Dying suede seat on western saddle

Discussion in 'Tack & Equipment' started by StarPattern, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. StarPattern

    StarPattern Senior Member

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    Is it possible? I just picked up a cheapy Western saddle (won the eBay auction with an $86 bid, heh) that looks sound. It's pretty ugly and beat up, and I'm planning to do a bit of a restoration project on it just to see what I can accomplish. I'm used to changing the color and condition of leather, but not very experienced with suede. This saddle has kind of a yellow-brown seat that's pretty much an eyesore, considering the beautiful tooling and medium oil on the rest of the saddle. My immediate plan is to oil the saddle and darken the leather a shade or two, and dye the seat black. Does anyone have a tutorial on dying suede so it doesn't ruin my jeans? Would it be smarter to seek out a saddle repair person to dye the suede for me?

    Thanks!
     






  2. HnA Tack

    HnA Tack Senior Member

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    you could try it BUT it will rub off - so you will get it all over your pants :(
     
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  3. Haas Horse Farm

    Haas Horse Farm Senior Member+

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    ^I agree.... the problem is you have a cheap saddle...there is no real way to fix a cheap saddle. Anything you put on the swede is going to come off on you and possibly the horse. Also depending on what the "swede" material really is it might also ruining the integrity of the material trying to change the color. Are you sure that the saddle is even leather and not a Mexican made want to be leather saddles? Your best bet might be to take it to a saddle smith and see what they have to say about it. I think you will be told the best thing to do is save your dollars and buy a real saddle. You would probably spend close to $100 or more getting it fixed and you could have bought a real saddle for $300. I am not picking on you but I hate to see you spend a bunch on a saddle that does not ride well. Have you ridden the saddle? Does it ride well?
     
  4. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member+

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    I agree with Hna, it will rub off and ruin your pants. Now, you could get the seat replaced by a saddler and if it's just a stitched down seat it shouldn't be too too expensive but, considering what you paid for it, you might want him to go over the saddle completely and tell you whether the saddle is even worth having the seat replaced at all before you go ahead with it.
     
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  5. StarPattern

    StarPattern Senior Member

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    That's pretty much what my thought is. It looks like a nice leather saddle, old but pretty solid. I bought it as a training saddle, but if it's actually as solid as it looks, it might be worth a little bit of work to beautify. I guess I'll find out in a few weeks. From the reviews of the seller, s/he sells a lot of mid-range saddles for whatever s/he can. They're all put to auction and I think they hope that demand for a cheap saddle will drive the price up. I'm just smart about eBay shopping and I set notifications so I can come in and outbid at the last few seconds. I can't tell much from the pictures, but it appears to be real leather. Definitely not high quality, but not exactly indian leather either.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    If the tree is solid and I can use it as a trail/training saddle, it will be worth my money. If the tree is carp, I guess I have the first saddle to use as decoration in my new house. I've always wanted to make those fancy barstools with saddles as seats. haha.
     
  6. HnA Tack

    HnA Tack Senior Member

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    I hate to disappoint you but it looks like an old Mexican saddle to me. They used to "float" around our area many years ago (like back in the 60's) & looked just like that. Their trees were never straight, leather was not good. I hope it's better than that, but is a replica of what I used to see.
     
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  7. StarPattern

    StarPattern Senior Member

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    I guess I'll find out when it arrives. :) If nothing else, it'll be a nice decoration in my house or a good practice piece for installing conchos or something. I won't feel bad about wrecking it. haha.
     
  8. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member+

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    Yep, that oversized horn is clue number one.
     
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  9. StarPattern

    StarPattern Senior Member

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    Then I guess I'll hope that it's sound enough to use for a couple weeks while I finish breaking my mare. I normally ride in a dressage saddle, but I like the security of a western saddle for the first few weeks. If the tree is straight enough to get a month or so out of it, awesome. If not, I have a nice decoration and I'll continue my search for a local saddle. :) Surprisingly enough, there aren't a lot of Western saddles for sale in Alberta. haha.
     
  10. Haas Horse Farm

    Haas Horse Farm Senior Member+

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    That basket stitching and the big "rivets" in the top of the fenders and the way the stirrups hang definitely scream Mexican to me. I hope you can use it and it does not fit the horse in a bad way that makes the horse buck.
     
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