Monday, 27 June 2011

Dyeing feathers for claret

On my return last night from the river I took the odd decision of dyeing a batch of feathers and some fur. Obvioulsy waited until the wife had retired for the night and the kitchen was my own to mess with. I had taken stock of several colours of Veniards dye last week and was eager to put this to work. I started with dark claret. I dyed a batch of french partridge, white rabbit skin, turkey boits, widgeon. grey partridge and a cock cape. I remembered how the best results with claret can be gained from working from a base colour of brown, red game or ginger cape. So I dyed a natural dark red cock cape using a 1/4 tablespoon of dark claret dye. The results were very good, for me anywhow.  I am not an overly experienced dyer of materials so I was quite pleased. A black claret is how I would describe the result.  This is what I wanted - mostly for tying wet flies such as bumbles and dabblers. You can see from the far photo below the difference between the white rabbit skin dyed claret and the red cape over-dyed with claret. I further dyed a batch of widgeon feathers (on the left of the second photo) that turned out not as expected - on the light purple side. The french patridge turned out well as usual. As above, the boit feathers will make some nice claret spinners. I have not yet decided to take E.J Malone's (Irish trout Flies) advice of using rain water for the dying bath, but I am thinking about it!  Anybody used rain water for the dying bath?


  1. very cool!! I have been playing around with dying peacock with little success

  2. Rain water should be good. Neutral Ph.

  3. Dustin - dying peacock is something I should have considered and tried but it never crossed my mind. Thanks. Yes, 'playing around' is the best approach.

    Phillip - I think I will give it a go.