Favourite Muddlers

Wee Jimmy

Well-known member
Points
63
Location
Fife
Aye, like Jimmy, I have found good results with black very hard to achieve. One thing to watch is the brand - Veniard and Jacquard have different colour casts to them - one has a blue cast and one a red cast - can't remember which way round it is - so I use a 50:50 mix of the two to cancel each other out.
Straight Veniards gives you a blue/black and Jaquards is brown/black. You will have have noted that Veniards recommend upping the quantity of dye for everything if you want a deep black.Ive been going 10%w/w and I’m still not happy with the results....(n)
 

williamash2

Well-known member
Points
18
Following on from what we were discussing - trying it with dry hair - I'll try over-dyeing a piece I have already dyed black and see if that penetrates. It's already been soaked, so shouldn't need another soak. It's going to float, but I can try the long game with it - weight it down... (I use a tattie masher with an 8-ounce lead weight strapped to it. 🤭)

Col
So it's been in the dye bath for about 2 hours now, can I just ask when should I be adding the vinegar?
 

Cap'n Fishy

Well-known member
Points
113
Location
Embra
So it's been in the dye bath for about 2 hours now, can I just ask when should I be adding the vinegar?
As Jimmy says - add it after dissolving the dye, just before putting the material in. I was doing a bit of deer hair a few weeks ago, and it was taking ages and the colour was very insipid and slow to develop. Suddenly I realised I had forgotten to add the vinegar. I added it and was amazed by how quickly the colour developed - took me totally off-guard. It was just a few minutes!

I'm sure it wouldn't have been just a few minutes if the vinegar had been in at the start - it was more like it was holding back some kind of dam, waiting for it? :unsure:

Anyway, if you add it now, it should all go OK...

Col
 

williamash2

Well-known member
Points
18
It's out drying, looks pretty good to be honest nice rich black and the tips look pretty much entirely black. Whether the dye has penetrated remains to be seen, I have a feeling that it hasn't but I'm hopeful
 

ackroyd

Well-known member
Points
18
Sorry to be slow in replying to your points, Cap'n Fishy. I have been trying to tie flies desperately, with the rapid approach of the new season. The tragic case to which I referred was about twenty years ago, I suppose. I may have been rather alarmist, but I am strongly risk-averse and have heard from more than one medical source that dyeing can be dangerous. I very much accept that some dyes are harmless, but the dreadful case of the young lady hairdresser cited by my consultant pathologist friend stands as a warning in my book, so I shall probably wear gloves if and when I take up dyeing seriously. I do understand that proper dyeing induces chemical change which is why the dyeing liquid becomes clear, but in a way, that is the point. If the dye penetrates the material, why would it not penetrate the skin too? All that said, I have found Brian Burnett's book on safe vegetable dyes (available from Coch-y-bonddu books) a fascinating and encouraging read.
 

Cap'n Fishy

Well-known member
Points
113
Location
Embra
If the dye penetrates the material, why would it not penetrate the skin too?
Because the dye and the material are in a pan of water, and the skin is not. It can't penetrate your skin if it comes nowhere near it. I handle the material in the dye bath with a long pair of tongs. I don't need gloves, because there is nothing I am getting on my hands in the process. Once the dye is fixed in the material, it is fixed in the material, the same as any dyed material you buy in a shop. If we needed gloves to protect us from all dyed materials, we would need to wear gloves when tying flies... and we would need to wear a latex bodysuit before we put our clothes on.

It sounds like the hairdresser in your case was getting the dyes on her skin, and quite possibly hydrogen peroxide, which is also a mutagenic chemical, so she was being exposed to repeated doses of carcinogenic material. When I do any bleaching of deer hair or feathers I do wear gloves, as I am then handling the chemicals directly with my hands and would be exposed without the gloves.

Col
 

williamash2

Well-known member
Points
18
I now see what you all mean about cut ends and the dye not penetrating. It hasn't gone in but doesn't spoil the end result too much, at the end of the day this will be for fishing flies and not museum pieces so I'm not too fussed. The end result is fairly good, not a complete jet black but perfectly good enough for what I'll be doing with it. The dye has taken to the tips fairly well, there's still a hint of colour there but it isn't noticeable when it's on the fly. Thanks for all the advice guys, it was really helpful
 
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