5 Best Leather Dyes
5 Best Leather Dyes
4 (80.63%) 63 vote[s]
Fiebings Leather Dye
Color: Black
Alcohol-Based
Will not peel
Liquid Fabric Dye
Color: Black
Rainbow Of Colors
Excellent Quality
Rit DyeMore
Color: Graphite
Rejuvenating Faded Clothing
With 250+ color recipes
Rit Dye Fixative
Perfect for dye projects
Locks in color
Works best on cotton
Fiebings Dye
Color: Black
Alcohol-Based
Will not crack or rub-off

Choose the Best Leather Dye

Customer’s Choice: the Best Rated Leather Dyes

62 users answered this survey. Please help us improve this review!

80.65% of users selected Fiebings Leather Dye, 12.9% selected Liquid Fabric Dye, 3.23% selected Rit DyeMore, 1.61% selected Rit Dye Fixative and 1.61% selected Fiebings Dye. Every month we analyze your answers and change our rating.

Are you looking for a high-quality leather dye? Dye enables you to customize or repair your leather products without covering the material’s natural grain and texture.

With so many leather dyes on the market, it can be difficult to know which one is right for the project you have in mind.

To make things easier, we’ve reviewed our favorite leather dyes and brought you a comprehensive buying guide.

Fiebing’s Leather Dye – Editor’s Pick

Fiebings Leather DyeFiebing’s Leather Dye is well-known remedy in the leather repair world. If you can get through the messy application process, you’re sure to be satisfied with the smooth, uniform finish provided by this retro-looking product. Feibing’s is alcohol-based, which means it won’t run or streak like water-based dyes.

While you’re limited to coloring vegetable-dyed and untreated leathers, there’s no dye that penetrates deeper than Fiebing’s. Whether you opt or maroon or black, you’ll achieve robust, full color with just a single application. You can even mix the colors together to create pleasing mid-range tones. Feibing’s comes in 4 ounce bottles that are perfect for small projects and minor repairs.
Pros Cons
Penetrating Messy
Alcohol-based
Suitable for vegetable-tanned or unfinished leathers
Does not peel or crack
Flexible
Comes in black, dark brown, medium brown, maroon, light brown, and burgundy

Rit Dye Liquid Fabric Dye – Best Budget Option

Liquid Fabric DyeIf you’ve never tried Rit, you’d find it hard to believe how efficient this budget-rate dye can be. It’s suitable for use on a wide range of surfaces, including cotton, polyester, leather, and wood. What’s more, it comes in a never-ending rainbow of colors.

If you’re a DIYer looking to add pizzazz to your next leather project, Rit’s reliable and robust palette is a good place to start. The 8-ounce bottles are extremely inexpensive. Not to mention, they provide full, streak-free coverage that’s guaranteed to last. These dyes are even certified non-toxic, meaning you don’t need to hide them from your children and pets. Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that they are highly concentrated and permanent.

Pros Cons
Suitable for fabric and leather Need multiple bottles to each dark colors
Wide range of color options
8-ounce plastic containers
All-purpose color formulas

Rit DyeMore Advanced Liquid Dye

Rit DyeMoreRit DyeMore is an advanced color formula that is engineered to adhere to synthetic fabrics, such as polyester, acrylic, acetate, and nylon. It is ideal for touching up vintage leather or vinyl pieces. What’s more, it can be used for unique, artistic projects. Despite its intensity, it is certified non-toxic.

You can even visit the manufacturer’s website to find hundreds of color recipes and dying techniques. There is also a wide assortment of premixed color formulas available. With that said, it is best to reserve this dye for fabrics that are at least 35% synthetic.

Pros Cons
Designed especially for fabrics consisting of 35% synthetic material Must be used in a heated stainless steel pot
Comes in a rainbow of colors
Can be used to revitalize and repair
Over 250 recipes on the manufacturer’s website
Can be used for complex dying techniques

Rit Dye Liquid Fabric Dye Fixative – Best Color Stay

Rit Dye Liquid Fabric DyeSometimes, leather resists dyes. When this happens, a specially formulated color stay is a great solution. Rit’s fixative reduces color bleeding in most fabrics. However, it works best on cotton, linen, rayon, ramie. We love this project for dip-dye and tie-dye leather projects because it prevents the dye from bleeding.

Keep in mind that it works best when used with Rit Dyes. It comes in 8-ounce bottles and is fairly inexpensive. Formula options include Basic and Limited Edition.

Pros Cons
Prevents dyes from bleeding Must use boiling water to apply
Locks in and enhances colors
Works best with Rit Dyes
Lasts through multiple washings
Brings back faded color

Feibling’s Black Leather Dye – Best Black Leather Dye

Fiebings Leather DyeWhen it comes to applying rich, dark finish to leather, you really cannot afford to mess around. Few products can master dark, robust blacks. However, Fiebling’s alcohol-based leather dye is known to penetrate deep below the surface to create a long-lasting jet black finish.

It’s perfect for restoring vintage and well-worn pieces, including shoes, belts, wallets, and furniture. It’s also easy to daub on. The end result is a smooth, soft, crack-free surface that has the potential to last a lifetime.

Pros Cons
Alcohol-based Messy
Does not peel or crack
Provides a rich, robust finish
Easy to use
Suitable for spot repairs

Buyer’s Guide

How to Choose a Leather Dye

First off, it’s important to understand that leather dyes should be chosen with a specific project in mind. Consider the material you are working with as well as your desired results. Most leather and fabric dyes will only work on vegetable-tanned or untreated leathers. If you are unsure about the quality of your leather, you can perform tests to determine if it is vegetable-dyed.

Once you determine the type of leather you are working with, it’s time to choose a dye. Dyes may be oil-, water-, or alcohol-based. There’s no right or wrong type of leather dye base, but there are certainly advantages to each. For example, water-based dyes are easier to clean up. Moreover, alcohol-based dyes go on smoother and are less streaky.

It’s also important to consider the specific color formula you are looking. Some dye manufacturers offer a rainbow of colors. Meanwhile, others specialize in traditional leather shades. On top of that, many color formulas can be mixed together to create custom tones.

Video Guide: How to Dye Leather?

Benefits of Dying Leather

Leather is a naturally durable fabric that can last for hundreds of years. It even ages well, becoming a soft, flexible material with proper care. With that said, the dyes used to treat leather are likely to fade over time. As such, leather dye is a great way to rejuvenate your leather and breath new life into it. With the rise of DIY, leather dying has also become a popular technique. DIYers can use leather dye to create new or upcycled leather products.

With all that said, leather dyes often ram heads with leather paints. Both products are great but have varying capacities. Leather paint is perfect for creating intricate designs on leather. However, it often conceals the natural grain and texture of the material. On the other hand, dye is capable of penetrating leather. As such, you can alter the hue of the material without compromising its sought-after texture.

Precautions to Take When Dying Leather

Be Prepared for a Mess: Leather dye can be extremely messy! Wear gloves and work clothes when dying leather. What’s more, keep ample amounts of rags, paper towels, soap, and water on hand. Most leather dyes will stain your skin!

Prep the Leather: It’s imperative that you properly prep the leather before applying any dye. Use a scrub brush to remove any dirt or oils. Then, consider applying a bit of oil. This helps to lubricate the leather for better absorption. Regular household olive oil should do the trick!

Test Your Colors: If you have a bit of test leather to use, consider creating a palette of different dye blends and dilutions. This will help you to get a better understanding of what the dye looks like when it dries. You’ll be able to tweak it before applying it all over your project.

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed our leather dye buying guide. Leather is a durable, long-lasting material that should be treated with care. With the right products, you don’t need to worry about damaging your favorite shoes or armchair. Remember, leather dying is a fairly simple process that can be done without any experience. A single application can help a leather piece take on a new life.


Hello, my name is Steve and I’m an author of the blog “Leather Toolkits“. The beauty is in simplicity, so learn, train, and make your life maximally simple by creating things that will please people for many years. Let your hobby grow into something more and make this world brighter! Hope, in this blog you will find answers to all of your questions.

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21 Comments

  1. I use the Feibling’s Black Leather Dye on some products like 8 years ago and they are still very much alive and kicking. They don’t have any sign of peeling or cracking with the dye and look almost brand new. I’m going to put another coat on here soon to make them look good as new too.

  2. The fact you have to heat up the Rit DyeMore Advanced Liquid Dye in a stainless steel pot kind of baffles me. Like why is that necessary?

    1. Hello, Jill! It is necessary to use a pot because it is a hot water dye, and you have to heat water and mix it together.

  3. My favorite is definitely the Fiebing’s Leather Dye. While it can be a bit messy, it does the job well and doesn’t take to much effort. Other than the cleanup.

  4. Hi Steve
    Im looking for a leather dye for shoes that does not dry with a high shine. Is there any product that you can recommend
    Thanks
    Jo 🙂

  5. I am looking for an off-white leather dye to repair scratches on my leather sofa. I am having trouble finding white or off-white, cream-colored furniture dye. Can you recommend any?

  6. Hi thanks, your review so useful. But may I ask something. I tried to deep dye with black color like you did and then made leather dry almost 12 hours before I made wallet from it. And the result is very good. But after putting my wallet on top of another wallet that is natural vegtan, the black color of the color wallet moves/clings to the natural vegtan color. Any treatment to leather after deep dye?

    1. Hello, Rob! Once the black dye has dried I recommend taking a cloth and buffing away any dye residue and then applying a top coat. This will seal in the dye and should keep it from rubbing off. I also recommend using Fiebing’s Leather Dye.

  7. Hello I’m wanting to dye my light brown leather couch to a wine color will the Rit dye work for this?

  8. I want to dye a pair of beige walking shoes that are new. The top is leather but the sole is a polymer rubber blend. Will Fiebling’s alcohol leather dye also dye the synthetic material?

    1. Hello, Lilly! It’s also good for polymer rubber blend.

  9. Hi! I wonder can you advise me; I have a vintage convertible silver car with a blue canvas roof that gets covered with a blue leather hood when the roof comes down. The blue leather is ruststained and I am considering dying it. Is this a good option and if so, could you recommend a dye? (Living in the West of Ireland, if this matters).

    Any suggestions gratefully accepted.

    Eoghan

    1. Hi, Eoghan! I would recommend buying Fiebings Leather Dye or Rit DyeMore. It’s my go-to dyes.

  10. HI Steve
    certain parts of my leather couch has faded due to light.
    can I mix the leather dye with a leather cream and apply a brown” cream to darken the light areas?
    your recommendation will be appreciated

    1. Hello, yes you can. This works especially well with all of the brown tones and the primary colors like green and blue.

  11. Hi, our two cream leather sofas in our Cyprus apartment have developed yellowing areas that seem to be where hot sweaty bodies sit and rest arms on. Has taken the colour out of the leather. What product can I use to restore the original cream?

    1. Hello, Jill! I would recommend to use Fiebing’s or Rit Leather Dye.

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