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Old 01-22-2004, 07:42 PM   #1
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Post Step one cleaning and dyeing quills

Supplies you will need are:

Porcupinne quills
Large Rubbermaid storage tote
Dish soap
slotted spoon
Lots of newspaper
Siv or Staner ( what you use for your noodles)
Rit dye ( powdered or liquid )
Large Stock pot
household cleaner like 409

First step-
I ordered my quills from Crazy Crow. They were not cleaned. They had a strong odor. Very unplesent.
So I bought a big Rubbermaid tote. Fill it with warm water with a bit of dish soap to get out the oils and filth. Put the quills in the bath and stir it around with the slotted spoon. The water will get muddy looking.
I use two nesting straners in the sink. Poor out the water and quills into this. Rinse with lukewarm to cold water.

Boil your water in your large stock pot. Pour in entire package of Rit dye. Add your quills. Lower your tempature. Make sure there is enough water to cover the quills. Stir often. This will ensure all quills dye evenly. Quills have air in them and naturaly float.
For lighter colors the time in the dye bath will be short. For a more intense color they will need to sit longer in the water.
For what ever project your are going to work on make sure you dye enough to finish your project. It is neer impossible to get the same color in your next dye lot. Some dye will come out with the rinsing with water in the next step.
For any drips of the dye water immediatey wipe up off your counter or stove.

Next carefully pour out the water and quills in the straner that is sitting in the sink. Rinse with lukewarm/cold water until it runs clear. Other wise if you skip this your dye will come off on you and what ever you are doing your quill work on. Learned from experience.

Lay out your layers of news paper on a flat surface. Out of the reach of any small child or pets. Use at least 4 or 5 sheets of news paper to soak up the excess water. It will take at least 24 hours to dry.

I will have more later. I tryed to keep it short and simple. If I left any thing out or was to vauge please let me know.
And yes you will poke your self at least a few times. So don't rush. Be careful!!!
Thanks
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Old 01-26-2004, 06:54 PM   #2
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Not sure if I should keep going with this. Sceems no one is interested. If any one wants more info, I'll add...till then
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Old 01-27-2004, 06:00 PM   #3
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RE: Your dirty quill experience...

:Wave HI!

I sympathize with you -- about purchasing the quills from Crazy Crow. I did the same once, and have NEVER done so again! YUCK! I did much the same as you to clean/dye/sort them -- then I gave most of them away to my students!! But I did make them BEG for 'em!! LOL!! I save & save, then when I finally get the chance to go to a pow-wow, I seek out the vendors that I have been dealing with for a number of years. Sometimes, I may even call and order something directly, especially if I have a "special request" to get done in a hurry. Since that time, I have never ordered from CC again! I was really disappointed...

Keep up on posting about your quill-work. You would be surprised how long it takes sometimes until somebody wanders into it... There are soooo many up here to wade thru!!

Thanks again!
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Old 01-27-2004, 06:55 PM   #4
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:37: Hey thanks. I was begining to think that no one was interested in quill work. It is a shame, because not very many people I know can do quillwork. I'm trying to change that. I'll have to post some more information tomorrow.
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Old 01-27-2004, 09:42 PM   #5
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Thumbs up re: quillwork

:D YES!!

:agree?: I think it is especially so sad that our young people just are not really interested in quillwork. Oh, yes, they admire it. They recognize/appreciate that it takes skill, practice and patience - more so than for beadwork. BUT they would like some one ELSE to do it!! Waaay too tedious!! (or as my niece says -- :Cry too painful!)

I haven't done much with quills for a long time -- not many requests for it. The few requests I have received over the years have been mostly from wannabe's who recognize the "value" of the work, but equally don't want to learn or do it themselves - they also especially don't want to PAY for that long, hard work, either! I always mention price/time line, and make 'em pay at least 1/2 of what I want, before I even begin to do something for 'em. :medal!:

I mostly just "intergrate" separate quills into my beaded rosettes/medallions, barrettes and earrings. Also made a few chokers (really hard to find nice long and fat/thick quills for that, tho!!). :dontknow: Don't know if I could even DO any "real" quillwork now!!

Looking forward to your future posts... Who knows, you might actually inspire me to get back to doin' some quill'n :31: !! (First I gotta send for some...!!
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Old 01-28-2004, 12:15 AM   #6
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There are more quill workers out there than you might think! I like playing with quills from time to time.

For serious quillworkers there is a major down sides to buying quills bulk. The biggest problem is that fact that they are all mixed up and have to be sorted. If they are not sorted, often when you dye them you will have lots in one color that are not the right size and shape for a project you are working on.

Whole hides are by far the best way to go for a serious quill worker. You see quills of different sizes and shapes come from off of different parts of the hide. The really thick ones that work well for chokers and use in beadwork are found down toward the tail, while the ones that are best for wrapping and embroidery are found farther up the hide on the back and up toward the neck.

Quills are probably the easiest thing in the world to dye. They take most all kinds of dye very readily. I have even used Koolaid to dye then to get colors that are more difficult to get from other kinds of dye. Lime makes a very nice green, and berry blast does a fantastic blue.
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Old 01-28-2004, 02:35 PM   #7
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Hey I like the idea of Koolaid!! I'll have to try it some time. I'm so happy to be talking to others about quilling.
I'm a womans fancy dancer, but wanted to go all round. So my next out fit I am working on is a womans cloth. I bought some navy blue "Saved list" wool for my dress. I wanted a more traditional look. My breast plate is only the 4" bone with the spacers. I did use old coins and some brass thimbles at the end of my breast plate. My next project I'm working on is a quilled hand bag, quilled leggings and moc's on white buckskin. So far I've just worked on my hand bag. I've out lined it useing the zig zag technique. I dont know if I should keep going. The leather has changed where I've sewen down the quills. It's no longer flat, but is wavy. I dont know if it will lay flat once I sew in the cotton fabric liner and back side. I used "simulated brain tan" hide. I know the commercialy tanned hide tends to stretch. As oppose to real brain tanned/ smoked skins.
Has this happeded to any one else. And can I fix it?
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Old 01-29-2004, 01:00 AM   #8
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Talking Quills and KoolAid...

:eyes116: WOW!! Never thought of KoolAid stuff for dyeing, but then again -- that stuff stains/dyes just about anything you DON'T want stained/dyed!! BUT I do wonder about the how the colors "stay"...

Hmmmmm... :Idea I think I'm gonna hit my son's KoolAid stash, borrow a few different ones, and head out down the road (some 45 miles) to my sister's house. :uptosomet She has a few quills, and never thought of using KoolAid either... so we can't WAIT to "play" :Chatter :Party YEEES!!

:worthy: Thanks for the KoolAid tip, PB49! It's really good to hear that "There are more quill workers out there than you might think!" Now, if we could just get more of 'em to "come on out of the woodwork"!!! :16:

I live in a very urban area - so I don't really have the "option" of purchasing a good, fresh porky skin -- and to just buy the quills already sorted and/or dyed is an extra cost I really can't afford. But I usually do get them in bulk. Most of the traders I deal with sell them cleaned (although I clean them again) and also are "somewhat" sorted. I have always used Rit to dye them - have gotten pretty good with combining different colors to get just what I want. My gram used plants and stuff... Sometimes I wish I knew where to go, how, WHAT and when to "harvest"... That knowledge has pretty much been lost, I guess.
Oh, well...

And AK - about that handbag... I hate to say it, but I don't think that you will be able to get that purse side to lay flat when you put the lining in it... My sister (the REAL sewing expert) said that next time, BEFORE you go to quill something, and you are using the "simulated brain tan" hide stuff, EITHER plot your quill design out right on the leather, then securely "tack" (hand-sew) some sort of light lining on the back (making sure that you only "tack" in areas that are going to be covered by the quills (or beads) in a number of areas --- OR --- try to use a light "iron on" type of interfacing (or "fusible webbing"?) on the back before you quill... That might keep it from stretching so much -- and will be hidden once you line the bag or whatever. We have only used the "simulated brain tan" hide stuff a couple of times -- it is just pitifull!! Her husband and son now keep her well supplied with brain-tanned skins, thankfully. I would try out these suggestions on scraps BEFORE you seriously quill anything again that might "stretch".

:Thinking I thought maybe if you laid it face (quill side) down on a heavy towel, then LIGHTLY spritzed it with just a little water, then laid another towel over it, and put some heavy books on it, leave it for a coupla days, that would help. (BUT it may turn the leather very hard and unpleasant!!) :thunder: OR do the same as above, except INSTEAD of spritzing it with water, put a little bit of fabric glue (that STAYS flexible) spread over the worst areas, and put your lining cloth over it (right side out, and leaving sewing margins around the outside, of course) and put some clean paper over it, and then a heavy book... let it dry a day or so. If you are "game" to try either of these things, you should definitely try 'em on SCRAPS first!! I wish you luck!!

:cya:
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Old 01-29-2004, 03:00 AM   #9
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Hey when you use the Koolaid...just bring a bit of water to a boil and add your koolaid packets. I used 2 packs for about 1/2 ounce of quills, and the quills sucked nearly all the color out of the water. You also need to put in a little bit of vinegar to help set the color.

As to how it lasts...well, I know a guy that has been using it for quite a while and I can't say I have noticed any fade over the years in the pieces he has done.

Another thing I use to dye quills is plain food coloring (also mixed with a bit of vinegar). I first tried that cause every time I tried to dye with a yellow Rit dye I ended up with orange quills...LOL! The food coloring made a very nice yellow. It is also very easy to mix to get to nearly any desired color.

As for 'fresh' hides...no need for that when you buy whole hides they are usually scraped and dried or are salted and the quill still come out without too much extra effort. Whole hides run from about $10-$30. Here try this link if you want to find a place that sells them http://www.hideandfur.com/inventory/Misc.html

As for the puckering...the advice give is the same that I would have gave so way to go Kat.
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Old 01-29-2004, 06:35 AM   #10
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So tell me,,,what do you all pay for quills, I pick them up here and have a few containers already full. I even have porky claws!!
I WOULD SELL THEM TOO!!!!!!!!!!

I make stuff with them too. But now my line has changed to moose hair tufting, same effect of dying the hair and then tufting patterns. Looks good too and last longer than the quills!
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Last edited by Tibiki Kinew; 01-29-2004 at 07:42 AM..
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Old 01-29-2004, 07:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by powwowbum49

Another thing I use to dye quills is plain food coloring (also mixed with a bit of vinegar). I first tried that cause every time I tried to dye with a yellow Rit dye I ended up with orange quills...LOL! The food coloring made a very nice yellow. It is also very easy to mix to get to nearly any desired color.

I know what you mean about yellow rit, it does not take long in the dye bath. Foxmoss, which grows in western mountainous areas is the best stuff i've found to dye quills yellow. You just throw the yellow moss in with the quills.... you cant 'over dye' them like with rit. I dont know if it's sold commercially, but a little bit goes a long way.

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Old 01-29-2004, 11:54 AM   #12
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Thanks for your ideas. I can't waite to try them all. And the price for a hide for a porqupine is so cheap! Thanks for the website. I think I will wait untill I move into our house. I live in an apartment and I would think it would be a pretty powerful aroma. :Eyepopper Lol. "Gee honey, what is that smell??"

What does every one store there quills in? I've used what ever small containers I had handy. But in dying my latest 11 large batches I used the Glad disposable containers. I like that there see though, lightweight, stackable and cheap. :p
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Old 01-30-2004, 01:08 AM   #13
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AKN

Yep that is what I store mine in these days. Like you said...those containers are cheap, stackable and see through. they are the best things I have found of late. They even come in fairly big sizes too.

Actually those hides don't really smell much since they are scrapped and dried. But then, since I tie roaches for a living and work with porky hair every day I just may be immune to the smell. Had a friend that is a pig farmer...I always thought it stank bad but he said it smelled like money to him...so I guess that is what porky smells like to me...money...LOL!
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Old 01-30-2004, 11:33 AM   #14
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Good morning. My ex boyfriend wouldnt teach me how to do a roach. He said that women dont do that. So I respected what he said.
Although it was a little hard only because I know men who make baskets, bead, quill, etc. Things usually "woman" skills. Only now that I'm not with him, I've kicked around the idea. The only thing is I dont actually know any woman who has done a roach.
Should I or shouldnt I?
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Old 01-30-2004, 01:10 PM   #15
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I see no reason why you shouldn't make one, knock yourself out and have fun, if any one is so narrow minded and tells you not to, ask them if they bead or sew, my two cents says do it but do the best you can,,, here is the website with directions on how to make it as well as lots of other items,,,good site for guys too!!

www.nativetech.org

give it a try and see what youu think!!
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Born in Winnipeg raised in the Pikwakanagan, Deutschland was never home! Army brat that had no choice in a parents duties to home and country. I Too Serve our flag and work for the uniform.
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Old 01-30-2004, 02:25 PM   #16
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Wow you sound as if you already know him!! Like I said before I respected what he said and didnt push the subject any further.
Any-wayz, I am one of the mentors for a youth prevetion program here, and I did all the ordering of supplies. I did get some deer tails, porqupine hair, and a instructional video. It looks simple, just never tried it before.
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Old 01-30-2004, 02:32 PM   #17
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No I don't know him, but to be honest and straight to the point,,,owwww it hurts when they loose a little info that they think is only theirs and for no one else, I am proud to say I bead and sew, does that mean a woman shared her private knowledge with me,,, no I learnt it by myself, so yep :devil :devil in me says go for the gold, never let any one tell you it can't be done, that irks me to no end, you have a gift that creator gave you, make the best of it and yes in this case especially I would say teach them as well, without you that part of history would be lost for them.

starting to be a nickels worth and not 2 cents any more!!! lmao!!!!

Okay so I am a sh!t disturber but knowledge is a gift and not something to be hidden from the next generation!
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Old 02-09-2004, 11:51 PM   #18
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Okay here are some new question for our quill workers.

When using wrapping to make things like armband do you prefer to cut a piece to do the wrapping on with all the rows/strips attached at one end (kinda like a table fork looks like) or do you use separate strips?

Also, what have you used for the underlying material. I use rawhide most of the time but have also used plastic from butter tubs. I almost always use the butter tub when I am teaching others how to do wrapping. Have any of you used the plastic prepunched wheels forms when making wheels?

So have any of you seen fake quill wrapping. I know a fella from TN that has a full set that looks just like quill wrapping but it is all done out of electrical tape, or maybe it is tape that architects use which is very thin. Not sure on the kinda tape...all I know is it fooled me the first time I saw it?
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My comments are based on what I have been taught and my experiences over the years I have been around the circle. They should in no way be taken as gospel truths and are merely my opinions or attempts at passing on what I have learned while still learning more.
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Old 12-19-2004, 10:36 PM   #19
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Thumbs up

You don't really have to kill the porqupine to get the quills. If you hit them with a towel, blanket or even a t-shirt the quills stick to the material. I got a quart jar full of quills from my son's shirt he used to "attack" the porqy, they don't like it very much though. We also take their hair by holding them down with sticks. But why would you want a fake quill outfit? Some people think quill is easier than beading, just get started and practice, men or women.
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Old 12-20-2004, 02:13 PM   #20
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Sorry that I am joining this thread late, but I wanted to pass along that I have had good luck purchasing quills from Eidens Furs in Idaho. I have ordered from them a couple of times and ended up with a good assortment of usable quills.
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