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Veniards and Vinegar ....

I’ve always enjoyed dyeing tying materials, it’s just another creative extension within a creative pastime. While it’s always interesting to develop colors for materials to get that perfect match you can’t find elsewhere, there’s another angle to this which is rather helpful. Hungarian Partridge feathers are one of my favorite feathers and I burn through a lot of them. The brown toned feathers are the most useful but there are always gray toned feathers that aren’t in as much demand on many patterns. With a little dye and some white vinegar you can extend the usefulness of a Hun skin long after you have used up all those brown speckled feathers. I take my “picked out” skins and dye them in a range of useful colors such as different shades of olive, tan, yellow and wood duck (Veniards “Summer Duck”). These look great on soft hackles or nymph patterns. Pre-soak the pelt in a solution of warm water and dish soap to clean the feathers and help the dye penetrate, followed by a dye bath with some white vinegar which contains acetal acid to set the dye. Follow the dye manufacturers instructions and you will be quite surprised with the results. Take care not to over-heat the dye bath and ruin good feathers. Hun skins are in short supply this year and the cost of a prime skin has really spiked, which makes this a great way to save some money on materials. Till next week ….


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