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Here's the result of my first dye job. I have used Dylon to dye swan and heron. The heron took the black colour excellently, but the swan only took the colours to pastel intensity, even though they soaked for 45 minutes at 60 degrees celsius. I suspect the grease in the feathers has something to do with this, even though I washed the swan feathers in ordinary dish washing detergent. A source of mine said that the feathers of water fowl should soak in dish detergent for at least half an hour to remove enough feather grease to allow the feathers to take the colour in fully. Any advise on this?





Knæk og bræk
Søren
 

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Try a degreaser. I have had good results with Veniards Venpol. The only time you wouldn't want to use this would be on CDC.
Also when dyeing weigh all your materials and powder or dye together.
Josh
 

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In a word, Synthrapol. Very best degreasing agent, and I would keep waterfowl feathers in it for far longer than 1/2 hour before dyeing. I am not familiar with Dylon dye. If its not an acid dye, you're barking up the wrong tree, IMHO.
Not sure what JTats means about weighing materials and dye together. Have never done that, and have had some pretty satisfying results.
BTW, there is a WEALTH of info about dyeing materials on this forum, particularly from guys like flytyer and klops. use the search engine. no need to re-invent the wheel with those guys on board.
Gary
 

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In a word, Synthrapol. Very best degreasing agent, and I would keep waterfowl feathers in it for far longer than 1/2 hour before dyeing. I am not familiar with Dylon dye. If its not an acid dye, you're barking up the wrong tree, IMHO.
Not sure what JTats means about weighing materials and dye together. Have never done that, and have had some pretty satisfying results.
BTW, there is a WEALTH of info about dyeing materials on this forum, particularly from guys like flytyer and klops. use the search engine. no need to re-invent the wheel with those guys on board.
Gary
Obviously your using jacquards since you use Syntharopol. Jacquards acid dye is measured by the pound of material your dyeing to how much dye you add. That also gives you the ratio of vinegar your using. Don't bother with the soda ash. Not needed.
 

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Dying feathers is easy and nice job but like with everything you need knowledge and practice.
It is not so good to start test on expensive material ;)
But is still possible to repair the,
Put separately feathers for 24 or better 48h in to water with detergent after you can search for some base information how properly dye material.
On this forum you also will find a lot of useful information.



 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the advise on soaking times for waterfowl feathers. The feathers are not expensive (for me). The swan feathers is from a pair of wings I found left behind by a fox and which I collected, washed and cured. So no expense on that one, and the heron feathers actually turned out nice, and didn't cost much as the mounted bird looked scruffy and were bought very cheap at the flea market. and still have lots of hackles left ;-)

The pastel swan feathers I can surely use, it's just that I wanted more intense and vibrant colours. I will trawl through the archives to see what advise there is to achieve this. The Dylon dye has been recommended to me by a source, and is commonly used to hand dye fabric.

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Søren
 

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I believe you'll find that dyes for cotton, for example, are different from dyes for protein-based materials, like feathers and fur.
Jtats, I use at least 5 different brands of acid dyes, not just Jacquard's, which is a very good dye, BTW. I use synthrapol to wash materials for all acid dyes, regardless of manufacturer.
Gary
 

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Søren - the black feathers look great. I'd recommend acid dyes as well. For feathers wool and seal dubbing i use Jacquard acid dyes with a splash of vinegar. I don't degrease or soak or prep in any way and only do feathers that I need for few flies - not entire capes or skins.

klops- those capes look very well done.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, the heron did take the black nicely. Was a bit worried when the hackles collapsed on the paper, and downright afraid with the dry black "sticks" that were left after the drying. But after a few dry strokes and rubs the hackles unfolded very nicely. Maybe someone more experienced would say that they were overdyed (is that possible?) or maybe it's just the very calcium rich water we have her that makes the fibers stick to each other when drying?

For the swan feathers I will let them soak in dish detergent for 48 hours next time I want to dye. Would it be feasible to use a diluted sodium hydroxide solution?

Can anyone link me to the dyeing instructions of flytyer? Can't find them on the site?

Cheers!
Søren
 

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Soren,

Just use the search function of the site and search for "dyeing materials" and you will find lots of useful info.

I took at look at the Dylon web site and see that it is not an acid dye. I know this because it is used for cotton and viscous, and acid dyes aren't used on them because acid dyes don't bind very well with cellulosic-based substrates (materials). Just like Jacquard's Procion MX dyes, Dylon will work to some extent, but you aren't going to get nice, bright, brilliant colors (except for black) with them. Instead, they are going to be pastel-like as you found with the swan.

Acid dyes are really the way to go with tying materials because acid dyes bind with protein and fly tying materials (birds, animal, wool) are protein-based substrates. Also, I would not use dish washing detergent to degrease feathers or fur because most of them have optical whiteners in them, which can and does effect the resultant color. Ivory Clear is an exception. But Synthrapol (or Venpol by Veniard's) are degreasing agents, detergents that clearn them, dye dispersant (keeps the dye molecules suspended in the dye bath until absorbed) and help open the pores of the material so the molecules can bind better to the material. It is used to clean and degrease materials and added to the dye bath.

The only reason acid dyes are called acid dyes is they bind to the molecules in the substrate through the action of a mild acid such as white vinegar. Heck, food dyes are a type of acid dye.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have searched and found a plethora of good advise. Flytyer, I will certainly look into acid dyes and decent degreasers. And the Dylon will be used for pastels in the future, it sure works well for that ;-)

Søren
 
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