View Full Version : How can I dye feathers black?

09-03-2012, 10:32 AM
I've ordered 1000 black rooster feathers from Ebay ( China) for a costume and it's not going to be enough for the costume I am working on.
If I could turn Dollar Store turkey feathers black, they would work ( cheap ). So far I've tried boiling in fabric dye ( grey) and "spray on"
black fabric spray..now I have dark grey. I want Crow Black...any tips ??
I've never worked with dyes before.

09-03-2012, 11:04 AM
First thing that comes to my mind is Rit Dye. Should find it in the washing powder section of walmart. Little boxes, different colors, orange, purple, black etc. I've dyed TONS of things from skateboard wheels, r/c car wheels to hats, burlap etc.


09-03-2012, 11:52 AM
I tried that first and they came our light grey. I really want a rich black color. It took over a month for the rooster feathers to be mailed from China. Local suppliers are expensive and only have a few on hand. I was sure 1000 would be plenty, but when sewn together, they don't go far.

Allen H
09-03-2012, 12:38 PM
Wear rubber or nitrile gloves to avoid skin contact with the dye mixture. Wear goggles to avoid any of the mixture getting into your eyes which could cause eye injury. Boil a small amount of water for the dye mixture.
Dissolve 1 tsp. of PRO Wash Fast Acid Dye in the color of your choice into 1 or 2 tsp. of the boiling water. (Acid dye works best)
Add more hot water after the acid dye is dissolved. You'll need to add enough to make cup of dye. Allow the mixture to cool at room temperature.
Add cup of rubbing alcohol or denatured alcohol. The higher the percentage the better. Mix with a metal spoon.
Dip a light-colored or white feather into the mixture. Let the feather sit in the mixture as long as it takes to get to the desired color.
Set the feathers on wax paper and let them air dry.
They will be flat black. You will not have the natural irridesence that feathers have but they will be black. The feather you bought might have a sealer on them, dip them in alcohol before you start to remove it. I dyed feathers this way for my Witch doctor costume.
Allen H

09-03-2012, 12:40 PM
Dr. Allen to the rescue! Yeah I meant to say that about the time. I usually had to let my stuff set in the water / dye for an hour or more.

Thanks Allen, more great info from one of the greats. :P


09-03-2012, 01:50 PM
Thank you so much!!!

Allen H
09-03-2012, 03:11 PM
P.S.- if he above method does no work then your feathers are synthetic. if that is the case buy black India ink and dip them in that.

Greg Chrise
09-03-2012, 08:36 PM
I know the India black ink will work, an unforgetable possibly scaring incident as a child taught me that.

09-04-2012, 04:17 AM
That's good information. I bought a lovely antique fountain pen and ink stand at a country antique shop on the weekend. I was planning to use it to have an old servant at a desk gather demographic information and emails in character. I was shopping for India Ink today!! I will try that tonight!