Dyeing materials

Dyeing  Intro  Equipment  Step-by-step  Microwave  Fabric dye  Collecting
Short introduction to dyeing materials
by Graham Ward

I started dying my own materials about 7 or 8 years ago because I could not get the materials or colours I wanted from shops or suppliers.
I have given up trying to die anything black because of the amount of dye you have to use. I have not had problems with any other colours, including fluorescent.
I have found by trial and error that Veniard powder dyes suit me best.
You will only get a true colour if the material you are dying is white to start with.
I have not tried bleaching any fur or feather. I have never found this necessary.

I have successfully dyed the following skins:
  • Rabbit - Hare - Deer - Mole - Squirrel. Silver Fox tails.
  • Capes - the most successful being cheap saddles from white.
  • Canada Goose and Swan wing feathers to be used as herl for nymph and dry fly bodies.
  • Marabou and Ostrich plumes.
  • Mohair - for dubbing. I buy this from wool shops, when they have sales, as a large ball of white. I then cut in into hanks and dye it up the required colour. When dry the the hair can be plucked off.

Drying the material
First lay it out on newspaper. This absorbs water very quickly. Change the newspaper when it gets wet. It is best to allow all materials to dry out as naturally as possible. I then place them on the floor on some absorbent kitchen paper near a radiator to dry out at room temperature.
Don't be tempted to hurry the process by placing on radiator or in airing cupboard.

Dyeing   Intro   Equipment   Step-by-step   Microwave   Fabric dye   Collecting

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