dyeing fur

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by randy campbell, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. randy campbell

    randy campbell kackhanded

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    Anyone here had any experience dyeing fur, specifically fox? I have dyed my own feathers with pretty good results but never tried any fur. Any info would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. johnk

    johnk Active Member

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    I don't know much about fox but llama hair takes dye very well.
     
  3. Bob Newman

    Bob Newman Active Member

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    Are you talking artic fox to dye ? It takes dye easily, the biggest problem is the skin is so thin most of the time that the skin can disintegrate if you let it sit in the dye bath too long. Cool water dying is better than hot.
     
  4. randy campbell

    randy campbell kackhanded

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    It is red fox and the skin is very thin. I was wondering if it would withstand the hot dye bath. Other than temp, is cool water dyeing done differently than hot?
     
  5. BN2FSH

    BN2FSH Member

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    A friend with lots of dying experience dyed some arctic fox tails for me. He had lots of difficulty getting the colors like I wanted. Also, the long guard hairs take the dye differently than the thick underfur and the end result was pretty inconsistent.
     
  6. Bob Newman

    Bob Newman Active Member

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    Cool water dying is about the same. I use a bit more dye. What color are you trying to get ?
     
  7. randy campbell

    randy campbell kackhanded

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    I was going to cut it into 3 or 4 pieces and try purple, black, and red. So do I bring water to a boil to dissolve the dye, add the vinegar, then let it cool, then put in the fur?
     
  8. Bob Newman

    Bob Newman Active Member

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    Black will be your hardest color, but remember the background color of the red fox fur will change the final color. Red will probably get you maroon/burgundy, purple might look almost black when it's wet, and the black might get to black but black dyes take the longest to color the fur so you may end up with dissolved skin with loose hair at the end.

    Start the dye bath by mixing the dye in until it's dissolved, add the vinegar, then start heating maybe at medium depending on your stove. Once it hits about 100 degrees, get your fur wet by using Synthrapol or my preference Dawn Detergent. Wash the fur to make sure any grease is off but don't soak it in the wash water, that will help keep the hide together. Then put the fur in the dye bath. Swish the patch often to make sure you have dye penetration through the entire piece.
     
  9. randy campbell

    randy campbell kackhanded

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    Thanks everyone for all the input. I will give it a try.