Materials Colors *
DYEING Dyeing one?s own feathers, etc., is a most interesting adjunct to the art of fly-tying. Most tyers are under the impression that it is a messy and unprofitable business, but it need not be so. The old fashioned methods, although quite effective were very complicated, but the aniline dyes now procurable have greatly simplified matters. These dyes can be bought from any fishing tackle shop that stocks fly-tying materials, or from the firms specialising in the sale of these items. The range of colours, some two score in number, covers all needs and as these dyes have not been adulterated like most textile dyes, they are very economical to use. The only utensils necessary for small quantities are a small aluminium milk saucepan and another slightly larger. The small saucepan is first perforated with small holes over the sides and bottom with an awl until it becomes like a collander, or if you wish a wire potato chip basket is ideal. This is for holding the material to be dyed and will stand inside the larger utensil. This collander will take quite a quantity of small feathers and any fur to be dyed. Larger feathers may be cut to fit the receptacle. The object of the perforated saucepan (or collander) is for the easy control of the dyeing process and inspection of the material while dyeing. Also it is a very clean method as the hands need not come in contact with the dye solution. Furs and feathers must be treated before dyeing. The usual process is quite simple. Using the larger saucepan, prepare a solution of soap powder or any good detergent. Place the feathers to be dyed in the smaller perforated saucepan (collander) and soak for a few minutes (Waterfowl feathers must be soaked considerably longer to allow penetration of the natural oil coating). The feathers must now be well rinsed. This is quite simple with the collander. Just lift it out of the larger saucepan and place in a bowl of clean warm water, repeating this until all trace of soap is removed. Held under a hot tap the process is even more simpler. If the material is only being cleaned, then it should be thoroughly rinsed in warm water before being spread out to dry. Also to-day we have the added advantage of modern detergents and de-greasers which are thoroughly recommended. They are quick to use and very effective. See directions as follows for the use of VENPOL and DE-GREASER, which are the best in this field. Draw enough hot water into a bowl to immerse the material. Add VENPOL and swish water into lather before adding the material to be cleaned or dyed. Half fluid oz VENPOL is sufficient in 4 pints of water (1 part in 160). Allow soaking time according to the material. Hackles require only a few minutes but waterfowl feathers, quills and hair considerably longer.
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