From Dave Upton, Great War Forum: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=70163&st=25
I’ve often wondered about a really effective modern day alternative to virtually extinct Blanco. I’ve owned pieces of WW1 dated webbing back in the ’70’s which were distinctly coloured in a shade of green, although I accept that it’s impossible to tell when the colouring was done. Nevertheless I’ve always liked this colour and many times wondered how else it could be achieved. I’ve read of shoe creams being used and other products as mentioned in this thread.
Well there is now an alternative which is very cheap, readily accessible and very easy to use.
So how is it done?
Take one small tin of Wilkinson’s ‘Colour Your Garden’ wood shade in Old English Green. Scoop about 10-12 liberal paint brush full’s into a mixing tin and mix with water until it’s as runny as tap water. Then simply paint it onto the webbing. It’s immediately absorbed and on a good day will be dry in half an hour. It’s obviously water based and washes off your hands with easy (so long as you don’t let it dry on). Due to its properties, when dry it’s actually fairly waterproof. Bit of an aroma, but this is gone within the hour. I revealed this some time ago on another forum, and have since heard from some who have tried it out to great success. Obviously I would suggest that anyone contemplating, should try on an expendable piece of webbing first, but I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.