I intended to try this a month ago, but there was always something else that I wanted to do first. In the mean time, I’ve gathered some information and received a very interesting mail from Liviu (aka Parintele), how to dye feathers with natural pigments (like saffron and henna), thanks again for that Liviu.
But first, I wanted to try the stuff that I already had. Like this pigment to dye textile, I received from Fario Jan (still my favourite fly shop).
The manual that came with the pigment, indicated it was necessary to heat the water. This might be so, but putting the ostrich herl in the hot water, wasn’t a very good idea.
After drying, it looked like mice had it for breakfast.
When I tried again, this time the water at room temperature, the result was a lot better.
This stuff is pigment that my mother used to dye silk. The box you see on the picture isn’t even half the stock she had in her closet. So I definitely had to try that!
This was my first attempt, and I’m very pleased with the result.
Here I used the pigment undiluted…
and here I added some water, to have a lighter colour, which works as well. So I don’t think I have to look much further.
The result is good, and I’ve got plenty of colours in stock now.
The next colour is orange.
And of course, I’ve tied some pike flies with my new colours. They are about 14 cm long.
- the first one, I’ve started with a 5 mm tungsten bead (which is inside the head)
- yellow bucktail around the hook shank
- yellow Krystal Flash on top
- 10 strands of yellow ostrich herl on each side, and 15 on top
- again yellow bucktail around the hook shank
- 10 strands of yellow ostrich herl on each side, and 10 on top
- some sequins, and epoxy for the head
The second is tied the same way, but here I only tied in the bucktail and ostrich herl once (but a bit more), then a collar of orange artic fox in a dubbing loop, and there is no bead in the head.
The third one, I’ve used pink Polar Flash in stead of the Krystal Flash (but more), two kinds of ostrich herl (pink and white), and the collar is pink (Steve Farrar’s) SF Blend in a brass wire dubbing brush.