SBS Microwave Dyeing


Active Member
Reposting this with some new pics since my refusal to pay for Photobucket’s shakedown cost me the old ones.
List of ingredients:

Glass containers

Dawn dishwashing soap

White vinegar

Dye (we’re aiming for ginger here)


dish #1 (for degreasing) = hot water and a few drops of soap; add the feathers and let them soak for about 5 minutes

dish #2 - hot water, a few drops of soap and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar; soak for 5 more minutes

dish #3 - hot water (4 cups for this color), a few drops of soap, 2 tablespoons of white vinegar, 4 teaspoons Golden Yellow, 1/2 teaspoon Camel

add the feathers, cover with plastic wrap

2 minutes on high (depending on the microwave - keep an eye while it’s cooking; you don’t want it to boil too much, it can ruin the substrate)

check the color of one of the feathers; if it’s what you want (it’ll lighten up when dry), rinse everything off in a strainer under cold water

lay everything out to dry

ready to go

I’ve also used a hot plate, coffee carafe and candy thermometer; they work well when you want to keep the dye at a constant temp for an extended time - stuff like deer hair, calf tail, etc. usually takes a bit longer.

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Active Member
Fwiw I still do some dying. With everything from above much the same, not counting hot water or the microwave. I use room temperature instead. It takes a week or so instead of 5 minutes. It's a little like making your own beer?

The slowness has its advantages. From day three on you can inspect the result. And pull it out and wash it at just the right whiter shade of pale.


Active Member
Do you ever dye full skins? Have you ever bleached a full skin? I'm thinking about giving I a whirl@ScottP.
I’ve dyed pheasant rump patches but not full skins. Craig Mathews put together a nice video on dyeing grouse skins; definitely worth watching

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Active Member
I’ve done this using Cool-Aid packets for dye. Works great for red/orange and blue feathers but that’s about it.
The Koolaid Pineapple was a great golden yellow but the only place I ever saw it was in Phoenix; Rit Golden Yellow is just as good and much easier to find. The only Koolaid I use any more is Ice Blue Raspberry - makes a nice Silver Doctor Blue that I haven’t been able to match with Rit.



Active Member
WFF Supporter
Pretty cool, Scott! I did my first successful microwave batch tonight. I had a fail on my initial go round but I blame that on the dye. I just haven’t had consistent success with Veniard’s Kingfisher Blue. Couldn’t find it locally, so I ordered some iced blue raspberry on line and did a trial run on some pheasant and grouse. Very pleased and for smaller batches it doesn’t get any easier than this.

Thanks again for sharing
Mike d
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