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Old 08-17-2005, 04:02 PM   #37
Ron S
Tiny Tot Dancer
 
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: New Orleans, LA
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obtaining and dying quills

The best source for quills is to pluck them yourself. Most of what you get from trading companies is unusable. I just bought 10 hides from ebay. I have also bought one from Matoska trading but it was much more expensive than ebay. The best way to remove quills from a hide is to soak it in an old ice chest for a couple of days. Use plain water with a little Dawn dish washing soap to cut down the oiliness. It can get quite nasty but it works the best and fastest.

I let the quills air dry and when I'm ready to use them I seperate and discard the underbody hair. Wash the quills in warm water and Dawn dish washing soap. You need to remove the oily quality of the quills for them to dye properly. Rinse well and allow to dry. To dye the quills, I use a pot on the stovetop. I find that they dye best when the dye solution temperature is just below boiling. If you start to see bubbles reduce the heat. Boiling the quills will damage them.

Dye your quills a shade darker than you need then rinse them with cool water. Allow to dry before using. Also, dye many more than you think you'll need. You'll end up discarding a bunch that you thought you would use and matching dye lots is next to impossible.

Hope this helps.
Ron
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