique stain by putting a layer of acrylic finish over the stain.

 Variations on Resist: You might choose to use the resist only on the tooled design and not on the background - a two tone effect. This will take some fancy brush work with a fine artist brush. 
It will mean that the antique stain will change the color of the leather on the unresisted areas, but on the tooled areas you will be able to wipe most of the stain off the leather. 

Preparing a test:
Using Resist - Before
This first photo shows some variations: From top left clockwise: 
1. The whole design and background was dyed with Eco-Flo Range Tan Dye and the left half of the quarter was resisted with Super Sheen. 
2. In the top right the design only was resisted with Block Out.

3. Bottom right the whole quarter was resisted with Block Out - both design and background.
 4. Bottom left the background was dyed brown with Eco-Flow Timber Brown and the design was resisted with Super Sheen.

And here is the result after applying the antique:
Using Resist - After
After the first photo, Antique Gel Medium Brown was applied as seen in the little Minimovies and this is a photo of the results. 

 Problems with Resist: Resist is not very successful to keep dye away from leather, especially the spirit based (alcohol based) dyes. These dyes will penetrate through most resists. 

 Here is how to have some fun with basketweave stamping and resisting a highlite stain:  
 (Updated 21 October 2019)

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