How to Soften / Smooth Vegetable Tanned Leather

How to Soften Veg Tan Leather and make it beautiful and smooth; When it comes to wallets, belts, and other leather items, the advantages of vegetable-tanned leather include exceptional durability, affordability, and the possibility to dye in colours that match your wardrobe.

The only issue is that veg-tan leather is stiff and difficult to deal with at first, making softening it difficult. There are several methods for easily softening veg tan leather, and comprehending them doesn’t take much knowledge.

What Is the Appeal of Veg Tan Leather?

Veg tan leather has a number of other advantages, including the capacity to be readily and swiftly shaped into a variety of shapes. It not only retains its shape much better than other varieties of leather, but it also dries quickly when wet.

In practice, this means that you can use water to control wrinkles and folds in leather. When you do this, the item’s appearance and feel will not be harmed; rather, they will remain unchanged.

While some leathers become sticky with age, veg tan leather does not. In fact, veg tan leather develops a shininess over time that some people believe looks better than brand-new veg tan leather.

People enjoy this sort of leather because it can be dyed to a specific colour, thus you can always match a veg tan leather item to another item if you like. And, as the stem matures, the natural sheen varies due to the oils in your skin, making it really one-of-a-kind.

What Is the Best Way to Soften Veg Tan Leather?

The first step in softening veg-tan leather is to ensure that your hands are as clean and dry as possible. Please ensure that the location is well-ventilated and that newspapers or plastic are placed beneath the item to prevent anything from spilling onto something it shouldn’t.

If you see dirt on the leather, clean it out thoroughly before you begin working. This is significant because if the dirt is not removed at this time, it may be pushed further into the object later in the process.

Most individuals will dye their leather before softening it, not only to allow the dye colour to stick to the leather better at this point but also because coloured leather is easier to soften than undyed leather.

Choose your dye carefully, and keep in mind that mink oil dyes, while beautiful, are typically very black. If you want a particularly dark hue for your veg tan leather, avoid using this type of dye.

When applying the dye, paint it on in 1/4-inch increments and continue to apply layers until the colour is no longer soaking into the leather. Wipe away the excess dye using a paper towel and continue wiping until no more dye comes off; then, set the object aside to dry for a few minutes.

If you are unhappy with the colour, you may add more dye to the item, and once it has reached the desired hue, it is time to begin applying oil to soften the leather.

Which Kind of Oil Should You Use?

To soften your veg tan leather, you can use a variety of oils. Most people advocate mink oil, natural olive oil, or neatsfoot oil, all of which are inexpensive and simple to apply.

Wear gloves when applying the oil, and brush the oil across the full surface of the leather until the oil has penetrated through to the other side. Ensure that the oil has completely penetrated the leather.

Allow the item to sit for 15-20 minutes after applying the oil to fully absorb it into the leather. Darker hues may have a longer wait time than 15-20 minutes, so keep an eye on it to determine how long to let the oil absorb.

What Every Leather Crafter Needs

Examine the leather after about 20 minutes and, if necessary, reapply for extra oil and wait another 15-20 minutes. When you’re satisfied with how the leather item looks, proceed to the following stage. The trick is to ensure that you’ve applied enough oil to penetrate the leather item. Adding extra oil will darken it.


The Following Step

Following this, you should allow the leather item to dry completely, which normally takes at least eight hours. To be on the safe side, many individuals choose to let the item dry overnight.

When it’s entirely dry, use your fingertips to apply a very tiny coating of lotion or soap to the leather in a circular motion.

Do this for no more than 10 minutes. After cleaning away all excess oil, let the leather item dry overnight. Allow at least 2-3 hours between coats of oil to dry. Overnight is preferable because it guarantees that the oil is entirely dry.


Remember that you can soften your veg tan leather with wax or glycerin, as well as the oils suggested above.

Oils leave a wonderful gloss on the leather and usually darken the colour slightly, making it more malleable. Impurities in the leather fibres will be removed by glycerin.

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