Fine. Leather. Goods. 

Did you read that like Donna from Parks & Rec?  I wanted you to!  I mentioned in a past post that I was planning on dying (re-dying, really) my favorite Madewell flats. I looooooooove these shoes, and they currently don’t make them, although hopefully they will again come Spring. Madewell flats are so comfortable and well made (pun not intended but always appreciated). I have 3 pairs, but these red ones are my favorite. I dyed them last year, but they have been looking worse for wear. Here’s how I freshened them up! 

Some before shots. You can see how scuffed they are, but the heart wants what the heart wants and my heart wants these to look better so I can keep wearing them. 

In general, I take good care of my leather. These are my go-tos. For the leather wipes, you always want to test it before swiping, because this can take the color right off your leather. Tread carefully. Saddle soap and leather lotion are more ubiquitous and most leather responds well to them.  I don’t usually have any problems with either product. But again, always check what your leather needs before applying anything willy nilly. 

Here’s an example of how I clean my bag. I use a sock to apply the saddle soap and then rotate it on my hand to use a clean swatch to wash it off. Then I use another sock to apply the leather lotion. It’s not a hugely noticeable difference, but it is a tactile one, and it keeps my bag looking fresh and new even though it’s definitely had use. 

But back to my shoes!  I did use the leather wipes on these, as I knew they were ok for that and also I was dying them so a lift of pigmentation wouldn’t devastate me. 

  You can see more damage here.   

 I prepared the shoes by using a scotch pad and the preparer. The directions say to only do this step for real leather, not synthetic or canvas. The dye can be used for all. 

You can REALLY see how beat they are now. 

 Here they are after 1, 2, and 3 coats respectively. As you see, I had to move them to a different counter because my cat wanted to lie on my shoes. Thanks, kitten. 

I tried them on when they dried…

and felt that they looked streaky and not as good as they could so I did one more coat. 

I left them to dry and went to work. 

Success!  I took off my ankle brace, but you can see the indentation on my foot. Just keeping it real. 😉

Are they perfect and like new?  Nope. But they definitely look brighter and will last a little longer. Hopefully, Madewell will bring these back, and if not I probably just got another year’s use out of them for $10. I think dying these black would also make them look great, but I need another pair of black flats like a hole in my head. I love my red shoes. 

Have you ever dyed leather? Would you?  


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