How to dye leather armor in Minecraft

Who I am
Matthew M. White
@matthewmwhite
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Minecraft gameplay is primarily a game of survival, battling against the "elements" in the form of hostile mobs to gather basic necessities and ultimately tame at least part of the world to inhabit. This main component of the game usually has the player in dull colored, iron gray or leather brown armor, but it doesn't have to be that way. You can actually dye your leather armor!


Why dye?

There are those who wonder, "What exactly is the point of dying your armor?" It's primarily an aesthetic option for you, the player, to add some color to your wardrobe and ultimately your world, however, the mechanic isn't purely aesthetic in nature. The ability to dye your leather armor gives you an incredible opportunity to get organized. Enchantments are often mutually exclusive, and not all enchantments are suitable for all situations. For example, a helmet with the Aqua Affinity enchantment and boots with the Depth Strider enchantment are fairly useless in the Nether but are invaluable in an Ocean Monument. Rather than having these armors sitting in a chest with other specialist leather armors and hovering over each piece to find the ones with the enchantments you need, you can dye the whole set the same color (blue for examples above maybe) to help you easily find it when you need it. Also, these dyed armor sets will look quite stylish on an armor stand or on your avatar.


What do you need

Obviously dying leather armor involves two components, leather armor and your chosen dye colors. You will also need access to a Crafting Grid (in the Java Edition) or a Cauldron (in the Bedrock Edition). You can use a crafting table for this or you can just use the crafting grid built into your inventory.



Purchasing leather armor

Leather armor can be found in several places in your Minecraft world. Almost all chests in spawned structures (Desert Temples, Jungle Temples, Abandoned Mine Shafts, etc.) have a chance to spawn with Leather Armor inside. However, you are much more likely to get leather armor by crafting it with leather from cows, llamas, horses, or by crafting rabbit skins together.

Supply Dye

The best dye sources will depend on the color you are looking for. There are 16 different colors that you can get mostly from the different flowers and other plants that you will find in Minecraft. Red, yellow, orange, light gray, pink, light blue, blue, and magenta can all be obtained from easily acquired flowers. White can be obtained from Bone Meal, Brown from Cacao Beans, Black from Ink Sacks (or Wilted Roses if you have an overabundance of them), Green from cactus melt and lime green from sea pickle melt. Several of these colors and the rest of the 16 colors can be obtained by making the colors above with logical combinations (blue and green make teal, red and blue make purple, etc.).

how to dye leather armor

Finally, you have your armor and you have your dye. The process of applying dye to your leather armor is quite simple (at least for Java Edition). Place the leather armor you wish to dye into your crafting grid, then also place the dye color you wish to use into the crafting grid. Bingo! You have dyed leather armor yourself!



If you're playing in a Bedrock world, you've probably noticed that this method doesn't work. This is because the armor dyeing method in Bedrock is a bit different. You will actually need a cauldron full of water. Hold the color of your choice in your hand and right-click on the cauldron to apply that color to the water in the cauldron. Now hold the armor you want to dye in your hand and right click on the cauldron you added the dye to. Now the armor has the dye color applied.

It turns out, however, that there's more to Minecraft's dye system than just applying one of 16 colors to your armor. Since organizing your enchanted armor is one of the best uses of this mechanic, it makes sense that you can dye your leather armor even after enchanting it.


If for some reason you hate the color once it's been applied, you can actually remove the dye by holding the dyed armor in your hand and right-clicking a cauldron filled with water ( for bedrock, it is important that the water is cool and not dyed in to remove the dye from the armor). This will reduce the water level in the cauldron by one level and remove all dye from the armor you are holding restoring the original color.

Leather horse armor is not excluded from the dye system and can also be dyed so you can ride in style!

Finally, you are not limited to the 16 standard dye colors. You can mix dyes to create unique colors for your armor. To add additional colors, place your already dyed leather armor in a crafting grid and add the dye color you wish to mix and it will mix the already applied color and the new color! You can even do this multiple times to create truly unique colors for all of your armor!


Again, the process is a bit different for Bedrock Edition. Take all the dyes you want to apply to the armor and add them all to the water in the cauldron to create your color mix, then hold your leather armor, right click on the cauldron to apply all the colors of armor dye at once!

Now that you know how to add color to your leather armor, I'm sure you dying to give it a try… Ok that joke was bad but the leather dye system is awesome and you should definitely give it a colorant!

Audio Video How to dye leather armor in Minecraft
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