I needed some sandals for cooler summer days, I try to avoid putting on shoes until I absolutely must because of my toes turning blue… So these cover most of my feet but still let in some air.
I experimented some more with using the batik technique for dyeing the leather of the uppers. First I dyed the leather ochre than applied hot wax with a paintbrush and dyed it over with red and again with cranberry. I repeated the process several times to get the look you see here.
Every time I remove the wax I hold my breath, I can not yet predict the outcome of my dying, will it look ok or have I wasted the leather? Friends often tell me but why do you always try something new, why not stick with what you know works?
Well I just can’t help it, I want to know what happens if I repeat the dyeing and waxing several times instead of just once or twice (see examples of less layering below).
Even though there is a risk I might not like it and end up having to cut up the uppers to make rings out of them (see examples of batik leather rings I made).
I used lasts for making these sandals but you don’t absolutely need them, I ‘ve made similar sandals before without lasts and the leather molded itself to my feet after just a short time wearing them.
At the same time I made the sandals above I made the ones below for a friend returning to South America where spring starts soon. The soles are dyed and waxed only once using just two colours, ochre and cranberry.
Only water based leather dyes will work with batik. I used red, ochre and cranberry from Identity Leather Craft. I’m still looking for water based blues, that don’t change colour when exposed to light or are too dark or too greyish in tone.
Let me know if you’ve come across good water based colours. Or else I’ll experiment dying with natural dyes, like they must have done before, will do some research.
In my tutorial on how to make a batik leather wallet are photos of me applying wax and dye.
Learn to hand craft your own sandals with my eBook How to make unique leather sandals.