Dyeing Quills

I got tired of waiting for the quills to take up the quebracho yellow/wattle dye, read I don't believe it will. Soooooooooooo I put up 4 ounces of ground walnut hulls into about 3 gallons of water warmed it somewhat and threw the quills in.

Bingo! Instant color, I'm hoping they will be a deep chocolate brown in the morning, or at least one side of the quills will be anyway. I didn't add a mordant as walnut is very high in natural tannins.

I have some quills in a cochineal bath and am hoping they will come out carnation pink, just like the silk cocoons. They are taking color up already so there's hope anyway. They won't be as dark as the cocoons, unfortunately. Quills seem to take up dye at a different rate, often requiring more dyestuffs than silk or wool.

I'm still splitting quills, so my temps must still be too high, I need to work on this.

No I haven't decided what to do with the quills yet, and no I don't want to sell them.

They - the quills - haven't told me what they want to be yet. So I keep dyeing and sorting them. Those little fishing tackle boxes from the local big box store work well for this. I have several that have 6 long verticle slots in them, perfect for 6 sizes of quills.

That's right I don't sort them before I dye them, it's luck of the draw! This also ensures that I have lots of colors in all sizes for a multitude of projects.

Quite frankly what I find annoying is the run all of a sudden on "Native American" craft supplies. Most folks have no idea (and sometimes they don't care) what the items they are using mean or that their misuse is an afront to others.