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coloring feathers and deer hair

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I decided to try kool aid and mixing lemon lime and orange looks like a good olive. The bummer was that all three stores I went to did not have the lemon lime.

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I've found Wal-mart to have the largest and most reliable selection of the drink mixes, they have non name brand varieties as well as Kool-Aid that will give similar results. Also If you are going to do a fair amount of dying, Citric Acid smells better than vinegar and can be cheaper in the long run. If you have a home brewing / wine making supply somewhere near you they will have some for sale.

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The available flavors of Kool-Aid vary a lot from store to store and even from one part of the country to another. When I see something I can use, I grab a bunch, since there's no way to know when I'll be able to find it again. For some reason, certain flavors can be extremely difficult to locate. I must have gone into 10 stores before I found the bright green stuff, (lemon/lime?) and I could never find the peach mango until we moved from CT to VA. I don't think there's a store on the planet that carries it all. Believe it or not, there are people who actually collect the stuff, and rare flavors can get pretty pricey.

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Now to put my two cents in the mix. I do a lot of dying every year, especially deer tails. If you are doing only a few things then knock your self out on the Kool Aid. In the long run you are over paying by at least 10 fold for Kool Aid as opposed to a commercial acid dye. Ritte is ok and is a step up from Kool Aid but it is a union dye and has other things in it that you don't necessarily need. Dram Trading or Pro Chemicals are a great source of dye and dye stuff. I would rather pay $6-$15 for pure dye with no additives then something with sugar or salt or other types of dye you don't need. Koop Aid is basically a flavoring and other additives with a very little bit of food grade acid dye. Pro Chemicals Avicado is a great dark olive. Pro Chemical also has a few Flourecent Dies that you can use to make and mix to make some great colors. Also, don't be afraid of trying to over dye a color. Like bright yellow over dyed with black or bright blue. Dying can be almost as addictive as tying for fly fishing. Citric Acid is good as well as othe acids to controll the leveling of the color and the depth of color. Last one. If you are doing a low volume of dying then two deep dish aluminum pans, yes I did say aluminum not stainless, nested inside one another with about 20 cups of water on the stove with one burner on low until you hit 140 works like a charm. You can toss the pans after a bunch of baths, if one springs a leak you have backup, much sturdier to move the bath to the sink. It will take a long time for the "chemical reaction" to make you see any truly noticeable reactions with the aluminum. Best of luck and take notes of the amount of dye, type of acid, type of salt, amount of synthprol, amout of water, dry weight of material and tempeture. It's not rocket science but we can make it as complicated as we want.

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