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Old 01-06-2016, 03:17 PM   #1
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Help with dying fake Eagle feathers!

Hello all,
I'm new to making fake "legal eagle" feathers. I'm tryin to dye up some turkey feathers and smaller, white duck's wing feathers for smaller crafts. I understand that you make a dye solution out of RIT fabric dye, some vinegar and detergent. But does anyone have any personal advice and/or experience with this?
I would be very grateful for any info or links.
I'm actually having a hard time finding this through Google and the thread search tool for some odd reason

Thank you!
Yakoke!
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Old 01-06-2016, 03:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePaleFaceRiderCNO View Post
Hello all,
I'm new to making fake "legal eagle" feathers. I'm tryin to dye up some turkey feathers and smaller, white duck's wing feathers for smaller crafts. I understand that you make a dye solution out of RIT fabric dye, some vinegar and detergent. But does anyone have any personal advice and/or experience with this?
I would be very grateful for any info or links.
I'm actually having a hard time finding this through Google and the thread search tool for some odd reason

Thank you!
Yakoke!
Because the ones that have perfected the process are making money doing it!!!
I just use real ones .
__________________
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They say blood is thicker than water ! Now maple syrup is thicker than blood , so are pancakes more important than family ?

There are "Elders" and there are "Olders". Being the second one doesn't make the first one true !

Somebody is out there somewhere, thinking of you and the impact you made in their life.
It's not me....I think you're an idiot !





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Old 01-06-2016, 03:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Because the ones that have perfected the process are making money doing it!!!
I just use real ones .
HA!!!
Grand point!!!
I suppose some trial and error is in order!

I applied with the repository for some lower grade eagle feathers, I plan on using these for personal use and I'll more than likely give a few away to some Alaskan natives I know and family members.
I am trying to get into some crafts to make a couple bucks off of though, admittedly. That's where these come in. I want to trim and dye some smaller duck wing feathers to make mini "legal eagle" feathers for mirror-hangers.
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Old 01-06-2016, 04:18 PM   #4
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Heck , if you're in Alaska you should just go for a walk !Lots of eagles and feathers up there !

Good luck with your project.
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I believe blood quantums are the governments way to breed us out of existance !


They say blood is thicker than water ! Now maple syrup is thicker than blood , so are pancakes more important than family ?

There are "Elders" and there are "Olders". Being the second one doesn't make the first one true !

Somebody is out there somewhere, thinking of you and the impact you made in their life.
It's not me....I think you're an idiot !





There's a chance you might not like me ,

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Old 01-06-2016, 04:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
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Heck , if you're in Alaska you should just go for a walk !Lots of eagles and feathers up there !

Good luck with your project.
True that!
They are EVERYWHERE!
There's a tree down the street from me that almost always has two adult bald eagles perched in it. how cool is that?!
I'm waiting for spring and summer, because to my understanding, that's when they generally shed their feathers. I know of a few lakes that probably have a healthy supply nearby.
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Old 01-06-2016, 08:50 PM   #6
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Oh yeah!
and thanks for wishing me luck!
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Old 01-07-2016, 06:21 PM   #7
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Here's a video I found

for red tailed hawks
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Old 01-07-2016, 09:01 PM   #8
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Hey!
Thanks White Powwow Dancer

That should come in handy for when and if I ever get my request for 20 lower quality immature bald eagle feathers filled.

Yakoke!
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Old 01-07-2016, 09:10 PM   #9
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IF & when ! LOL Last time I spoke with the repository they were tacking on about 10 months to any immature golden feathers ! Supposed to be 90 days was almost a year and a whole bird was right at 5 years.
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I believe blood quantums are the governments way to breed us out of existance !


They say blood is thicker than water ! Now maple syrup is thicker than blood , so are pancakes more important than family ?

There are "Elders" and there are "Olders". Being the second one doesn't make the first one true !

Somebody is out there somewhere, thinking of you and the impact you made in their life.
It's not me....I think you're an idiot !





There's a chance you might not like me ,

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Old 01-07-2016, 09:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Hey!
Thanks White Powwow Dancer

That should come in handy for when and if I ever get my request for 20 lower quality immature bald eagle feathers filled.

Yakoke!
ask the craft people to help you out with your project.
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Old 01-07-2016, 09:17 PM   #11
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IF & when ! LOL Last time I spoke with the repository they were tacking on about 10 months to any immature golden feathers ! Supposed to be 90 days was almost a year and a whole bird was right at 5 years.
Wow!
The demand must be really high up there now. That's one reason why I went with the bald eagle feathers instead. I like them, although not as cool as Goldens. But they work for me.
Perhaps I should of just put in on the golden eagle feathers and just invest myself in some patients seeing as I live around the densest bald eagle population in North America. Trying to play by the rules though.

Speaking of whole eagles, Wardancer, do they come frozen or something? Just curious.
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Old 01-07-2016, 09:19 PM   #12
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ask the craft people to help you out with your project.
Good idea!
Thank you!
You guys are great!
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Old 01-07-2016, 09:57 PM   #13
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Yes , they ship them frozen.They call at the 1st part of the month to make sure you are a real person and that you'll be home on whatever date they should be there. I usually get wing sets , which is what I usually use to build bustles and wing fans. I got on a schedule getting a wing set about every 13 months. Then I decided I wanted some tail feathers and so I started just rotating my orders to get some of each adult and immature in misc. feathers. Sometimes 10 select and sometimes 20 misc. last time I had 10 select immature goldens ordered , I called after 9 months and they told me it would be another 6-7 months to get them. Or I could change my order , so I changed it to a whole mature golden and I should be getting it in about 6 months.......I think !LOL One important rule when dealing with the repository......Patience is that rule !
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I believe blood quantums are the governments way to breed us out of existance !


They say blood is thicker than water ! Now maple syrup is thicker than blood , so are pancakes more important than family ?

There are "Elders" and there are "Olders". Being the second one doesn't make the first one true !

Somebody is out there somewhere, thinking of you and the impact you made in their life.
It's not me....I think you're an idiot !





There's a chance you might not like me ,

but there's a bigger

chance I won't care
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Old 01-07-2016, 10:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Yes , they ship them frozen.They call at the 1st part of the month to make sure you are a real person and that you'll be home on whatever date they should be there. I usually get wing sets , which is what I usually use to build bustles and wing fans. I got on a schedule getting a wing set about every 13 months. Then I decided I wanted some tail feathers and so I started just rotating my orders to get some of each adult and immature in misc. feathers. Sometimes 10 select and sometimes 20 misc. last time I had 10 select immature goldens ordered , I called after 9 months and they told me it would be another 6-7 months to get them. Or I could change my order , so I changed it to a whole mature golden and I should be getting it in about 6 months.......I think !LOL One important rule when dealing with the repository......Patience is that rule !
Yes
I agree, patience is a virtue.
Lol yeah hopefully you'll get your eagle in a few months.
I recognized that the wait for a whole tail or a whole bird is the same approximate wait time. Why not go for a whole bird then.
Thanks for the insight Wardancer.

Another question I have, and I know I'm asking a lot of qquestions, what kind of shape do the sets of 20 usually show up in? I've seen some sample pictures where they look prettyddecen , and some where they look pretty ragety.

Again, thank you for your insight. It means a lot to me.
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Old 01-07-2016, 10:56 PM   #15
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Just the luck of the draw ! They give you what they have the most of......usually mostly spikes and the tails will be so-so and won't match. I even got 2 tail feathers that the quills were broken even with the veins,but all are usually usable. Some you just have to work on first ! LOL Just remember , you get feathers and be thankful for that. Use them with respect and if you can't use them , find someone who can and give them to them !
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I believe blood quantums are the governments way to breed us out of existance !


They say blood is thicker than water ! Now maple syrup is thicker than blood , so are pancakes more important than family ?

There are "Elders" and there are "Olders". Being the second one doesn't make the first one true !

Somebody is out there somewhere, thinking of you and the impact you made in their life.
It's not me....I think you're an idiot !





There's a chance you might not like me ,

but there's a bigger

chance I won't care
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Old 01-07-2016, 11:08 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Just the luck of the draw ! They give you what they have the most of......usually mostly spikes and the tails will be so-so and won't match. I even got 2 tail feathers that the quills were broken even with the veins,but all are usually usable. Some you just have to work on first ! LOL Just remember , you get feathers and be thankful for that. Use them with respect and if you can't use them , find someone who can and give them to them !
Well put Wardancer, I couldn't of said that better myself!
Thanks again.
Yakoke!
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Old 01-08-2016, 12:14 AM   #17
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A couple comments from the resident chemist (and a former weaver). Please bear with the basic chemistry lesson:

Feathers are made of beta-keratin, a pleated protein sheet structure. Proteins are polymers of amino acids. The individual animo acids are have groups, that in an acidic environment, can bond with sulfonate, carboxylate, or phenolic groups on dye molecules.

I suspect that a lot of this work is done with professional grade acid dyes -- like Jacquard, or Cushing Perfection. These are dyes specifically for protein fibers like wool, silk and mohair. (Linen and cotton are cellulose, they need a different chemistry.) Some of these are not quite as chemically innocuous as RIT, so they need to be treated with respect. Wear your dust mask, even if it makes you look like a dweeb! They have a limited pot life once mixed. You may also need a thickener, like sodium alginate, to reduce blooming and bleeding. (This is routinely done for textile painting and printing, Jacquard Products sells thickeners for their dyes. They have nice helpful people on the phones, they might have some hints for dying feathers.) Some of these dyes need to be set with steam.

In my experience (fluffs and t flats only), the bug a boo in feather dying is the oils on the feathers. Strip them all off and the feather is dry, brittle and won't preen. Leave too much and the dye beads. You can add alcohol with some dyes to improve the wetting. But you still need to wash the feather with a mild detergent before dying. (If you strip them too much, a little pet bird preening spray on your fingers while preening the finished product can help.)

I also suspect the very best of these have had a close encounter with an airbrush. The shading is just too subtle on some of them. (Not as good as the eagle can do tho'.) It doesn't look like brush work and simple stippling to me.

Last edited by OLChemist; 01-08-2016 at 08:24 AM.. Reason: Proofreading not just a good idea
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Old 01-08-2016, 08:33 AM   #18
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Also lightly scrape the rachis. The function of this is two-fold. The rachis of turkey feathers is shinier than that eagle feathers. This also lets the color penetrate and adhere better.

Couple of other safety tips:

If you do start testing professional dyes, read the instructions and SDS (MSDS). There are some dyes out there that need to be treated with extra caution - in particular the vinyl sulfone and other fiber reactive dyes. These dyes have reactive functional groups that form covalent bonds with certain functional groups on the substrate molecules. Those same functional groups are present in your tissues -- ie eyes, lungs.

Spraying dyes. Be really careful. If in doubt ask the manufacturer. Mask and studio ventilation are a minimum. Goggles -- not safety glasses -- really honest to goodness nerd goggles with indirect ventilation. If the instructions or SDS say don't spray, don't spray even with a mask!

Also be careful with denatured alcohol if you use it. Most contains methanol. Methanol -- wood alcohol --- is poison. And you absorb alcohols through the lungs and skin. So be sure you have really good ventilation. Your average mask hardware store provides little to no protection from organic vapors like alcohols, so don't assume it will protect you.

Last edited by OLChemist; 01-10-2016 at 05:43 AM..
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:55 AM   #19
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The Creator made birds amazing synthetic chemists. Their feathers are tributes to their molecular powers! Consider their amazing colors:

We perceive color when certain wavelengths of light are absorbed and the remaining wavelength are incident on our eyes. Thus absorption of higher energy violet and indigo photons ("particles" of light) causes us to see yellow; absorption of lower energy green and yellow photons creates red.

One source of feathers color is organic pigments. These are molecules with high levels of conjugation, meaning double bonds between alternating paris of atoms. The electrons in the second bond mostly occupy areas of space above the internuclear axis. When photons of the correct energy are incident on the these bonds, one electron is moved to a different area of space, which has a different intrinsic energy. When you get lots of adjacent double bonds, the configuration and thus energies of these regions are changed by the nearby bonds. The more conjugation the lower the energy and the redder the light absorbed.

The primary classes of pigments in bird feathers are: caroteniods, melanins and porphyrins. Caroteniods are have a long back bone of alternating single and double bonds between carbon atoms. These are the compounds that color carrots and yellow squash. Birds get these from their diet. Melanins are chains of the oxidized amino acid tyrosine. These cause the dark browns and blacks. They also strengthen the feather, hence their appearance on flight surfaces. Porphyrin have a planar cyclical structure with conjugated double bonds and four nitrogen atoms which can complex metal atoms in a hole in the center of the molecule. The best known porphyrin is the heme in hemoglobin. The metal atom in the center of these species changes electronic energies and absorptions.

Another source of color in feathers is caused by the shape of the keratin sheets and chains. These structures reflect and scatter light. The shapes of the structures create interferences between the waves of light. So, some wavelengths undergo destructive interference and are lost. So the light reflected and scattered to our eyes are missing certain wavelengths creating color. The blues in bird feathers come from this. Because the effect is angle dependent, this leads to the iridescence of many feathers -- like the lovely ripple patten in anhinga feathers.

Isn't the universe just freaking awesome!
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:26 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OLChemist View Post
The Creator made birds amazing synthetic chemists. Their feathers are tributes to their molecular powers! Consider their amazing colors:

We perceive color when certain wavelengths of light are absorbed and the remaining wavelength are incident on our eyes. Thus absorption of higher energy violet and indigo photons ("particles" of light) causes us to see yellow; absorption of lower energy green and yellow photons creates red.

One source of feathers color is organic pigments. These are molecules with high levels of conjugation, meaning double bonds between alternating paris of atoms. The electrons in the second bond mostly occupy areas of space above the internuclear axis. When photons of the correct energy are incident on the these bonds, one electron is moved to a different area of space, which has a different intrinsic energy. When you get lots of adjacent double bonds, the configuration and thus energies of these regions are changed by the nearby bonds. The more conjugation the lower the energy and the redder the light absorbed.

The primary classes of pigments in bird feathers are: caroteniods, melanins and porphyrins. Caroteniods are have a long back bone of alternating single and double bonds between carbon atoms. These are the compounds that color carrots and yellow squash. Birds get these from their diet. Melanins are chains of the oxidized amino acid tyrosine. These cause the dark browns and blacks. They also strengthen the feather, hence their appearance on flight surfaces. Porphyrin have a planar cyclical structure with conjugated double bonds and four nitrogen atoms which can complex metal atoms in a hole in the center of the molecule. The best known porphyrin is the heme in hemoglobin. The metal atom in the center of these species changes electronic energies and absorptions.

Another source of color in feathers is caused by the shape of the keratin sheets and chains. These structures reflect and scatter light. The shapes of the structures create interferences between the waves of light. So, some wavelengths undergo destructive interference and are lost. So the light reflected and scattered to our eyes are missing certain wavelengths creating color. The blues in bird feathers come from this. Because the effect is angle dependent, this leads to the iridescence of many feathers -- like the lovely ripple patten in anhinga feathers.

Isn't the universe just freaking awesome!



Wow! Check out the Chemist taking us to school! LOL!
That's amazing stuff! Great to know. It explains a lot. Thanks a ton!

I take it you have experience with dying feathers?
Lol
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