Deerskin Lace Dye Affects Nunn Design Plating

We are a distributor of Silver Creek Leather Company’s Deerskin Lace. We purchase large quantities of Deerskin Lace from Silver Creek Leather Company at a discounted price and then offer it wholesale to our customers. It is a win-win for everyone.

Deerskin Lace is created from deer harvested in North American. It is tanned and stained with natural dyes here in the United States.


But here is one downside that I have come across. During my most recent photo shoot for the 2018 Master Catalogue, I discovered several pieces of jewelry that have discolored. What I think could be happening is that the natural dyes in the deerskin lace are continuing to off-gas and chemically are having a party with the .999 fine silver plate.

Here is what the alteration to the .999 fine silver looked like. The jewelry was created just 3 weeks before, so the discoloring happened fairly quickly. The Deerskin Lace was wrapped REALLY tightly around the findings, so there was direct contact and no room for the metal/deerskin lace to breathe.

The darkening did lighten up some with some gentle rubbing of my fingers, but the darkening is still noticeable.

On the jewelry that I didn’t have the Deerskin Lace tightly wrapped, and smothering the metal, I did have some discoloring, but very minimal.

I have been using the Deerskin Lace for years and wasn’t aware of this happening, so I went back and looked at other jewelry pieces, I’ve created over the years, to see if this had occurred and I just hadn’t noticed it before.

What I noticed is that it wasn’t isolated to just the .999 fine silver plates nor was it isolated to the gray naturally dyed Deerskin Lace. I found these examples of how the leather cording (this is imported from India) and the copper plate were having their own playdate! I think that it is possible the dye in the Chocolate Deerskin Lace was altering the copper plate, resulting in an expedited darkening.

How to Prevent Discoloration:

So, what to do?

  1. Test your Deerskin Lace with your metals to see if the natural dyes, used to stain the leather, effect your metal finish.
  2. Allow some breathing room so that the Deerskin Lace does not have direct contact with the metals.
  3. Know that this is the case and design with these factors in mind. This doesn’t necessarily need to be a negative thing. You might like how this looks!
  4. After creating the jewelry, rotate the leather around to different positions to avoid an obvious darkening.
  5. I haven’t tried this, but I plan to. I’m going to apply a clear coat of fingernail polish on the jewelry finding under the place where the leather is going to be in contact. I’ll see what happens.

I LOVE creating with Deerskin Lace. It actually pains me to write this post but I feel it is the responsible thing to do. I feel like this is “tattle on Nunn Product week!”

I rather you know what is happening during my creative time, so that you can be proactive and not damage any of your findings in the process.

Your Experience?

Have you had your metals discolor? Do you have any suggestions on how to prevent it from happening? Please leave a comment!

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7 thoughts on “Deerskin Lace Dye Affects Nunn Design Plating

  1. Diane says:

    Could it be the pH level of the tanned leather? Does discoloration happen if you use their un-dyed leather? Perhaps you could apply a top dressing leather sealant product just to the folded over section of the leather.

    • beckynunn says:

      I think that the key to not having the leather discolor the plating is to allow the full assembled piece to breathe. All the pieces that I have that have discolored were stored in plastic bags or the leather was wrapped really tight around the finding. ALL of the metal discolors, not just under the areas that are wrapped tightly.

  2. Barbara O'Neill says:

    I actually like the darkening so I have no problem with it. Maybe you can get good results using Renaissance wax on both the leather and the plating.

  3. Michelle Gray says:

    OMGosh, good to know.

    I have ProtectaClear 4 Oz. Clear, Protective Coating for Metal in my Amazon shopping cart for my Jan 1st order. Heard it works great from Youtuber I follow. Jill Wiseman, I think.

    • beckynunn says:

      Please keep me posted on how you like that spray. Just an fyi, I’m tattling on myself with the very worse examples I could dig up out of my 100’s of samples. The Deerskin Lace can also vary from lot to lot depending on the amount of natural dyes too. So many variable to consider, but I think applying a protective coat is hands down a good option for prevention.

  4. says:

    What about sealing the findings that come in touch with the leather? Has there been an update? Becky, I REALLY respect your integrity! Sooo rare these days. You’re awesome

    • beckynunn says:

      I haven’t explored sealing the findings YET, but thank you for the reminder. I did purchase some ProtectaClear. I am fairly confident that it would work, I’m just not sure for the length of time that it would remain on the findings as the leather rubs on it. That is something that will take time and wear to determine.

      Anyone have experience with that?

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