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Old 09-12-2011, 09:37 AM
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Default Long feathers

I use a lot of strung feathers in the 5 to 7 inch length of all colors for Musky flies. Lately I seem to be getting very bad quality in black. It's just not the way it's packaged but how it is dyed I guess. The feathers are crooked, sparse and just plain bad looking. Does anybody out there know of a supplier that has good feathers of late?
Ed
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:34 PM
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Default Re: Long feathers

Hi Ed,

I'm no expert but........black is notorious for what you describe. The feathers are created from white and if left in the dye bath too long the acid properties of that dye eat the fibers and create the ragged materials you have there. The best way to get good feathers is to either hand / eyes on select them, or buy from someone who will promise to do an inspection of the strung feathers prior to sending them to you. Don't hesitate to ask a seller to do this for you and if they balk at the idea find another supplier to order from.

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Old 09-12-2011, 03:30 PM
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Default Re: Long feathers

*IF* you want to dye your own black, a trick I learned from a Master Tyer decades ago was first dye them ORANGE, then after they're dry, dye them with black dye OVER the orange.

You can use Jacquard Procion MX dyes (the ones designed for fabrics and other natural fibers) and if you do this two stage dye, have success at lower temperatures, which eliminates a lot of the brittle shaft issues. The Jacquard Products website suggest the addition of soda ash and salt for a better color set. I first wash, rinse, and pre-soak my materials in warm salted water, then quick rinse them in cool water before adding them wet into the dye bath.
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