homemade dubbing


Active Member
i am looking for recipes for making colored dubbing. is this info in a book, magazine or other? black is simple but the rocky ford grey olive is tough.
Check out "Dyeing and Bleaching Natural Fly-tying Materials" by A.K. Best. He has it reduced to a science--everything I have tried in it has worked great. It has some good recipes for rabbit fur dubbing blends as well. Good luck!


Active Member
y.g., thank you very much, i think my son has that book if not i will buy it. after it is still close to christmas. thanks, mike
Yard sales are a great place to score loads of dubbing material as there is usually a bag of yarn for a buck somewhere in the mess. Knitting shops are great resources as well as they have loads of mohair, wool and poly yarns as well as some chenilles.

Take yarn of your choice and cut it into pieces varying from 1/8 to 3/4 inches in length. Place them on a mixing card and start combing te material with another card or comb to seperate the material's individual fibers. For fine dubbing you want to start with soft yarn that is cut into smallish pieces. For rough dubbing, as in a seal substitute, start with a coarse material and keep the fibers longer (3/4" or evn a full inch).

For blends, keep track of recipes based on inches and sizes of pieces for easy duplication later on. An index card per blend works great.

For instance:
6" of black Aunt Lydia's, 3/4" hanks
1.5" of royal blue poly, 3/4" hanks
1.5" of red poly, 3/4" hanks
1.5" of evergreen wool, 1/2" hanks
3" of pearl Flashabou, 1/2" hanks

I also concoct what I call Deer-Hare dubbing blends. It is the hair cut from 4 square inches of deer hide blended with fur cut from 1 square inch of rabbit hide. Blend these together using mixing cards and you are left with a very spiky dubbing. To see how I work this, goto the following:


then click on the deerhair link.

Working dubbing with the vise system is a breeze but I believe that material could also be manipulated by employing a dubbing loop.

Don Johnson

Rob Blomquist

Formerly Tight Loops
Heck, if you have a bunch of dubbing around, you can make up your own just by playing around.

Earier this year, I made up some SimiSeal Black with red flash, but taking some Angora and some red Angel Hair snips and using my coffee grinder.

And I have made some scud dubbing by mixing softer types of materials together to create the color I wanted.

The only rule that I follow is to keep texture and size approximately equal. So I don't mix Angora with superfine for example.



New Member
I just bought an old house that had many cats. I stuck my head in the duct work last weekend and it's stacked in hair that looks like it'd be a good substitute for hare's ear and the like. Let me know if you'd like to come over and grab some. It would help with my fierce alergy to cat hair.
Goof advice above. Here may be the most basic and elementary blending skill: Take two, or more, loose little bunches of dubbing. Put them together between your fingers. Start pulling the bunch apart; put the pieces back together, positioned differently. Repeat about two dozen times. This will give you a fast, workable blend; perhaps not as perfect as machine-blended, but effective.

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