FLY TYING HAIR AND FUR CARE
CARE AND STORAGE OF ANIMAL HAIR AND FUR

FLY TYING INSTRUCTION
http://www.flytyinginstruction.com
Fly tying equipment and materials
reference guide. Learn how to tie
flies for fishing and display.

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CLEANING HAIR AND FUR
Clean hair is more manageable. Tasks like using a hair stacker to line up the tips will benefit from removing the dirt and excess oil that could cause the hair to stick together. We have had hair that refused to stack properly, but after being cleaned the hair tips all lined up with only a couple light taps of the hair stacker. Cleaning fly tying hair and furs can also improve the luster. Compare it to washing your own hair or how much better a dog looks after a bath. 

When cleaning fly tying hair and fur, soak in warm water and Woolite or a mild dish washing liquid solution for at least half a hour. Agitate every so often during the process. Thoroughly rinse the hair or fur with clean water. A final rinse using hair conditioner can help to rejuvenate the hair and add softness and luster. With a towel or paper towel, gently pat dry the hair to remove excess water. Comb or brush the hair with the natural flow. When air drying hides or skins you want to prevent them from shrinking or curling. You will need to use a method that allows air to circulate around and dry both sides of the hide or skins equally, such as tacking them to a frame. Air dry a couple days depending on the weather and how much humidity in the air. After making sure the hide and hair are completely dry in order to prevent mold, comb them again and place in a sealed plastic bag for storage.

PHOTO HERE
Frame with clips  to securely hold the hide
in a stretched position that allows the air to
freely circulate completely around the hide
and prevent the edges from developing curls
during the process of drying.

Some hair and furs can be dried using a hair dryer such as squirrel tails, rabbit or mink, but can still require a couple days for the hides to completely dry.

STEAMING HAIR AND FURS
Just like feathers, steaming hair and fur can rejuvenate them and give them a more pristine appearance. Hair that has been ruffled can be manipulated to flow the same direction. The first time you try steaming hair or fur consider it an experiment. Hold the hair or fur in the steam a couple seconds at a time and check the results. Comb the hair in the natural direction it lays on the hide. Caution always needs to be used not to burn the hair or your hand.

DEGREASE HAIR AND FUR
We have read articles that recommend a water and ammonia solution to help degrease hair and fur, but personally avoid harsh chemicals. If you are interested a quick internet search should produce more information. Most of the time washing the hair or fur as described above will remove the excess grease and oils. Hair and furs need some oil to prevent brittleness.

STORAGE OF FLY TYING HAIR AND FUR
The methods used to store hair and feathers are basically the same with feathers. K
eep the different hair and fur in separate sealed plastic bags. They can then be stored in containers, such as Tupperware with tight sealing lids. You could store hair and feathers in glass jars, but they are bulky and could be broken.

BUGS, INSECTS AND PESTS
Commercially available animal hair or fur bought in a fly tying shop should be clean and pest free. If the hair or fur is acquired from a hunter then precautions need to be taken to avoid insects or critters that could infest your other fly tying supplies.

Most people will never have any serious problems with insects, but should it happen, could be an expensive disaster, especially if you have a large inventory of different fly tying hair and fur. Some simple precautions and proper storage can prevent most infestations. As mentioned above, keep the different hair and fur in separate sealed plastic bags. They can then be stored in containers, such as Tupperware with tight sealing lids.

If you see signs of any insect or other pests, then a quick response is required to prevent additional damage. Dispose of any visibly infected hair or furs and then take such measures as required to prevent the spread of insects and kill any eggs that are unhatched.

If your fly tying feathers and furs have been infested, it should be assumed the whole room or even the house could be infected and a close inspection is required to determine the extent and origin of the infestation.

Carpet Beetle
INSECT AND PEST CONTROL
This page might refer to
fly tying feathers, but the ideas and techniques would be the same when dealing with hair and fur.

FLY TYING HAIR AND FUR
Description and uses of the most common hair and fur used when fly tying, including some more rare and exotic materials. Most animal hair and fur could be used when fly tying. Some considerations include factors such as whether the hair is best suited for dry or wet flies, ect...

ANTELOPE HAIR
ARCTIC FOX
BEAR HAIR
BEAVER FUR
BUCKTAILS
BUFFALO HAIR
CALF BODY HAIR
CARIBOU HAIR
COYOTE
DEER HAIR
ELK HAIR
FOX FUR
GOAT HAIR
HORSE HAIR
LLAMA
MINK FUR
MOOSE HAIR AND MANE
MUSKRAT FUR
OTTER FUR
POLAR BEAR
PORCUPINE
RABBIT FUR
RACCOON TAIL
SKUNK
SQUIRREL TAIL
WOODCHUCK

FLY TYING INSTRUCTION
http://www.flytyinginstruction.com
Fly tying equipment and materials
reference guide. Learn how to tie
flies for fishing and display.

FLY TYING HAIR AND FUR CARE

CARE AND STORAGE OF ANIMAL HAIR AND FUR