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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Southern Vermont
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    255

    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

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Posts
    15,528
    Blog Entries
    113

    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.

    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
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Languedoc/near montpellier
    Posts
    6,681
    Blog Entries
    5

    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

  4. #4

    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.
    As long as I get a bite, I don't want to leave!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    5,392

    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Jacksonville,Florida
    Posts
    247

    Default Re: Washing materials...

    Frank, What Materials book are you referencing?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    5,392

    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Jacksonville,Florida
    Posts
    247

    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?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Southern Vermont
    Posts
    255

    Default Re: Washing materials...

    Thanks for all the information guys!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    5,392

    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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