Bleach dying squirrel tails

Irn Bru

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Hello, Has anyone tried to bleach dye grey squirrel tails lately? I did read a post about using nice n easy to bleach them safely but I don’t know how long to leave them in or if Veniards dye is ok to use? I’m completely new to dying but really fancied trying for a hot orange tail and a nice yellow but solid colours. Any instructions would be great, I see I maybe need vinegar to set colour also?
 

westie4566

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I've not tried bleaching yet so will await responses to that part of the question too.

I started dying my own stuff last autumn and find it rather addictive!

Veniards has been fine for me so far and yes, a tablespoon of vinegar in the pot is required. It really is a quick and simple operation.
 

Clydebuilt

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Be interested in hearing about bleaching ideas too, like Westie, I've started dying roe deer and feathers but not bleached anything yet.
Veniard powder dye has been fine for me too so far.
 

Irn Bru

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Thank you both for replying. I will have a bash and take note of what I’m doing and if it works out I will share my findings. I will give them a good wash first that always seems to be mentioned. 👍
 

gwelsher

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Do not expect to get perfect results straight away as bleaching Squirrel can be a bugger. But when you get it right it is a beautiful and much underused hair. Probably because it is more difficult to tie in than Fox, Runner etc.

Use one of the hair lighteners as you said. Don't use bleach as you will more than likely destroy the hair.
Wash the tails thoroughly in warm soapy water and rinse clean.
Mix up the hair stuff and put it in a zip top poly bag.
Put the tails in and close the top.
Give it a good squidge around to really get the solution into the roots of the hairs.
Put the bag in a warm place.
Check every day to see how it is coming on and give it a good squidge.
When they are as light as you want, it might take several days, wash them thoroughly.
Put enough water in the dye pot to cover the materials
Bring the water to the boil and add at least twice the recommended amount of dye and a very good dollop of strong 10% white vinegar (Oxalic or Citric acid is better)
Stir well to dissolve the dye
Turn off the heat and let the bath cool to 70°
Add the materials and keep stirring them gently
Heat gently if required
Keep checking the colour (it looks darker wet)
If needs be leave the materials soaking overnight
When you have the correct colour remove the materials and wash thoroughly
Shake off excess water and allow to dry gently

That is a rough guide to the process. It can take a bit of practice to get things right.
There are various dyes and all have their good and bad points. Jaquard, Veniards and Silver Creek (on Ebay) to name a few.

KGM wrote a post about it some time ago.
 

Grassy_Knollington

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I bleached a Ringneck Pheasant patch using peroxide hair dye kit. It went a light brownie-greyish as opposed to white, but that was good enough for my purposes and it took the Banana Colour well. It was easy to do, although I’d expect Squirrel to be more resistant to the bleaching process for some reason.
 

westie4566

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Do not expect to get perfect results straight away as bleaching Squirrel can be a bugger. But when you get it right it is a beautiful and much underused hair. Probably because it is more difficult to tie in than Fox, Runner etc.

Use one of the hair lighteners as you said. Don't use bleach as you will more than likely destroy the hair.
Wash the tails thoroughly in warm soapy water and rinse clean.
Mix up the hair stuff and put it in a zip top poly bag.
Put the tails in and close the top.
Give it a good squidge around to really get the solution into the roots of the hairs.
Put the bag in a warm place.
Check every day to see how it is coming on and give it a good squidge.
When they are as light as you want, it might take several days, wash them thoroughly.
Put enough water in the dye pot to cover the materials
Bring the water to the boil and add at least twice the recommended amount of dye and a very good dollop of strong 10% white vinegar (Oxalic or Citric acid is better)
Stir well to dissolve the dye
Turn off the heat and let the bath cool to 70°
Add the materials and keep stirring them gently
Heat gently if required
Keep checking the colour (it looks darker wet)
If needs be leave the materials soaking overnight
When you have the correct colour remove the materials and wash thoroughly
Shake off excess water and allow to dry gently

That is a rough guide to the process. It can take a bit of practice to get things right.
There are various dyes and all have their good and bad points. Jaquard, Veniards and Silver Creek (on Ebay) to name a few.

KGM wrote a post about it some time ago.
Thanks Gary. I recently bought a load of squirrel tails for next to bog all. Will be giving this a go.

I don't mind tying with squirrel, A dab of superglue on the first few turns of thread tying it in does the trick for me.
 

Irn Bru

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Thank you all.
Great detail from gwelsher 👍 I did see KGM post and had messaged him.
 

DrPatrickT

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I’d be interested in seeing the results of getting squirrel bleached then redyed. I’m also wondering if it’ll soften the hair at all? Anyway, if keep us informed Irn Bru/Westie that would be great. I now try and dye as much as I can as I get the colour I want. Pheasant rump, bleached and dyed would be awesome!
 

midgydug

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I have died loads of squirrel tails.
They will take any dye and you will get the barred effect.
If you are wanting to dye solid colours you have to "bleach" them. Nothing to do with bleach though.
You will have to get a peroxide solution and powder, if you know a hairdresser they will keep you right.
Mix the liquid and powder together to form a paste, then apply it to squirrel tail.
use disposable gloves and work it through the hair to the roots, leave it on newspaper and it will go a
very light gingery fawny brown, like the colour of a golden retriever, it will never go white.
Do not leave it too long or the hair will go frizzy. Check every 10 minutes.
rinse out thoroughly with cold water then it will take any dye
 
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Irn Bru

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Hello All,
I know I have been speaking with gwelsher on the facebook group but thought I best post my results on here for the folk that don’t have Facebook. Very mixed results as I was expecting being my first shot at this. The bleaching I used blonde ash nice n easy and was very thorough with getting the dye into them and left them for 24hrs. Some took great and others not so much so. I then boiled 2 litres of water added 3 tsp of Veniards bright yellow dye and 4 level tbsp of citric acid. Dropped heat to 70c added materials and kept stirring gently brought heat back to 70c took off heat and kept stirring for about half an hour. Washed and conditioner again. Two of them are ruined and none are yellow enough but might try again with less heat. Anyway I think they have a bit of a mind of their own with the bleaching and dying these are all from the same pot. It’s all a learning curve, I will keep trying. Thank you all for your help 👍 will try and pictures
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DrPatrickT

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Hello All,
I know I have been speaking with gwelsher on the facebook group but thought I best post my results on here for the folk that don’t have Facebook. Very mixed results as I was expecting being my first shot at this. The bleaching I used blonde ash nice n easy and was very thorough with getting the dye into them and left them for 24hrs. Some took great and others not so much so. I then boiled 2 litres of water added 3 tsp of Veniards bright yellow dye and 4 level tbsp of citric acid. Dropped heat to 70c added materials and kept stirring gently brought heat back to 70c took off heat and kept stirring for about half an hour. Washed and conditioner again. Two of them are ruined and none are yellow enough but might try again with less heat. Anyway I think they have a bit of a mind of their own with the bleaching and dying these are all from the same pot. It’s all a learning curve, I will keep trying. Thank you all for your help 👍 will try and pictures View attachment 59761View attachment 59762View attachment 59762
Thanks for posting Irn Bru - to be honest based on what colour you got them bleached to - it’s not a bad outcome in terms of colour uptake. I’m wondering if the ones on the right ( the ones with the least background colour - and assume the ones you think are ruined ) would come good with hair straighteners or a steam iron 🤔🤔🤔🤔 I’ve brutalised some bucktail before and thought it was knackered but came good with the hair straighteners?? You’ve got nothing to lose by giving that a shot...

Cheers for posting. lol - I can imagine the looks if I went into Boots and bought some nice and easy ‘ ash blonde’ and a couple of bottles of Sally HAN. Probably be given a medal in our ‘new’ society 😂
 

Irn Bru

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Thanks for posting Irn Bru - to be honest based on what colour you got them bleached to - it’s not a bad outcome in terms of colour uptake. I’m wondering if the ones on the right ( the ones with the least background colour - and assume the ones you think are ruined ) would come good with hair straighteners or a steam iron 🤔🤔🤔🤔 I’ve brutalised some bucktail before and thought it was knackered but came good with the hair straighteners?? You’ve got nothing to lose by giving that a shot...

Cheers for posting. lol - I can imagine the looks if I went into Boots and bought some nice and easy ‘ ash blonde’ and a couple of bottles of Sally HAN. Probably be given a medal in our ‘new’ society 😂
Thank you, tried the straighteners but no joy 😁. I am sure this is sunburst in the Veniard pot it looks like it even in a separate pot.
no one would say anything in Boots nowadays 😂😂😂
 

midgydug

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I think the ones on the right have been left in your "bleaching " process too long.
I would leave them a max of 1 hour.
Tails have all different properties although off the same species, thats why you have to check
them frequently . 24 hours is far too long to be left with the solution , it probably won't change colour any further
than after the first half an hour
I have frizzed plenty squirrel tails and to be honest they are as well going in the bin.
As soon as they go the light fawny colour as you have achieved, get them under the tap .
During your dying process don't let the water boil when you add the tails, just simmer.
When you are happy with colour then add your acid, i.e white vinegar.
 
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