Feather Dyeing – Part 2
Janelle is wearing Samson’s
feathers in her hat.
I don’t bother to clean the feathers before I dye them….Why?
Feathers have a natural oil in them. We don’t want to remove this oil entirely
or the feather will not hold it’s shape, and at some point it will start to look dull and lifeless.
The object is to keep the feathers in the dye long enough to breakthrough the oil barrier
so the feather will take the dye.
The intensity (darkness/lightness /hue) depends on how much dye you put in the water,
NOT necessarily how long or short you keep the feather in the dye bath, but this can also be a factor.
I prefer to start with a strong solution of dye to water and gradually
increase water to make the feathers a lighter shade.
I dye several lots of feathers in varying shades of dye to achieve
a nice spectrum of colors that will blend nicely in my doll’s hats.
We hope to go from the photo on the left to this one on the right!
Put on your gloves!!!!
Add about 1/2 cup of hot water to
a glass measuring cup.
Please note: Use a measuring cup that will NOT be used for food purposes again.
Add about 1/8th teaspoon of powdered Jacquard Acid Dye. Add less for a lighter shade.
Stir with wooden skewer Put in a microwave for about 2 – 3 minutes until it starts to boil, or put in a pan of water (double boiler style) on stove top
if you don’t have a microwave.
Gently toss in a handful of feathers.
I use an assortment of gray , pale yellow,
cinnamon and white feathers.
Some are striped, barred, etc,
but that adds a lot of interest to the final
arrangements you will be using them in.
You want the dye to break through the oil and penetrate the feather.
The feather shaft is exceptionally resistant to the dye.
You will also notice at this time that wet, hot feathers don’t smell very good! But, It’s worth it!
Hey, follow me to the next page!
NOTE: I mostly use the body and chest/breast feathers of the birds.
I rarely use the flight or tail feathers as these are too large and in many cases too rigid to work with.
BIGGER NOTE: I ONLY USE NATURALLY SHED FEATHERS,
NO BIRDS ARE EVER HARMED IN ANY WAY.
ALL BIRDS WHOSE FEATHERS I USE ARE MY BELOVED PETS!
© Gina C. Bellous 2001 – 2015 – All Rights Reserved
This tutorial is for your personal use only.
NO portion of this tutorial may be
reprinted without permission,
copied for sale, or to be taught as your own.
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