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Old 01-07-2009, 03:22 PM   #1
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Question Dying Porcupine Quills

Anyone have any tips and/or suggestions? I've heard using "RIT dye" is great.

What about food coloring?? anyone try or do this before?? I'd imagine u could get some pretty cool colors this way...

i'm anxious to get started (since i learned how 2 do quillwork recently)


THanks in advance :D
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:59 AM   #2
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This isn't my specialty but...I always listen to others around me...I heard from a lady that she dyes them with the "party crepe streamers" that you use to decorate with..she says the colors come out vivid. I myself have never tried it but its just another way.
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:16 AM   #3
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This isn't my specialty but...I always listen to others around me...I heard from a lady that she dyes them with the "party crepe streamers" that you use to decorate with..she says the colors come out vivid. I myself have never tried it but its just another way.
Does the dye come off in your mouth when you are softening the quills?
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Old 06-29-2010, 11:36 AM   #4
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Does the dye come off in your mouth when you are softening the quills?
Considering that unless you have killed and processed the porky yourself, you have no clue if or how long the any meat or blood on the quills was culturing bacteria, I'd refrain from putting quills in my mouth. Also, depending on the dye, any residue may be toxic. (Don't assume natural dyes are safer than Rit, Procion, etc. Many natural dyes contain toxic compounds.) Then there is that whole pointy end thing. Personally, I'm neither as tough or as brave as the old-time quillworkers. I soften them in a bowl of warm water.

Depending on how well rinsed and mordanted the quills were, varying amounts of dye come off. Many commercially available pre-dyed quills have a fairly heavy crust of unbound dye coating the outer sheath.
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Old 06-29-2010, 11:53 AM   #5
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Considering that unless you have killed and processed the porky yourself, you have no clue if or how long the any meat or blood on the quills was culturing bacteria, I'd refrain from putting quills in my mouth. Also, depending on the dye, any residue may be toxic. (Don't assume natural dyes are safer than Rit, Procion, etc. Many natural dyes contain toxic compounds.) Then there is that whole pointy end thing. Personally, I'm neither as tough or as brave as the old-time quillworkers. I soften them in a bowl of warm water.

Depending on how well rinsed and mordanted the quills were, varying amounts of dye come off. Many commercially available pre-dyed quills have a fairly heavy crust of unbound dye coating the outer sheath.
Thanks! I'm totally clueless about quilling but it's something I've wanted to learn for a long time and searching for info. I'll take your advice and use a bowl of water.
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Old 07-07-2010, 05:28 PM   #6
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I usually boil mine in the Rit dye...hopefully killing off anything that might make me sick.

It's good to know about the toxicity of the dyes though, cuz I'm always putting them in my mouth, not to soften, but to hold for a second while I'm adjusting everything...and NOT the pointy end.

Actually the next time I quill, I'm going to snip off all the barbed ends so they don't end up in my carpet or in my skin.
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