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Thread: Dying materials

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Utah moving back to Scotland soon

    Default Dying materials

    hi i need i some advise on dying feathers and a bucktail and thread blue and red and was wondering if fountain pen ink would do the job also how to do the process would be great and how to set the colour would be great
    many thanks
    p.s kinda need to know today as heading to tackle shop tomorow to buy a white cape ,thread and bucktail if it would work
    Live,Love,and Fish

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Dying materials

    Hey Vince, I hope this comes to you in time.... I wouldn't use fountain pen ink. If you wanted to do it quick and dirty, then I would use sugar free Kool Aid.

    There's also RIT dye for a more involved and probably more messy project.

    Ronn Lucas Sr has a very good article on his website on Kool Aid dyeing. Go to his site:
    Ronn Lucas Sr

    and look over under the "Menu" links on the left hand side of the page. Click on the "Articles, Documents, Ephemera" link and go to the "Dyeing Feathers 101" article in pdf format.

    And here's a color chart showing cream colored wool and "natural" colored wool dyed with different sugar free drinks mixes (Kool-Aid and Flavor-Aid) to give you a starting point on flavors:

    Depending on the shade of blue you want it could be difficult to achieve with Kool Aid-- a light pastel blue or purplish shade should be easy, whereas a navy or bright blue might be tougher. It may be that you need a more potent dye like Rit, Jacquard, Fly Dye etc. If you're looking for a "blue" as in "blue dun" shades of hackle, then i would consider using something like Lady Clairol hair coloring.

    Whatever red you're looking for should be much easier to achieve.

    These dyes work best on natural fibers (hair, feathers, wool etc) but not well at all with synthetics. Because of the low cost of thread and the the probability that it will be synthetic (unless you're using silk), I would buy that in whatever colors you're looking for. And since Bucktail typically goes for 5 bucks or so it might be easier to buy it dyed the color you want (if you can find it) unless you've already got a bunch that you've harvested.

    Start out with small samples of stuff to see if you can get the shades you want... good luck let us know how this works out for you.

    AK Best wrote a book that might be a good investment if you are planning to do a lot of it: [ame=] Dyeing and Bleaching Natural Fly-Tying Materials (9781558212145): A. K. Best, John Gierach: Books[/ame]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Languedoc/near montpellier
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Dying materials

    Hi VinceI don't know if it can help,but my first wife was a haidresser and she dyed feathers and a rooster cape for me...the result was great!Last week I told my friend JM about it and as his wife was dying her hair he had a try on some limousin feathers...great result too

  4. #4

    Default Re: Dying materials

    I am a big fan of he is the expert on all things do it yourself when it comes to fly tying. Here is his two part piece on the subject.
    Part 1: The Timid Fellow’s Guide to Dyeing | Singlebarbed
    Part 2: The timid fellows guide to dyeing hair | Singlebarbed
    Hope this helps some what.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Upper Mojave Desert

    Default Re: Dying materials

    My tying guru does some beautiful dying with Rit Dye. He did a golden olive grizzley hackle that I wish I still had (ran out). Anyway when I asked him about dying he said just be sure that you throw the material in some ice water with vinegar. He said a capful but I never got an exact ratio.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Utah moving back to Scotland soon

    Default Re: Dying materials

    thanks guys its greatly appreicated i think i'll give it ago seen some flies in a magazine i just have to try lol but tackle shop dosent hbave the colors for them
    thanks again

    Live,Love,and Fish

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