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Old 10-22-2010, 11:42 AM
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Default Washing materials...

I have some squirrel tails that I'm drying out right now in some salt. I was wondering if I could wash them in soap and water after there done drying or will that mess up the hair? Can I do this with any fur or hide?

Tyler
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Old 10-22-2010, 02:34 PM
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Default Re: Washing materials...

When I used to take them I never bothered to clean them but if you do I don't see a problem with cleaning them. As far as doing whole hides, if they are properly tanned they should be good to go. If you only use the salt followed by Borax treatment they will be stiff but you could still wash them. Doing so will replace some of the moisture that you have been trying to draw out for the past 3 weeks while you were salting. This I have not done and have no answer as to whether it would be good or bad.
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Old 10-22-2010, 03:03 PM
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Default Re: Washing materials...

One of the squirrels that live in my garden was ran over by a car a few months ago...I just cut the tail and let it dry,that's all
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Old 10-22-2010, 07:59 PM
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Default Re: Washing materials...

You can wash it. Maybe you could wash it before you cure it. I just washed some pheasant hen feather in Woolite. But for squirrel, you could wash it with something like shampoo. Then make sure you rinse it good, and dry it completely. Any hair I would probably use shampoo. (people, not dog shampoo) For good feathers, Woolite. I know some people who use a mild dish washing soap for their feathers, but I like Woolite. (thanks Allan) The key thing is to rinse very well. You can also steam your feathers after they dried for a couple of hours. That makes them really nice. Then make sure once again, they are totally dry. I would never put one in a baggie until I knew it was dry...maybe even throw in a silica gel pack just to make sure.
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Old 10-23-2010, 08:08 AM
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Default Re: Washing materials...

My materials book says to wash them with a detergent. It not only cleans the hide it gets rid of any bugs that might be on the hide. Then remove the fat and meat from the hide, salt and dry.

Frank
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:41 AM
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Default Re: Washing materials...

Frank, What Materials book are you referencing?
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Old 10-23-2010, 11:18 AM
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Default Re: Washing materials...

Hi Seajay,

The book is "Fly-Tying Materials, Their Procurement, Use and Protection" by Eric Leiser. It is out of print but still abailable from Amazon from time to time. My copy is hard bound but it also comes in soft bound. It doesn't cover some of the modern day materials but the information on preparing raw hides, skins and dying is worth the cost.

Eric Leiser ran the Fireside Angler in Melville, NY. My book is a second printing from 1974. I don't know when the first printing was published.

Frank
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Old 10-24-2010, 06:49 AM
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Default Re: Washing materials...

Thanks Frank. I see alot of reference to Eric Leiser as one of the top fly tyers.
Any of his other books that you recomend?
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Old 10-24-2010, 09:37 AM
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Default Re: Washing materials...

Thanks for all the information guys!
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:51 AM
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Default Re: Washing materials...

Hi Seajay,

Besides the Material book Eric Leiser other books of note were his "Complete book of Fly Tying" and "Book of Fly Patterns". These are old books with a lot of good information but the photos are not up to todays standards. A lot of black and white and small pictures. I think there are better fly tying and pattern books out there with much better photos. All of his books are available from Amazon.

Frank
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