dyeing feathers

GOTY

6x Puget Sound Steelhead Guide of the Year
I have accumulated a fair bit of skins and feathers over the years and I'd like to try my hand at dyeing some of them. There are a million "how tos" our there but I'm curious what all of you have had success with (a website link or something to the method you use works).

Also, if you could provide the answer you gave the wife in response to the inevitable "what is that shit doing in the house?", it would also be appreciated.

Thanks!
 

b_illymac

Active Member
WFF Moderator
I have accumulated a fair bit of skins and feathers over the years and I'd like to try my hand at dyeing some of them. There are a million "how tos" our there but I'm curious what all of you have had success with (a website link or something to the method you use works).

Also, if you could provide the answer you gave the wife in response to the inevitable "what is that shit doing in the house?", it would also be appreciated.

Thanks!
Davie on youtube has some dye videos. Love the olives and yellows he gets. Might check it out.
 

ScottP

Active Member
Here’s an SBS I made on dyeing with Koolaid; sequence is the same when using Rit liquid dye. Sorry the pics are blurred but that’s just Photobucket being complete assholes. I might take a few minutes and re-shoot the sequence this weekend. I try to include the formulas I use on any materials I dye.

As to my wife, I do my dyeing early in the morning before she gets up or when she’s out of the house. It’s not a conversation I want to have.

Regards,
Scott
 
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gt

Active Member
i would check in with folks who do an A+ job of dying materials. Dave at Waters West comes to mind as an individual who has this talent down pat. it is way harder than it appears to get vibrant colors that don't wash off. i think the master of all time was Dave McNeese who attacked whatever with a passion that produced brilliant colors.
 

Meeshka

Active Member
Got a hobby room in the basement when the kid moved out and its all mine. Reminds me of Archie Bunker when Mike and Gloria moved out.
 

MD

Active Member
WFF Supporter
I have accumulated a fair bit of skins and feathers over the years and I'd like to try my hand at dyeing some of them. There are a million "how tos" our there but I'm curious what all of you have had success with (a website link or something to the method you use works).

Also, if you could provide the answer you gave the wife in response to the inevitable "what is that shit doing in the house?", it would also be appreciated.

Thanks!
I use some old 10 cup wide mouth coffee carafes and a couple hot plates. I do all my dyeing in the garage. I will, however, rinse and wash in the kitchen sink cuz I don’t have a utility sink anywhere.

I suggest quickly wiping up any dye spills to surfaces that matter to the Mrs....like the kitchen counter and sink. Spray 409 has saved my bacon a few times. Rit and Kool Aid aren’t too bad but Veniard and Jaquard dyes are pretty potent.

Scott’s microwave method looks like a good way to start and Is evidently fast. The coffee carafe and hot plates can take hours or much of the day....depending upon the color, material and how much I’m dyeing.

Regarding the wife...guess I’m lucky. She grew up in a household that hunted and fished....so she doesn’t get in a huff with my fur and feather hoarding. She refers to my tie area as the Island of Dr. Moreau. Still I’ve found it best to warn her if I have a fresh piece of deer hide in freezer waiting to be scraped and dried ;)
 
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MD

Active Member
WFF Supporter
"She refers to my tie area as the Island of Dr. Moreau." Big ups to your wife, tolerant AND clever.
Sorry....a quick sidetrack story....

A lifetime ago after we were first married and I was playing around at taxidermy, she actually picked up a road kill coyote for me. Fast forward 30 years and she refused to stop and grab a fresh clean peacock that had gotten pegged...go figure:rolleyes:

and now back to the original thread.....
 

steve s

Active Member
WFF Supporter
I have used a method similar to Scott with Kool Aid and it worked pretty good. I did this a number of years ago when the feathers in the hair fad hit and our hackle prices shot through the roof. I never dyed a full skin but would dye a couple of dozen feathers at a time. Scott's method is quick and I never had any issues with running of colors. I was limited to Kool Aid colors. Blue, orange, green and red worked great, ended up with nice pink and magenta as well. Purple wasn't a bright purple and I would advise against mixing different colors of Kool Aid, never worked out for me.
 

Jack Devlin

Active Member
I dye most of my feathers in small batches and have for many years. I do so because it is the onlty way I can get the colors I want. I haven't read all the posts in this thread yet but I'll bet someone has mentioned RIT, VENIARD, JACQUARD, and KOOL AID. All good dyes. I have always used VENIARD dyes but since RIT has been available in liquid form, I prefer it. The powedered dyes are so potent that it is easy to make a mess. A speck or two of powder can do a lot of damage. :) You can find a RIT color/formula chart online. Most of the dyes work best with the additiion of some vinegar (acid) to the dye bath.
One of the most important steps in dyeing is the washing of the material. Generally, I soak my feathers in a bowl with DAWN liquid soap or VENPOL for a couple of hours. I then rinse and soak again overnight.

Wear gloves!

PS Keep track of your formulas. If you don't, you won't be able to repeat a color you really like. IMG_8700.jpg
 
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