Have you ever tried...

Please share your knowledge on how to keep your vintage gloves in great shape and looking sharp.

Have you ever tried...

Postby burker72 » September 29th, 2007, 8:30 pm

Has anyone out there ever tried to dye a glove? I have a Rawlings Turley TG 24 model that I'd like to use for softball. The leather is in great shape, but the previous owner wrote his name on it about 10 times. I am not afraid to lose the stampings and I think the leather will be receptive dying - it is very soft. Has anyone ever done this before, and if you have could you offer some advice on how to do it...thanks. The glove would look great in all black, but I'd rather not ruin it.
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Dye Trying

Postby GloveGypsy » September 29th, 2007, 10:46 pm

Good luck with your attempt to dye the glove. I have never done this before and will follow this thread.

Right now I am wondering two things:

1. Could you possibly find someone to do this professionally, yet at an affordable price. Perhaps an auto upholstery guy, a shoe repair place, or a leather dry-cleaners. It may be worth a few phone calls before you douse it with Fiebings leather dye.

2. I often wonder what causes a person to ink up a ball glove, or for that matter any other personal possession, in multiple places. Is it because they are afraid that someone will take their glove by accident? Not by accident?

If inked in only one spot, that can possibly be rubbed out, but if inked in 10 spots, there is no taking that much ink out and there is no misunderstanding about who owns the glove....in this life or the next.

I have always appreciated it, when I find a glove whose prior owner discreetly marked it on the inside or under a thumb loop.

My game use glove is a Wilson A2000 XXL and I am very attached to it. Best said, it is a catching machine. My name is not on it. If I leave it out of my sight, I know I am not getting it back.
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a dyed Rawlings

Postby Cowboy7130 » September 30th, 2007, 12:05 am

I remember seeing, a few weeks back, a Rawlings RBG36 that had been dyed black on the back and remained tan in the front/pocket side. The dye job was done very badly; runs, drips and errors abundant! Apparently, the owner wanted a two-tone RBG36.

Having said that, the black side looked fairly decent, dark and uniform. So I think the concept of dying a glove is feasible. Just do the whole thing! :roll:
Yes, I still have my first glove.
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Postby mittmutt » October 2nd, 2007, 11:29 pm

Hey Burker, I have a similar question. I have a black MacGregor Hank Aaron 715 glove that is in very good condition other than some of the finger tips are faded or worn from scooping grounders. I wondered about using some shoe polish dye or something similar to touch up those faded spots. Any thoughts?
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Postby crackofthebat » October 3rd, 2007, 5:42 am

Rather than shoe polish I would suggest you try Fiebings Leather Dyes. It comes in paste form like shoe polish, but in a softer consistency. Many colors available. I use it for touching up the the scuffed finger tips of gloves and "antiquing" new laces I put on gloves. It is used for saddles and other leather horse equipment.
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Postby mittmutt » October 3rd, 2007, 7:33 pm

Thanks crackofthebat, I'll give it a try. I worried that shoe polish would just wear off but I'll bet dye will keep it's color. Incidently, I'm wondering if you are all Red Sox fans considering where you live? I'm a middle aged fellow and I've never been to a world series game so I'm thinking if Colorado or Arizona should happen to get there this year I might just try to make it happen. I could drive to either city in under 10 hours and I know it would certainly be worth the trip. Anyway, thanks again.

Lee
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Be Very Careful

Postby softball66 » October 5th, 2007, 8:14 am

Years ago, long-time glove collector Ron Carlson would strip down the gloves (which worked well removing dirt, grime, sometimes inked names) using meltonian (sp?) Fiebings for redyeing, etc. Ron was using bare hands in most instances and later developed an illness that doctors said could have been caused by contact through his glove leather experiences. He developed a chronic low grade fever, aches and pains and a yellow palor to his skin. We were worried about Ron for awhile but he seems to have recovered.
So my advice is get solid information from people who are experts in this field about using dyes, leather strippers, etc. and for Pete's sakes use rubber gloves.
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Postby mittmutt » October 6th, 2007, 12:04 am

Thanks Joe, I sincerely appreciate the warning and the advice.
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Postby burker72 » October 12th, 2007, 5:57 am

I purchased the Fiebing's leather dye and have dyed my Rawlings TG 24 Bob Turley Trap-eze model. I selected this glove because it probably had about 10 instances of the name "moody" and a phone number. The patch had been removed long ago. But, it was a good sound glove that I'd like to use in softball. The glove's leather is soft and seem like it would be receptive to the dye. I've had TG24s that have a somewhat shininess or hardness to the leather and it seems the dye would just run off. I didn't really get any pre-dye shots of the glove, but you can see the color in the one pic.

The pre-cleaning was done with Fast Orange. I cleaned the glove a bit more aggressively. Anyway, I wasn't sure of the best way to apply the dye. This may sound very strange but I thought about how we used to coat chicken wings with sauce at a place I worked when I was in college. We'd put them in a bowl with sauce and shake the bowl, it worked perfectly, so I put the glove and dye in a giant zip lock bag. This allowed for the application of dye in places I probably wouldn't get to, it allowed me to work the dye into the glove and it coats it evenly, but not completely. You will see there are a number of spots to go back and touch up. The dye is not that thick, so I would probably suggest a spray bottle next time, nonetheless, I'm happy with the results.

After first pulling out the glove I thought all was lost. The glove was so heavy I thought I killed it. I let the glove dry over a couple of days and the weight was not an issue. My next thought was that the glove was that it was very dull looking. That was fixed with the application of saddle soap. You'll see some a pi (lower left) that shows the glove looking "dull" and then some with a bit more vibrancy.

I'll go back in a day or two to hit the missed spots. In the end I'm happy. The glove will look good when done and I expect to use it next season.

Image
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Postby burker72 » October 12th, 2007, 8:38 am

By the way, in the name of glove restoration research I am going to buy a second bottle of dye and try to apply with a spray bottle.

I've also noticed some spots wearing thin after cleaning with saddle soap. So the touch up is really going to be a second coat by way of spray bottle. The dye does weigh down the glove so I am not worried about applying more dye. I'll post more pics when done.
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reasonable results

Postby Cowboy7130 » October 12th, 2007, 10:50 am

I think you had reasonable results with the glove. Not bad for the first time effort! I think it looks cool as a black glove, too! :)
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Postby BretMan » October 17th, 2007, 10:02 am

I finally got around to a small-scale dye experiment that I've been wanting to try. This was not as ambitious as dying an entire glove. Rather, I tried dying some laces to match the color of a vintage glove I was restoring.

The results were pretty good! When I was finished I had laces that almost exactly matched the 1950's Rawlings Mort Cooper glove I was working on.

Lucky for me, there is a huge Tandy Leather Outlet store a few miles from my house and they carry every leather dye, treatment or tool you can imagine. I started with a spool of their light tan/yellowish laces that are a good approximate width for vintage gloves- much closer in size than the thick, heavy laces I use on modern or "gamer" gloves.

Among all of the many dyes sold, I chose their "eco-friendly" water-based dye. It was simple to apply, dried quickly and cleaned up easily. Still, I would recommend wearing gloves and having plenty of newspaper or towels underneath the laces as you dye them. As careful as I tried to be, I still had spots of dark brown dye on my hands and the kitchen countertop!

To apply the dye I picked up a package of wool daubers for two bucks. These are essentially little wool balls on a stick, used something like a paintbrush, designed specifically for dying leather.

It was very simple to lay out the lace (I slightly wetted it first and stretched it to get it to lay flat) and coat it with the dye. With a steady hand you can coat just the "grain" side of the lace, leaving the lighter, unfinished sides their original color. I did a few like that and a few where I dyed the entire lace and both looked good.

After the dye dried. I gave the laces a coating of Lexol and that seemed to even out the color a bit. I may try neats foot oil next time as it has more of a darkening effect and should even out the color a little more.

I still plan on experimenting with how many coats to use for good coverage and to get a darker, more uniform color. But for a first time effort I was quite happy with how easy it was and the results I got. I'm confident that with a little more trial and error I should be able to match the color and appearance of just about any vintage lace.
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Postby burker72 » October 18th, 2007, 6:58 am

I finally got back to the TG24 Trap-eze to finish the dye job. This time I bought a different product, Meltonian Nu Life (pictured at the bottom). As you can imagine, the spray was very easy, applied evenly and seemed to work very nice.

In a day or so, I'll add another coat. There are a few light spots - around the wrist strap and tips of the fingers. Once that is done and sufficiently dry I'll condition with some saddle soap. I've also got to repair the heel lacing and relace the fingers across the top. I'll probably do like Brett, and dye the laces first. The glove looks better than I imagined and still has a good feel. It has a good look, not as shiny as the pics look, which is ok with me.

Image

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Postby V-Anchored » October 18th, 2007, 12:11 pm

Julio Gotay tried this back in 1962! :-)

http://cgi.ebay.com/1962-TOPPS-489-JULI ... otohosting
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Postby bbrah » April 22nd, 2008, 1:03 pm

Hello,

I just stumbled upon your dye posts. Your glove looks great except one thing, the patch. I think that a bright red rawlings patch would really make the black dye job pop! Personally, I would have also re-laced the glove with tan laces to add further contrast, but that's just a matter of preference. Anyway, the dye would probably bleed on the tan laces and turn them black.

Good job,

-BRAH
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