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Quillworking Tips

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  • Quillworking Tips

    I was wondering if anyone had any quillworking tips. I am knew to quillworking. I need all the tips on techniques and dying.... Thanx
    If you lose the drum beat of the creator, you are lost in life - Aanishnabe

    You say I don't look indian? Well you don't look stupid, but looks can be deceiving!

  • #2

    As far as dyeing I just use 'Rit dye', it does a good job. One thing to keep in mind though is that the quills are hollow and float. So I have a certain pan I use for dyeing them and I have a screen that fits to the edge so it holds all the quill down in the dye. This way all the quills get an even amount of dye.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that you have to sort your quill for thickness and length, but mostly for thickness. The type of work you are doing will define what size you need.

    If you have more specifics on what kind of quillwork you are doing I could probably help out more, but hope this helps somewhat.

    "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." Pablo Picasso

    "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift...that is why is it called the Present." Master Oogway - KungFu Panda

    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.


    • #3
      Check out
      They have step by step instructions with color photos of how to do quillwork.
      They also have lots of other neat things.


      • #4
        The correct site address is


        • #5
          Yes, try not to hiccup with a mouth full of quills


          • #6
            One more thing Kelli, the best dying pot is a square metal enamal baking pan, approx 12"x 12. The kind you would bake a cake or brownies in.
            One thing at a time...


            • #7
              N8tivechick, first you need to wash your quills throughly especially if you plan on softening them in your mouth (which I don't recomment, a saucer of water works just fine). I have read some where that porcupine's can carry rabies.

              Wash quills in hot water not boiling them, with either laundry or dish soap with some bleach, then rinse.

              When dying quills do not boil them in your dye bath it will damage the quills. I have heard some people put vinigar or sugar in the dye to help the color take. Rinse throughly, if you don't you'll end up with dye on your hands and your work. The dye on your hands will slightly stain any white quills you work with.

              Be careful when/if you clip the pointy quill ends off. I have had those points stuck in my feet through socks and it's not fun.
              Finally research your intended quill item. Find out the proper technique to use weather it be wrapped or embroidered work. Do you want a traditional or contemporary piece, and how large will the final project be. You probably don't want to end up with a quill wrapped armband that is 5" wide instead of 2".
              One thing at a time...


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