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Dying cotton handlebar tape

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Dying cotton handlebar tape

Old 07-19-17, 03:40 PM
  #1  
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Dying cotton handlebar tape

I got a new set of cotton tape with bar end plugs for cheap on clearance. It just happens to be white and I don't think it will go well with my setup. Being the thrifty person I am, I was entertaining the idea of dyeing it a darker tone. I have some water based color dyes from my leather working hobby that I can use. It works nicely on veg tanned leather but who knows if it will work on anything else.

I'm going to try this unless anyone thinks it's a horrible idea and will ruin a perfectly good set.

Last edited by zammykoo; 07-19-17 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 07-19-17, 03:43 PM
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Fixing a flat in the rain will do the job:

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Old 07-19-17, 03:45 PM
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^ Ha, that's one way to do it.
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Old 07-19-17, 03:47 PM
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Dharma Fiber Reactive Procion Dyes
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Old 07-19-17, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by FBOATSB View Post
Thanks for the suggestion, but maybe I should rephrase it. I'm looking to use the dye that I already have instead of buying more dyes.
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Old 07-19-17, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by zammykoo View Post
Thanks for the suggestion, but maybe I should rephrase it. I'm looking to use the dye that I already have instead of buying more dyes.
Can't hurt to try. White tape has been dyed white already, so I think you would need a vivid color to "replace" the white dye. All you risk is the tape if you already have dye. Please post pics of the result
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Old 07-19-17, 04:14 PM
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Schallac it.
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Old 07-19-17, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Wileyone View Post
Schallac it.
Kudos,
That sounds like the most reasonable suggestion in this case. I always shellac my cotton tape, but I always start with a darker color.
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Old 07-19-17, 05:25 PM
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I do plan to shellac it too but I still think white is too stark for my bike.

I'll be able to dye it tonight or tomorrow and report on the results.
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Old 07-19-17, 05:27 PM
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Tye-die? The Velo ORANGE Blog: Tie-dye Fri-dye!

Last edited by tiredhands; 07-19-17 at 05:27 PM. Reason: Autocorrect!
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Old 07-19-17, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by zammykoo View Post
I do plan to shellac it too but I still think white is too stark for my bike.

I'll be able to dye it tonight or tomorrow and report on the results.
What Colour do you want it to be?
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Old 07-19-17, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Wileyone View Post
What Colour do you want it to be?
I have black and saddle tan dye, and I'm planning to go with tan to match the saddle. I understand shellacking with darken it a bit but we'll see how it goes.

This is the bike that they will go on:


Last edited by zammykoo; 07-19-17 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 07-19-17, 05:54 PM
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If you really want thrifty and custom -- or at least unusual -- grab some rolls of elastic bandage wrap from the dollar store. A buck apiece, covers a lot, funky patterns you won't see elsewhere, can be rewrapped easily. I have some with twill and seersucker patterns.

I'm using the stuff while experimenting with foam pads on the drop bars (need to reduce the arthritis pain in my wrists and elbows). Easy to redo quickly.

When I've settled on the foam padding thickness and shape I want I may just stick with the elastic wrap, depending on how well it holds up. I've had it on for a week and maybe three or four rides, around 100 miles total. So far, so good. Even without the foam padding, a couple of layers of the elastic wrap would be comfortable for most folks.
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Old 07-19-17, 06:55 PM
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Wellermart sells shellac flakes in several colors. I have purchased a few from them and depending on the color and the number of layers used, a result in tones of yellow, orange and brown are quite easy to produce.

edit: The shellac on my Grand Sports' bars almost exactly matches the color of the saddle on your Trek.
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Old 07-19-17, 08:36 PM
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Sew brand fabric spray paint.Tape the bars and spray paint them the color you like
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Old 07-19-17, 10:35 PM
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Amber shellac should get you a nice brown. Take a look at Rivendell's web site: https://www.rivbike.com/products/newbaums-bar-tape
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Old 07-19-17, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by zammykoo View Post
I do plan to shellac it too but I still think white is too stark for my bike.

I'll be able to dye it tonight or tomorrow and report on the results.
One coat of shellac, even amber, and it won't be white anymore. Dying it first is an interesting idea, just note that whatever color you dye it while be seen through a yellowish tint. Blue will become green, for example.

I'm sure you've already figured this out, but do a test piece before committing an entire bar wrap.
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Old 07-20-17, 07:38 AM
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Very interesting info, guys! I need to dig up my can of shellac to see what tint it is. I think it is clear but I'll have to double check.

The amber shellac on white seems to be the exact tone I'm looking for!
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Old 07-20-17, 07:45 AM
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I just did an amber-on-white job for this Univega. Very pleased with how well it matches a mustard Brooks.
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Old 07-20-17, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by tiredhands View Post
I just did an amber-on-white job for this Univega. Very pleased with how well it matches a mustard Brooks.
Very nice. I'm pretty much going for the same color scheme!
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Old 07-20-17, 10:42 AM
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A couple recent examples of my shellacking efforts:

Raleigh Competition with Ochre Brooks Team Professional and bars colored to match. This came out satisfactorily close:



Raleigh Grand Sports with Antique Brown Brooks Professional saddle and a darker brown (than on the Competition) shellac



Not quite the shade I hoped for, but it will do for now. Probably should have started off with a darker color tape than the white.
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Old 07-20-17, 06:32 PM
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If you are shellacking anyway start with 3/4" twill tape from the notions counter at the fabric store. The shellac will adhere the tape to bars very securely. Normal pricing is $25.00 for 100 yards. You can do better than that online but at 0.25/yard support your local bricks and mortar store. Plenty cheap enough to experiment.

Clear shellac isn't that clear but clear enough that white tape is obviously white tape.

Normal twill tape is 100% cotton. There are colors and patterns. Stay away from poly, doesn't shellac well. For just a little more money - still way cheaper than branded tapes on sale - you can have linen.
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