One of the joys of tying my flies is dying the materials, often because of I have surplus of the natural material such as squirrel but sometimes its a cases of not being able to get the colour that I want. Thanks to a recent request, I have been on a mission to tie some special flies in the colours of the British Parachute regiment. The blue colour wasn’t a problem but the maroon was. I soon found a mix to get the colour but it called for one shade which couldn’t be found.
To get the colour I mixed 2 packs of grape Kool-aid mixed with a pack of cherry.
Although I will dye the time honored saucepan method normally, I often use a method which is quick and easy using nothing more than a kitchen kettle to boil the water.
Before actually dying the material I will soak it in dish detergent and softener for 24 hours to clean it.
Now the dying bit-
This is what you need.
The first step is to boil the kettle, then pour the water in a tub (I use use ice cream tubs) with the dye already in. As you pour, stir to ensure an even mix.
Throw your material into the mix and stir for an even colour.
Leave to soak for a while to you have the shade that you want. Then pour a GOOD amount of CLEAR vinegar to fix the colour and stir, leave a few seconds. Remove material, in this case, I just tipped the whole lot in to a sieve. Leaving a batch of mallard in the colour that I want.
One advantage of this method is that it reduces the chances of heat damage to the material. It works with Veniard and Dylon dyes.
The full set-
Right, Dying done. Now to get tying!