Edge Kote Colors

Creating Polished Bag Finishes with Edge Kote!

You have seen designer bags with smooth, coated edges and wondered how they created the polished edges. We are going to show you how you can apply those sleek designer bag finishes on your handmade projects by adding edge finishing!

For edge finishing our handmade projects, we use Fiebing’s Edge Kote as a finishing agent. Fiebing’s is another Wisconsin based company that we are proud to support. We carry a large variety of Edge Kote colors here at Sallie Tomato, as well as additional tools for your edge finishing.

Don’t be intimidated to try this technique! It only takes a few more steps in your bag making process to take your project to new heights. Click below to watch our tutorial, which walks you through the entire process! 


What is Gum Tragacanth?

Gum Tragacanth is used as a base coat. It provides a layer between your project and the color you have chosen, which allows for the color to go on smoother and not have to be absorbed into the project fibers.

Three samples with no gum tragacanth, with one (left) and two (right) coats of color. (Photo 1)

And then two samples showing three coats of gum tragacanth as a base coat, plus one (left) and two (right) coats of color. (Photo 2)

You can see that you have a variety of options on what you would like the finish of your project to look like. 


Step One: Clean Up Edges

Trim up any excess on the edge of the faux leather. Make sure our edges are nice and even with no stray pieces of thread or fabric. (Photo 3)

Step Two: Apply Gum Tragacanth

It truly is as simple as painting. Dip the roller pen in the gum tragacanth and roll it evenly on the edge. (Photo 4)

Let this dry in between coats, usually about 30 minutes or so.

We typically apply three coats of gum tragacanth. It will only be slightly noticeable that these base coats are added, if at all depending on your base material. But - it will definitely be noticeable once you start applying color.

At this point, you want to sand and clean up any issues with your edge. Once you start applying color, it will be harder to fix.

Step Three: Apply Color

Before beginning to apply color, make sure you shake the bottle well.

Then, you do the same as you did with the gum tragacanth, dip the roller pen in and roll it evenly on the edge of your project. (Photo 5)

You saw above the difference between one and three coats of color. You can do as many coats as you would like to get your desired color. 

Step Four: Clean Up

When using Edge Kote don’t worry about it getting on Sallie Tomato hardware, it will come right off with a scrap of your fingernail.

Also, you can wipe off any excess from the faux leather: We simply used a paper towel with water. (Photo 6)


A few quick notes about using Edge Kote:

  • Edge Kote is water resistant, but not waterproof.
  • Edge Kote and Gum Tragacanth will act differently on a laser cut edge. It still will create a finished look, but it will not all mesh together as it does when the edge is not burned. 
  • If your edge isn’t as shiny as you would like, you can buff gently with a soft cloth for a brighter finish.
  • Edge Kote is not immune from general wear and tear. The bags and wallets we make are used often and the edges may crack and flake over time. This is completely normal! 

Here are our Sallie Tomato Top 5 Tips for Finishing Your Edges:

  1. Start Small: Pick a simple project, set yourself up for success not frustration.
  2. Plan Ahead: Make sure you know what pieces you want to finish, when they need to be done in the project - before or after assembly, and plan the time into your project to do the appropriate coat applications. 
  3. Be Patient: Let it dry in between coats! And don’t forget to rinse off your roller pen between coats.
  4. Go Slow: No need to rush the application, it can be as relaxing as painting - enjoy the process!
  5. Give Yourself Grace: Know that just like learning to make bags, skill building takes time. Don’t expect perfection on your first application. Keep trying and your application will improve over time. We are always our own worst critics - your friends will be amazed by what you did!

We hope that you give edge finishing a try and add a new creative element to your bag making! Check out our blog on working with Edge Kote colors and color mixing for your next edge finishing adventure.

Please share and show off your finished edges on your Sallie Tomato projects! Use the hashtags #sallietomato on social media so we can see it! 

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