|Goat skin dyed with aniline dyes for book casings|
|A selection of aniline dyes|
Today, aniline dyes are still used to color leather—including certain pieces of leather clothing—and are important terms for book artists. Unlike pigmented leather, aniline-dyed leather is semi-transparent, allowing the natural grain, texture, and blemishes of the animal skin to show through. Aniline dyes also allow for a mixture of colors: the skin can be dyed in shades, fades, and blended mixtures of color as opposed to having the uniform and glossy look of treated leather.
|Flower pressed into leather & painted with aniline|
One of the best aspects of aniline dyes is their versatility. Like watercolor paints, these dyes can be mixed or layered on top of each other to produce different effects. The artist can use a ball of cotton batting soaked in the dye to cover the whole piece quickly, creating different textures based on the hand motion one uses to put on the dye. Aniline dyes can also be applied with a thin brush, which is especially useful for painting in details. In fact, a leather book cover can be entirely painted with aniline dyes, producing an amazing and original piece of work! Aniline dyes can also be used in lieu of water when pressing a linoleum plate into the damp leather, giving the same impression but coloring it at the same time.
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