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Fly Tying
stabgnid

Need some squirrel tails dyed

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I was gifted about 20 Squirrel Tails last year They have been cleaned and frozen for 6 months and microwaved and stored with some borax sprinkled on them ..So now I'm Looking for somebody to dye some squirrel tails for me .  

Steve-stabgnid

 

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I'd talk to sbpatt about dying them, he does a ton of it, while he may not be interested in doing it for you I'm sure he could give you some good pointers.

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I asked, but my wife said no. ("Absolutely not!" was the way she put it....) Sorry.

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10 hours ago, chugbug27 said:

I asked, but my wife said no. ("Absolutely not!" was the way she put it....) Sorry.

Well that's my problem here to plus I  have no place to do this in our apartment .......

Steve-stabgnid 

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I used to do a bit of dyeing and it’s not difficult or particularly obnoxious (doesn’t stink up the house - and a cheap pot for that exclusive use is readily available...).

What ended it for me was the great difficulty of obtaining the same color quality over and over since I was tying for shops back then (early eighties).  Hope you’re able to hook up with someone...

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My wife stopped me at, "this guy I want to help out has twenty squirrel tails..." That's where the sharp "No" came out. Then, as I said, "and he needs someone just to dye them for him, he's a disabled veteran, and I was just thinking..." That's where the "Absolutely not" came in.

(Sorry, stabgnid, I do have my fingers crossed for you.)

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That's one of the blessings of having a Wife ... they keep you from starting projects you'll end up regretting.  Somehow, they just know.  Since Wife and I are very open about everything, I always tell her when I want to start a new project.

Usually, she is all for it ... anything to keep me from getting "under her feet".  Once in a while, she'll "um" and "aah" ... and basically let me know she doesn't think much of the idea.  Sometimes, I'll go ahead and do it ...  aaaaand ... regret it.

Perhaps you're lucky she won't let you do this one!

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If you have a microwave, some dye (Rit liquid is my favorite but unsweetened Koolaid works, too) a little vinegar and some Dawn dishwashing soap, you can do it.  Doesn’t smell and it only takes a few minutes (longer soak time for squirrel tails since they’re a harder substrate).  Here’s an SBS I did a while back.  
The hard part will be getting your wife out of the apartment for a while.

Regards,
Scott

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11 hours ago, tidewaterfly said:

Steve, what colors do you need? 

 

Sent you a pm

Steve-stabgnid

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To avoid permanent exile from the kitchen and eternal scorn from "she who must be obeyed" I recommend you dye outside. Use a camping stove, get an old soup pot from the discount store, a plastic bowl, along with your own set of measuring cups and measuring spoons, a candy thermometer, a spoon, and some rubber or vinyl gloves. Do your dyeing outside. You'll need Jacquard acid dyes, available on the internet - they are usually used to dye wool, but chemically bind to any protein like feathers - or your skin - hence the need for gloves. Do NOT use dyes for cotton or polyester - they will NOT bind to the feathers and will rinse out. And you'll need Synthrapol or Dawn detergent, and white vinegar. Wash the material to be dyed in hot water with a few drops of the detergent and let soak for 30 minutes, then rinse and keep submerged in warm water.  Squirrel is a bit tricky since it is a smooth fiber, and will initially resist dye. Meanwhile heat up 4-6 cups of water to 160F/70C in the pot on the burner. Put on the gloves. Add dye to the hot water, roughly 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon using a dry measuring spoon. Stir the dye into the water until dissolved. Adjust the heat to keep the dye solution at or just below 160F/70C, although olives and black can dye at lower temperatures. Other colors won't take or end up with undesired shades. Stir in tiny drop of detergent. Now take the material to be dyed and slip it into the hot dye solution, and keep stirring. After a minute or two, you can add 1/4 cup vinegar to the solution. Keep stirring. The dye will begin to bind to the feathers. Keep checking for the desired shade, maybe a little darker. Takes between 3 and 15 minutes, depending on color (hue)  and desired color saturation. Remove the material when done and rinse in cold water. Let the material dry. Material can be dried with a hair dryer on medium (not high) heat, but the skin will be wet for several days. Dry on newspaper or paper towels. Package in separate plastic bags when thoroughly dry.

If you want brighter colors on squirrel, you'll need to pre-bleach the tails. That is something I have never done, but in general you use hair bleach from the beauty section (you've already been seen lurking there for Hard-As-Nails, cuticle scissors, eyelash brushes, and black nail polish ;) ).

Good luck!

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Steve, I won't be dying anything until the fall if does not get done before that drop me a line around early October and I'll try to help you.

Chris

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