How To Finish Leather After Dying 2021

Finish Leather After Dying is performed through some basic steps. First, the leather is cleaned and ready for the dye. Next, dye is applied and allowed to dry. Once dry, the leather is conditioned. Lastly, a surface finish is applied to safeguard it. Dyeing leather may end up in great custom leather goods.

There is a spread of leather dye types and finishes available. There also are some popular methods utilized in dyeing. Let’s take a glance.

Finish Leather After Dying

Do you have a seal leather after dying?

Dyeing leather is that the process of applying a colored pigment mixed with a base (usually alcohol, oil, or water) to leather fibers of leather such the visible color of the leather changes. Some dyes penetrate deeply into the leather fibers. But Others will remain closer to the surface, including leather paints.

Generally, leather is dyed to attain a preferred visual look. Sometimes a leatherworker is crafting a chunk and desires it to be a specific shade of color. Or, they could have some natural leather they’d wish to grow to be colored leather. So, they learn the way to dye leather.

Also, dyed leather is often damaged and wish repair. during this case, a leather crafter might have to dye the repaired leather area to match the first leather color.

How does one Finish Leather After Dying?

Types of Leather Finishes

1.Carnauba Wax

Carnauba wax could be a formula that will be applied to the leather. it’s usually a mix of waxes and conditioners. When you apply it, it goes to condition the leather which also providing a protective layer that also helps resist dirt, germs, and moisture.

The wax is sometimes placed on by hand, then buffed to a shine. the tip result’s a soft-feeling, shiny surface that wears well and appears great.

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2.Leather Resolene/Acrylic

Resilience could be a synthetic finish for leather. While waxes will be wont to seal and protect leather, resole is comprised of acrylic. it’s usually applied in thin layers, each building a thinner layer of acrylic. When dried, it’ll end in a transparent, smooth, durable, shiny surface that has a good amount of protection for the underlying leather.

Resilience is offered in several colors, so a match is made closer to the leather color that’s being coated. it’s also available in finish variations like matte, sheen, and glossy.

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3.Leather Tan Kote

Tan Kote may be a protective finish type that’s made from plant products. it’ll provide a skinny layer of protection from dirt and grim, though isn’t water-resistant. Since it’s made of plant product, the layer it provides is typically a soft, smooth, subtle, satin finish.

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Types of Leather which will Be Dyed

Generally, most leather that doesn’t have already got a protective finish applied is dyed. it’s often best to dye darker than the initial leather. as an example, a bit that’s tan will be dyed black. While a black chunk can’t easily be dyed lighter, like brown. When learning a way to dye leather, it’s important to understand which can take dye the most effectively.

Dyeing Wet Leather vs Dyeing Dry Leather

Some leather workers prefer dyeing leather wet, and a few while it’s dry. When wet, the dye is often more evenly pulled into the fibers and supply for a smooth, even color. However, when the moisture goes across the leather piece, it can cause variations in the exact color that is matching across the piece like wetter areas can pull in additional dye. Also, dye applied to wet leather will appear darker than the ultimate color it’ll be once it dries.

Dyeing on dry leather may be a quite common method. The dye is applied to the surface of the fabric and is pulled into fibers. it’s usually easier to dye dry, especially for those unaccustomed dyeing. Since there’s no water involved, one can see exactly where the dye has been applied and the way much is required to lead to a fair coat.

Both wet and dry dying will always provide amazing results. It’s mainly up to the preference of the leatherworker what they’re easier with, and what would better with the kind of dye they’re using.

Leather Painting vs Leather Dyeing

The colored pigment will be applied to leather either by dyeing, or painting. dyeing generally changes the color of the leather fibers deep into and throughout the fabric. Leather paint is employed primarily to hide the leather’s surface with pigment. it’ll provide a skinny layer of protection together with the color, though the painting won’t penetrate through the fibers of the fabric.

Dying From one Color to a different

When manually dyeing a bit darker, it’s usually best to transition through a minimum of two dye colors. This helps the fabric take the dye better than a straight light-to-dark process.

For example, when dyeing leather to black color, it’s recommended to first dye it an intermediate color, like blue. For colors lighter than black, an intermediate color like tan is used. When planning a way to dye leather, color transitions are worth keeping in mind.

Leather Dye Color Combinations & Mixing

Custom leather dye colors are made by mixing existing leather dye colors. These generally follow the natural properties of the color chart by mixing the first colors red, yellow, and blue. Here are some examples:

Green – Mixture of yellow and blue

Orange – Yellow and red

Violet – Blue, and red

Black – Yello, red, and blue

Brown – Orange and violet

Gray – Violet and green


re dye leather

How to Dye Leather

There are some basic steps when learning a way to dye leather. Each has variations that may be performed supported the preference for the method, and also the look/feel of the ultimate product. Let’s explore each.

1.Preparation – a way to Dye Leather

Dyeing leather can get a touch messy, so it’s important and extremely helpful to own everything prepared previous time. Usually, being prepared will make the method go much faster and more smoothly. that may make it more fun, and therefore the results look great.

Work Area – Ventilation

Chemicals utilized in the leather dyeing process generally require proper ventilation during use. Some are toxic when breathed in, in large amounts, et al will be toxic when exposed to them for a protracted period of your time.

If used indoors in an exceedingly closed room or basement, inhaling these chemicals could make someone sick. Therefore, it’s recommended to try and do most leather dye work outdoors. Indoors is an option, though ventilation and airflow would wish to be significant to confirm enough clean air circulates through space.

Also as an enclosed option would be to possess a workspace with an exhaust fume hood installed. it can also be essentially a somewhat closed workspace with many fans that pull up the air and exhaust it outside of the room/house/building. Then you will exhaust fume hoods that are commonly utilized in scientific laboratories or creative design studios, you will get there toxic fumes that could be generated by chemicals, glues, adhesives, or paints.

Work Area – Surface

Usually, a table outside on a pleasant day works great. Covering the surface to guard it against dye spills is suggested. a cheap solution is to chop plastic trash bags along the perimeters and unfold them into a flat, plastic barrier. This protects the table and makes for straightforward cleanup later.

Any flat surface can do. functioning on the bottom is feasible. Even a large board placed on some sawhorses can work. The secret is that it’s a stable surface so that as you’re working with the dying, everything stays in situ.

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One factor to think about when working outside is that if the work area is under trees or anything which may drop debris onto the leather piece. Usually, this isn’t an enormous issue, just something to stay in mind. A patio table with an umbrella raised may be a perfect location. it’s best when leaves, acorns, or anything animals might drop is kept removed from falling onto the piece during the several stages of drying.

Work Area – The Temperature

The chemicals employed in dyeing leather generally work best within a temperature range. the best is typically 72°F with low humidity. As humidity goes up, so does drying time. because the temperature goes up, drying time usually goes down. If it’s too hot and the chemicals do not have enough time to perform their desired function before make them dry if they dry too fast.

Many factors will influence timing, so make sure to test the instructions with the particular dyes and prep chemicals that you simply are using.

Conditions may be too cold. Generally, anything within the 40’s°F, and particularly freezing and below (32°F and less) should be avoided. Chemicals can become thick, tacky, and not perform as they ought to.

Thinning the Dye

Some dyes come very concentrated and produce deep, rich colors. When looking to attain a selected color, it would be preferred to lighten the dye up a touch.

Leather crafters lighten dyes by thinning them. If the dyes are water-based, water may be added. This dilutes the first dye a touch and makes it slightly lighter. If using an alcohol-based dye, alcohol will be added to assist “thin” it. Some users also thin alcohol-based dyes with water.

It will ultimately be up to non-public preference, and a bit of testing, on what the right amount of dye: thinner is. a standard ratio, to begin with, is 50:50 (1/2 amount of dye to 1/2 amount of thinner).

A thinner dye will be applied in several, lighter layers to slowly bring the leather piece to the popular color. A thicker, richer dye can dye in fewer coatings, though one will have less control over the subtlety of the density of color.

Leatherworkers even thin black dyes to provide a touch more control over color density. However, this can be purely a preference. Dyes will color leather with or without being thinned.

2.Cleaning the Leather – the way to Dye Leather

After preparation, the primary step in actually dyeing the leather is cleaning. Leathers can have various oils and substances on and in them as a result of the tanning process. Since we are looking to color the leather fibers, it’s important that any chemicals or substances on those fibers are removed the maximum amount possible, before the dye is applied. Always confirm to wear gloves or properly protect the hands while working chemically.


Often, this can be finished by a substance called a deglaze. Deglaze, once applied to the leather, helps strip away the present finish and any additional residues or chemicals underneath it. they’re usually highly toxic and need outdoor ventilation for safe use. they’re also temperature sensitive and will be used within the temperature range recommended on any specific deglazed you’re using.

One can even make their own deglaze by using ethyl alcohol. another choice involves employing a combination of ester and ethyl alcohol. Though, if you propose to combine your own, ensure you’re accustomed to any chemicals, their potential reactions, and safe/proper handling. Deglaze made for leather dye preparation usually help and a simple thanks to first try it out.


Ok, time to start! Lay the leather piece out on the table, on top of the bag. At this time, you’ll even place a bit of scrap material (an old towel, or sheet) between the leather piece and plastic, if you favor a material surface.

Dip a wool dauber into the deglaze, so apply it in smooth even strokes to the leather surface. The leather will change modify places where the deglaze has been applied. this is often because the leather is now wet in those areas, it’ll return towards its original color once it dries.

Apply to deglaze to the complete leather piece where it’ll be dyed. Allow the deglaze to dry thoroughly. this may usually take about a quarter-hour in ideal conditions, though might take up to an hour or more. Once the deglaze has dried, we’re able to dye the leather.

3.Dyeing the Leather – the way to Dye Leather

Once it’s cleaned with deglazing, the leather is prepared for dyeing. Several different application techniques may be used. Mostly, the choice of a method depends on preference, and in some cases the goal intended look of the ultimate piece.

When dyeing leather, with any technique, it’s usually best to use the dye in light, even coats. this can afford a fair, consistent application across the leather piece. it’ll also leave more subtle variations within the final color choice, since the color has been applied in layers, getting a small amount darker on every occasion.

It is recommended to let the dye dry after each application, before applying the subsequent layer.

Application Techniques

Here are some of the foremost common leather dye application techniques.

Wool Dauber

Wool daubers are small balls of wool that are attached to a handle wire. The balls are nearly 1/2” – 1” wide, and also the wire handle is about 5” long. Daubers are great for dipping into leather dyes and finishes, then rubbing onto the leather surface to use the dye or finish.

The wool picks up an amount of dye or finish reckoning on how deeply it’s dipped. It then offers an amount of control over where the dye or finish is placed on the leather piece and the way evenly it’s applied. For smaller leather pieces, dauber may be a great choice as an applicator.


A brush will be accustomed apply the dye in even strokes. Essentially it’s like painting with a paintbrush, though using dyes. Brushes are available in various shapes, sizes, and bristle types. Choices are going to be known by preference, size of the leather piece, and your budget.

Generally, a simple paintbrush will work great. Details are not a lot important here as the proper coverage of the dye on the leather piece.


A basic, lint-free scrap rag or cloth can work great for dye application. Then you have got to simply dip the material within the dye. Repeat as necessary to induce a smooth, consistent application of dye on the item.


Pulling may be a very talked-about method of dyeing leather. It may involve filling a shallow pan with leather dye. Then, the item which has got to be dyed is pulled by the pan and dye. This exposes the leather to the dye in a consistent way as it’s pulled, leading to a fair application of the dye.

Since manually applying dye via a brush or dauber requires repetitive accuracy, pulling is preferred as one pull can have the entire item covered in exactly the identical way, like dipping.


Dipping is particularly popular thanks to dye leather. To dip, just extra service a container with the leather dye, and dip the item to be dyed, right into the container. After some time, pull it out and set it away to dry. Done!

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Now, this dipping method also saves a mostly consistent application of dye across, and in the leather item.

This method is additionally in no time because it just requires a dip rather than many manual strokes like a dauber or brush.

While very easy, dipping does require lots more of the dye substance. as an example, applying dye with a dauber or brush requires relatively little dye. The applicator is now dipped in the dye and then join the items. With dipping, there has to be enough dye for the whole item to be submerged into it. This often may be dearer.

If you have got to dye 1 or two items, you’ll be able to try the dauber method. If you’re dying many of the identical or very expensive items where the dye cost is comparatively minimal, dipping is great. it’ll provide for even consistency, penetration, and overall color finish.

Airbrush Dyeing

There is in our way for applying leather dye is airbrush dyeing. It also saves airbrush tools to essentially spray light layers of dye on the leather material.

This allows for precise control, and extremely smooth, even layers. It does require having more specialized tools (airbrush, compressor, tips, etc.) and therefore the skills to use them. However, if you’re already familiar or the increased cost of those tools is justified by preference or result, then airbrushing leather dye may be an excellent option.

4.Conditioning the Leather – a way to Dye Leather

The chemicals employed in cleaning and dyeing leather can often dry out the natural fibers. to assist ensure they’re maintained properly and last a protracted time, it’s important to condition the leather after dyeing.

Conditioners are often pure conditioners that nourish and moisten the leather. they’ll even be a mixture of moisturizer and a lightweight protectant. Those with a lightweight protectant will generally not be a surface finish, as is applied with a passionate leather surface finisher.

Common conditioners include Lexol and neatsfoot. Once when it is conditioned, let it sit a few times, sometimes overnight before applying a finish. the particular instructions with the conditioner should provide more detail into specific timing.

5.Sealing/Finishing leather – the way to Dye Leather

Once conditioned, the leather will be sealed. This serves some purposes. First, it provides a protective layer that will protect the leather underneath. Second, it’ll protect the user of any dyed leather from having any of the dye corrade onto their skin or clothes. Some common finishes include carnauba and resilience.

Many other finishes are available supported preference and therefore the intended use of the leather product. Some will make items waterproof, while others provide very shiny, glossy finishes.

Carnauba Wax

Carnauba wax may be a formula that may be applied to the leather. it’s usually a mix of waxes and conditioners. When it is applied, it goes to condition the leather and also providing a protective layer that helps in resisting dirt, germs, and moisture.

The wax is sometimes placed on by hand, then buffed to a shine. the tip result’s a soft-feeling, shiny surface that wears well and appears great.

What does Resolene do to leather? 

Leather Resolene

Resilience may be a synthetic finish for leather. While waxes will be wont to seal and protect leather, resilience is comprised of acrylic. it’s usually applied in thin layers, each building a thinner layer of acrylic. When dried, it’ll result in a smooth, durable, shiny surface that gives a good amount of protection for the underlying leather. Resilience is offered in several colors, so a match will be made closer to the leather color that’s being coated.

6.Cleanup – a way to Dye Leather

Excellent! The leather has also been cleaned, dyed, and completed, you’re all done! After the finish has dried you’ll stop working.

Reuse and recycle any materials the maximum amount possible, and eliminate the other waste materials as responsibly as possible. Save any materials that may be ready to be used for future leather dyeing.

Once all cleaned up, you’ll relax and luxuriate in your newly dyed leather piece.

Popular Leather Dyeing Products

While there are nearly endless possibilities for dyeing leather, including using natural barks, colorings, and dyes, here are some of the foremost popular products that may get you started.

Common Leather Cleaners

  • Liebling’s Deglaze
  • Angelus Leather Preparer & Deglazer
  • Common Leather Dyes
  • Liebling’s Pro Dye
  • Angelus Leather Dye
  • Common Leather Conditioners
  • Tandy Prime Neatsfoot Oil Compound
  • Fiebing’s Mink Oil Liquid
  • Lexol Leather Conditioner
  • Common Leather Finishes
  • Fiebing’s carnauba
  • Fiebing’s Acrylic Resolene

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How much time does it take leather dye to cure? 

After the ultimate coat of dye has completely dried, it is time to use a wax-based conditioner. The leather conditioner will always re-hydrate the leather from any dryness which is caused by the dyeing process or the dye, and it’ll also help you in sealing the color. – Apply the conditioner with a soft cotton rag during a circular motion.

Besides the above, how does one soften leather after dying it? Re: Softening Dyed Leather Dye seems to create leather stiffness. I just put a touch of neatsfoot oil on that to melt it. Careful to not put such a lot thereon it’ll be oily enough to soak into your shirt sleeves. After a lightweight coat, provides it 24 hours to ooze through the leather completely before putting another coat on.

Secondly, will Leather dye come off?

Leather handbags, shoes, accessories, and even leather furniture can also leave unsightly dye stains on your clothes. These stains will be impossible to get rid of, especially from delicate fabrics like silk.

What is the simplest leather dye?

5 Best Leather Dyes

  • Fiebings Leather Dye. Colour: Black. Alcohol-Based. won’t peel.
  • Liquid Fabric Dye. Colour: Black. Rainbow of colors. Excellent Quality.
  • Rit DyeMore. Colour: Graphite. Rejuvenating Faded Clothing. With 250+ color recipes.
  • Rit Dye Fixative. Perfect for dye projects. Locks in color.
  • Fiebings Dye. Colour: Black. Alcohol-Based.

Tan Kote Vs Resolene

Tan Kote may be a protective top finish but isn’t completely water-resistant. Water spots will show. If you wish for a water-resistant top finish, use Fiebing’s Resilience.

Also Know, what’s Tan Kote? Tan-Kote may be a superb leather finish that works sort of varnish and protects your leatherworks (hallmarking etc.) from dirt and stains. The result’s a protective dirt-resistant finish with a light glow. The finish is resin-based. The resin could be a natural dehydrated product.

In this manner, what’s Liebing’s Tan Kote used for?

A Resin-based formula utilized by belt and saddle makers for a straightforward to use top finish, which can be sponged or sprayed. Tan Kote is usually accustomed to thin Fiebing’s Antique Finish. Fiebing’s Tan-Kote. This item offers you a moisture-resistant, deep finish and water protective coat on your leather items.

What is Resolene used for?

Fiebing’s Acrylic Resolene Finish could be a thin, flexible, durable, water-resistant acrylic top leather finish for smooth leathers, used for sealing the surface of dyed, antiqued, aged (patinated) or polished leathers. This finish is known as a surface finish of top-quality shoes or handbags.

Step By Step Use

Fiebing’s Acrylic Resolene needs to be applied (for an ideal result) in light coats. it’s best applied with a moist sponge in circular motions to avoid streaks.

Allow the primary coat to dry before applying the subsequent one.

Do not apply an excessive amount of Resolene when, as you will experience bubbling which can pop and form rings once dry.

The Result Depends On the number Applied

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Resilience (neutral) will occasionally look blue when wet but will dry clear – so don’t panic!

Depending on the quantity applied, the result is going to be medium (matt) to high gloss finished.

What am I able to Do When My Leather Rubs Off? 

Purchased leather items may sometimes abrase. you’ll stop rubbing off with Acrylic Resolene. you must however remove dirt and finishes first (with a finish remover) to create sure Resolene Finish adheres to the leather (we recommend PURE 100% Alc., Fiebing’s Deglaze, or ROC Gold Quality).

Which Resolene Should I Take?

  • Acrylic Resolene neutral: for all colors
  • Acrylic Resolene black: always make leather dyed deep black
  • Acrylic Resolene brown: makes leather dyeing in intensely brown
  • Selling unit: 1 piece – 118ml or 946ml

Leather Staining

If you will see last week’s column, you’ll get recognize that I’ve got been restoring a Gustav Stickley ladder back chair that has been hanging from the rafters in my barn, waiting for a visit up the Hill to my workshop. Last week I cut, stretched, and tacked a leather hide to the framework of the seat, then gave the wet leather some days to dry. Now that it’s dry and taunt, I’m able to color the natural hide.

I could have used a leather dye, but I’m also a reception using oil-based wood stains, which also contain dyes. First, though, I cut my scraps up into smaller pieces which I test colored employing a mode of stains, ensuring I labeled the rear of each for future reference

Once I found the color (Minwax “Red Mahogany”) I felt came the closest to looking form of a hundred-year-old Stickley leather seat, I applied a liberal amount of stain to the seat. As you’ll discover your scraps, unsealed leather absorbs more stains than boards, so apply it plenty.

You will also find that stain starts to dry faster on leather than wood, so don’t leave. As soon because it starts to line up, use a clean, soft cloth to induce obviate the excess stain from the leather, wiping within the identical direction because of the grain. Rest assured, they also appeared within the natural hides in original Arts and Crafts furniture and may make a replacement leather seat look far more appropriate on a hundred-year-old chair than fake leather.

Sealing Leather

Tooled leather is colored and highlighted with dyes and paints to point out the etches and stamped designs. the colors are liable to fading and wear with the utilization of the item. A leather sealer always helps in protecting the colors and keeps them looking more bright because the instant they dried on the leather. The sealer also protects the leather from moisture and wear. Applying leather sealer is that the closing task in crafting a small amount of fine leather.

Step 1

Allow all the dyes and paints to dry for some time. Some paints need 24 hours to cure before applying your brand of leather sealer.

Step 2

Then shake the bottle of sealer, or open it and make it stir well. Apply the sealer to a tiny low inconspicuous section of the leather with a soft brush to see if it changes the color before using it everywhere.

Step 3

Apply the sealer over the entire piece. Work the comb over the tooled surface in a very circle while applying the leather sealer to every cut etch and over all the edges. Clean the comb or applicator immediately with soapy water.

Step 4

Allow the first coat to cure for a minimum of three hours. Touch the sealed leather to make certain it’s not tacky, but completely dry. Apply a second coat using the identical method. Use sealer for safeguarding leather and its dyes and paints by applying it to the entire smooth grain side. Then cover all edges with sealer, but you’ve got to go away the coarse side of the leather sealer free. Clean the sponge applicator or brush.

Step 5

Cure the second coat for a minimum of three hours and check to figure out that it’s dry to the touch. Then apply a third coat if needed and dry it at the touch. Buff the sealed side of the leather with a clean cloth or sheep’s wool once the final word coat is dry. Polish it to a high-gloss shine. Clean the material or wool buffer with soap and water.

Vegetable-tanned leather

You know vegetable-tanned leather. it is the natural-colored, tan, smooth leather that you simply just may even see on luggage, saddles, and horse tack. it is also the leather that crafters use in tooling, which they’ll then dye.

Vegetable-tanned leather typically has no dyes. you’ve likely noticed that one raindrop stains a vegetable-tanned pair of shoes or piece of luggage. because it dries, you’ll notice that the water leaves a stain. this will be no tragedy—with time and use, the leather develops a handsome broken-in look. Still, you’ll wish for a cleaner, uniform look. you will find it difficult to require care of that original light finish, but you will be ready to clean it to require care of the same finish with some readily available cleaners and conditioners.


The most aggressive cleaner available is acid, also called “leather bleach.” it’s superb for removing virtually any type of stain, from oils to rubber scuffs, but it also removes any surface protectants. you use it during a diluted solution, of 1 ounce of crystals per one pint of water—at most. an excessive amount of acid leaves a dull, deadened look on the leather.

Another method is to use saddle soap, like glycerin-based soap, or a straightforward unscented glycerin soap bar from a food store. it is not the strongest of all cleaners but is more gentle and parts moisture to the leather while leaving a protective coating. a third method is to use a mild facial bar like Dove or perhaps baby shampoo. These soaps are better for leather than are detergents, as they include such moisturizing agents as oil, lanolin, and glycerin, all of which are common in leather cleaning products.

Finally, you’ll choose an advertisement leather cleaner. choose a high-quality cleaner, from a maker like Lexol, Leather World Technologies, or Fiebing. These are the cleaners that upholsterers and leather shops use, as they’re carefully formulated to both clean and penetrate the leather but contain no drying agents like acetone or alcohol. they’ll leave the leather moisturized.


Once you have allowed your vegetable-tanned leather to dry, you will also need to apply a protectant to remain waterproof and stain-resistant. the identical companies that usually produce quality cleaners (Lexol, Leather World Technologies, and Fiebing) and they also manufacture protectants. These protectants are made to seal the leather, still, allowing it to breathe. this can also be vital because the leather that absorbs no moisture will simply dry out and become stiff. A less expensive alternative is neutral blacking.

This usually contains lanolin (inherent in an exceedingly very sheep’s skin and wool) and beeswax. Between the substances, your leather goods will stay well protected. However, it’ll likely be darker than after you got it. Once again, it is very difficult to require care of that original pristine finish. Let your leather age handsomely and naturally.


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