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Subject: Re: Distressed Leather

>Can anyone suggest a good way to make new leather look old?
>I have a client that wants a book made to look old/medieval.
>Most likely I will be using brown calfskin.

Bernard Middleton showed a technique that I have used many times. He uses a
stiff hair brush to make small dimples/indentations in the wet, pasted and
 newly attached leather during rebacking. (In a college woodworking class, we
used various implements - including chains - to distress wood.)
As suggested by an earlier writer, sploches of dye/s will add character,
whereas a uniform dye will look too new.

One other trick that I have used is to wet the leather with water (or a water
based dye) and then to immediately sprinkle or dab on an alcohol based dye
(usually black). Apparently, the alcohol causes the leather to shrink
slightly, giving the effect of old sprinkled calf where harsh chemicals were
originally used.
Good Luck,
Bill Minter

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