Dyeing bird feathers?

Submitted by Harri on 7/16/01. ( hakallio@hotmail.com )

What kind of colour pigments and a process I should use for dyeing bird feathers (attached to a tanned skin) Not being able to raise the temperature is probably the biggest problem?

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This response submitted by CUR on 7/16/01. ( )

How was the skin tanned? Is it an entire skin, or just a portion? Some of the cold process dyes may work, but I am not sure what the wetting would do to the skin. There may be a special mordant for dying feathers, but I think plain old salt will work. The biggest problem will be with the skin's reaction to the process. Feathers are dyed all the time for use in fly tying and crafts. I believe most commercial processes are hot solution.

Dyeing bird feathers 2

This response submitted by Harri on 7/16/01. ( )

The entire skin was tanned with Knobloch's Liqua-Cure. My biggest
concern is that the feathers might start falling of...

Asking 2

This response submitted by CUR on 7/16/01. ( )

Harri, what kind of bird is it? You may be able to separate the pterafiles and dye them in groups.....(Are we inventing a new wheel here, or what?) It may be possible to spray dye the feathers, but I have never tried that on a large area........Is the skin still wet, or will it be rehydrated when immersed in cold dye solution? I am waiting for Dyeing bird feathers 3.....

I dyed some parakeets once...

This response submitted by Nancy M. on 7/16/01. ( )

I just used regular Rit dye but I didn't get the water quite as hot as the directions called for. [I could put my hands in it] It worked fine for what I needed [mechanical bird music box] but they were probably not colorfast enough for fishing flies or some other uses.
I wish I could offer more help. The feathers will PROBABLY stay on if you don't scald the skin, providing it was sound to start with and you don't soak it too long. Can you practice with a little section?
Nancy M.

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