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Removing red dye from Norwegian liners

Article about: I just got my M40 spec paint today. I will try the dye removal this weekend. : ) Dave, is that product available in the U.S.?

  1. #1

    Default Removing red dye from Norwegian liners

    Hi guys,

    I have been working on a little side restoration project and I have found myself working with a Norwegian liner. As most of you know these liners have a hideous red color because of the dye they used on them post-war. Any ideas on how to restore the liner back to its original color?


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  3. #2

    Default Re: Removing red dye from Norwegian liners

    Mo, ive had a liner like this before and it was a very good one, therefore i decided to remove the red dye, id heard of all the different methods ie acetone,white spirit, turpentine, even paint thinners, but i was doubtful regarding the damage that these could cause to the underlying leather, so i firstly cleaned the leather with a makeup remover cream, i found that this helped to remove some of the top dye, i then used a hand wipe, the type that contains alcohol, this removed more dye and kept on using this method until i ended up with a reasonable looking dark tan but you will notice that the dye will still remain to a certain degree but the dark tan outweighs the red, i daresay someone else will have a different method, but the problem you have is not to remove the original patina to the leather and the natural colour of the hide, but no matter what you do you will not get it back to a nice creamy colour, let us know what happens, by the way do not use this method on the rear of the liner,only on the skin side

  4. #3

    Default Re: Removing red dye from Norwegian liners

    ps, forgot to mention that i finished off using a leather wipe, the type that you clean leather furniture with to remove dirt and smears

  5. #4

    Default Re: Removing red dye from Norwegian liners

    Thanks for your help, Dave. I'll let you know how it works.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Removing red dye from Norwegian liners

    A couple things make sure the wipes are safe for hide, Baby wipes are fine for babies bottoms but not for cows hides . Also if you use ANY solvent based products to remove the dye then make sure you treat the leather with a Neutral hide or leather cream as the last step, as stripping the dye from the hide will also remove some of the natural oils and thus tend to dry out the leather. But I'd try some natural soap first as many leather dyes of the period are water based (Sam Browne eqt, etc), if the soap does not shift then it will be a sprit based dye, or even a cellulose paint based dye.

    Nige H
    "Now, I've designed this like a collapsing bag ! "

  7. #6

    Default Re: Removing red dye from Norwegian liners

    Hi Nige, yes ive tried the water test before but realised that they might not use water based dyes as if a person sweats then theyed all be walking round with red heads, also the last treatment i used was the leather wipe thats supposed to put natural oils back into leather

  8. #7

    Default Re: Removing red dye from Norwegian liners

    Hi Dave
    Yep there nothing wrong with that mate, I was just stating don't anyone use Baby wipes as there was/is a myth going around that they clean leather, well all said and done that is true however the chemicals in these and hand wipes and the "Muck off" type cloths can cause the leather to split and crack. Its just I used to work with leather years ago in the upholstery trade, and I've seen what baby wipes do to chromium tanned leather sofa's if there used to clean the surface. The main thing with any treatment is to replenish the natural oils in the hide, if does not matter how you do this as long you do treat the leather once stripped. I've even used paint stripper to remove the excess paint from a US tankers helmet, without doing any damage to the hide at all, I just made sure the chemical paint stripper was well neutralised and the leather cleaned and well fed with hide food afterwards.

    Nige H.
    "Now, I've designed this like a collapsing bag ! "

  9. #8

    Default Re: Removing red dye from Norwegian liners

    Thanks for your help guys!

    I am awaiting my paint currenty. When I get it I will paint my helmet and try out this Norwegian dye removal and I'll be sure to show you all the results.

  10. #9

    Default Re: Removing red dye from Norwegian liners

    Hi ObK, just a little extra info, i almost forgot this, ive used a product called Lord Shereton Leather Balsam for a number of years, ive found it extremely good for leather after you have got the required results, it cleans, revives polishes and protects, it has a pure refined beeswax mixture that spreads easily and will polish straight away, it sinks deep and keeps leather supple, and will not change the colour

  11. #10

    Default Re: Removing red dye from Norwegian liners

    Very interesting thread, i am thinking of buying a Norwegian Reissue helmet and restoring it, but first i want to know how to remove the red dye, have you done it yet Obkrieger?
    Best Regards

    Vegard T.
    Looking for militaria from 38. Batterie, Heeres Küsten Artillerie Regiment 977, also from 31, 32 and 36. Batterie.

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