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rico.29

dying ostrich...

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hi everybody,

i got plenty of gray ostrich feather, and i wonder if there it's possible to dye some?

I guess so but i'm not sure it's the same method as for dying bucktail?

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Welcome.

 

There is a book by AK Best, Dying and Bleaching Natural Fly Tying Materials.

 

It is THE bible. Walks you step by step through what materials and tools you need, how to arrange your work area and how to precisely die various materials. As a point of information, the French have the best dies in the world for this type of dying.

 

Let us know how you made out.

 

- ATG

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avoid that book @ all costs with relation to bleaching and dyeing...improper info with relations to acids and bases and how to neutralize the burning process

 

google it

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Is RIT dye available to you?? I have had sucess dyeing buck tail, Feathers and arctic fox fur using RIT dye (the powdered version)....I add vinegar to the mix and keep the solution just under boiling...You can play with the amount of dye you add to the water and vinegar to get the hue you are looking for. Also, the longer the material stays in the dye solution, the darker it will become until it saturates. So, you can get lighter hues by leaving the material in the dye for less time. Consider experimenting a little with some practice material.

 

I have only dyed materials that have started out white. So I don't know what the finished product would look like when starting out with grey ostrich feathers..

 

When finished dying feathers or fox fur, I would normally blow dry it so the material wouldn't dry into a big clumpy mess. Bucktail I would just pat dry and leave them to air dry on the bench.

 

I have seen many posts on this board talking about doing the same kind of dyeing with Kool-Aid. Probably cheaper...But, I have never used it.

 

Good luck and Have fun

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I have dyed a considerable amount of emu(an emu rancher was good enough to give all of the feathers of a bird that was harvested) and I think that your osterich feathers would have many of the same properties. If you are seeking to dye light colors you must bleach the natural color from the feathers. The best bleach is Hydrogen Peroxide at the stongest strength you can purchase. This is available from beauty supply houses and at its' strongest it would be about 40%. You would need a beautician's license to get it stonger and not recomended because at these levels it is dangerous.

The best dyes are acid dyes. I found that dying with Rit does not produce the snap and brightness that I prefer. It is important to have acetic acid in the dye bath(white vinegar)to bring out the colors and make them fast. Acid dyes can be purchased in a good art materials supply store. Just ask for the dyes used in tie dying. Also John Veniard has excellent dyes for feathers and fur. These are specially formulated for fly tying materials. If you're not familiar this is an English company.

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