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Thread: Feather Dyeing?

  1. #1

    Default Feather Dyeing?

    I've been doing a bit of dying lately, mainly duck flank feathers that my hunter friends have given me, I recently found a pkg of natural mallard flank that I decided to dye also.

    This pkg was soaked in Dawn dish washing soap for a few days as all the others are, but after rinsing them it seems they still have a coating on them and water beads up on them as if they received a treatment of silicone before being packaged. I thought maybe they had been retreated with CDC oil to help keep them in a more natural state but a good soaking in Dawn usually takes care of that.

    They were packaged by Wapsi, I've called them and left a message for the man in charge of that department but he hasn't called back yet so I thought while I was waiting I would ask you folks if you had any thoughts on the matter.

    What say you...

  2. #2
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    Default re: Feather Dyeing?

    Although I don't find duck flanks the easiest to take a color John, I would make a very small amount of hot dye and try a feather or 2 for about 20 minuets or so. They may take the color just fine. Give them a shot of vinegar for the last couple minuets and see what happens. I get fair color in them with out a long soak, I just toss em in warm water with a tad of soap for a few Min's. and than they hit the dye................

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  3. #3

    Default re: Feather Dyeing?

    I ended up throwing half the bag in a dye mix and they seemed to resist at first so I added more dye, a bit more vinegar and heated the mix up again in the microwave. They seem to be taking color now. (hard not to with a mix so heavy with dye.).

    Ard I've noticed the difficulty in getting duck flank to take a rich bright color. Why do you think they are so resistant?

  4. #4
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    Default re: Feather Dyeing?

    I have to dye some hackle for some ties, would the hackle need the same dawn treatment? Any other tips on the dying process, John? And I guess most importantly, what sort of dye do you use?
    - A.J.

    Working out a way to convince my university to allow me to hold my TA office hours on the nearby creek...

  5. #5

    Default re: Feather Dyeing?

    Hi gator,
    I'm no expert on dying fedderz, more of a putterer.

    The best advice I can offer is to do a search on the forum for 'dying' or 'kool aid' and look at the array of threads. Better info from other folks who actually know what they are doing.

    I will say I've been following the Kool Aid method with RIT dye.

  6. #6
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    Default re: Feather Dyeing?

    John,

    Those little devils will want to float but taking a spoon and dunking them in the hot solution should put em down. If they do not eventually sink and take color they are not like anything I have used. Making the dye stronger by adding more won't make much difference. Put a foil lid over them and let them set. If you have already added vinegar then you have to watch the time because the vinegar will burn them. Next batch don't add the vinegar until the last few minuets. Make sure they are where you want them color wise then give them a shot.

    Don't get that stuff all over everything now.................... I have to go plow the drive lane again

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  7. #7
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    Default re: Feather Dyeing?

    Here's the thing: yes, you will get kool-aid and RIT to work. But the guys that do this day in and day out (I'm in that category) use Acid-based dyes. Jacquards, Dharma Trading, to name a couple.

    Pre-soaking is crucial...Dawn is good, Synthrapol is better.

    If you have specific questions, shoot me a PM and I can answer them or send you to an answer. This forum's rules will not allow me to do that in a post, which is fine by me.

    I need to do a dyeing demo on my blog, methinks.

    Gary

    P.S. Unbelievably, Ard, it was 50 degrees and rained all day here in Vermont. One little snow so far this year. At least I'm saving on diesel fuel for the tractor/plow!
    P.S.S. Spell the word like this: dyeing. Dying is something all together different. For example, its what might happen if you use her pots and stove or microwave for your dyeing projects.

    The moderators let me put this up once before: http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/fo...rt-course.html

  8. #8

    Default re: Feather Dyeing?

    Even though I haven't died Feather or Fur for some time,what I found Hackles die easier & take the colour better than Duck Feathers,however I found many years ago if the water is too hot you can end up with a "Gluggy Mess" as all the gunk(oils) out of the stems tend to stick The Feathers together,luckily I only initially tried a small ammount which I discarded..
    I found washing them in Lux Flakes the best however I don't know if it's still available,also Veniards from England had some good products.

    Also I saw where Laurie's Feathers are with done with Picric Acid by a Chemist Friend.
    I looked into using Picric Acid as over the years I've used many Acids for many uses so anyone who wants to use Picric Acid check this out,Google "Picric Acid" then check out the Univesity of Queensland Site...Very interesting.
    Brian.
    PS.
    Thanks Gary as I will have to start Dyeing again with all The new Colours,also I noticed where Davie used Johnson's Baby Shampoo.
    Last edited by Liphookedau; 12-21-2011 at 05:49 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Feather Dyeing?

    Dyeing is tons of fun, and adds a great deal to my enjoyment of the whole fly fishing enchilada!
    Gary

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Feather Dyeing?

    Quote Originally Posted by gt05254 View Post
    Dyeing is tons of fun, and adds a great deal to my enjoyment of the whole fly fishing enchilada!
    Gary
    +1 I agree

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