Anyone use Picric Acid for dying?

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Loopy, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. Loopy Member

    Posts: 403
    St Albans Old England
    Ratings: +6 / 0
  2. FT Active Member

    Posts: 1,245
    Burlington, WA
    Ratings: +103 / 0
    What do you want to use such a toxic item like Picric Acid to dye something yellow?!" I mean, this stuff is very poisonous and needs to be handled carefully.

    And it produces a yellow color, not green. The green coloration on the flies in the photo on ebay is because he dyed European Blue Jay featlhers (which are blue) with picric acid, which turned them from blue to green. Remember from art class way back when that when you mix yellow with blue, you get a shade of green.

    There are many high quality acid dyes on the market that are readily available that will give you a much nicer yellow than picric acid without the toxidity. Jacquard's, Wash Fast, Kiton, Fly Dye are great acid dyes that use common white vinegar to set the dye and they are readily available. Fly Dye can be gotten from Angler's Workshop in Woodland, and many craft shops that sell wool crafting items carry Jacquard's. Plus, Dharma Trading Company, Pro Chemical & Dye, or Fly Dye all have websites and great customer service.

    I personally would not mess with picric acid.

    And if you want a similar green colored quill body to what is on those flies on ebay, simply get some white turkey biots and dye them green.
  3. Ron Eagle Elk Active Member

    Posts: 1,743
    Yelm, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +110 / 0
    Loopy,

    I have noticed that some on the UK Flydressing board are using picric, but it's not used much here that I can tell. It does give a lovely yellow color though.

    I've also noticed that Cookshill has several picric dyed materials listed.

    REE
  4. Loopy Member

    Posts: 403
    St Albans Old England
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    Hi Ree

    You have an open mind if you don't mind me saying.

    "It does give a lovely yellow color though."

    Yep that was the reason for asking. Mad dogs and Englishman............!

    Cookshill is a quality purveyor of cool feathers.

    Just as an aside there are a few tyers/dyers in the UK that are working on dying fritz with the stuff!

    Myself I just ask the questions.

    I take it that FT doesn't use Picric!

    :beer1:
  5. Eric Tarcha gear whore

    Posts: 1,067
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +12 / 0
    Picric is very nasty and toxic....FT is on point with that.
  6. qrider13 Member

    Posts: 46
    pasco, wa
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Picric acid is a first cousin to TNT, and if it dries out it is EXTREMELY EXPLOSIVE and SHOCK SENSATIVE! If it dries, it forms beautiful yellow crystals that can explode with the slightest touch. Don't mess with it.
  7. Ron Eagle Elk Active Member

    Posts: 1,743
    Yelm, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +110 / 0
  8. slippery_whippet Member

    Posts: 229
    Sedro Woolley, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Absolutely, do not use. I recently had a chemical safety course I had to sit through and the only thing I came away with outside of basic common sense stuff was to not get anywhere near PICRIC ACID, especially when it is dry and very unstable. :ray1:

    I agree with FT, go get some acid dyes from the places he mentions and have fun. Don't blow the house up!