March 10, 2009

dubbing party

Needing to mix up a batch of dubbing for an order, I busted out the mini-grinder, grabbed some pelts, yarn and Angelina, and let the fur fly. Hare was the fur du jour, save for a special batch of dubbing for the roughfisher. Making your own custom dubbing blends is easy; you just need to experiment a little.

Using closely guarded formularies (i.e. my eyeball), I set to processing and batching up different colors and blends. The first, was a caddis nymph blend made from sparkle yarn and Angelina. The color resembles ectoplasm. I hope carp aren't afraid of ghosts.

ectoplasm green
ectoplasm green, closeup
I basically tried to keep the pieces of yarn to about an inch in length before dispatching them to the chopper. It makes it easier for the fibers to blend and avoids binding up on the blade.

The next several blends were for making the bodies on my swimming nymphs. I started with latch hook yarn for the filler, mixing with fur trimmed from a hare pelt. I adjusted the ratio of underfur and guard hairs according to my desired bugginess of the blend, making sure to maintain enough binder in my mix to hold it all together. Once I had both fibers blended together, I added Angelina for some flash. I mixed until well blended and packaged the dubbing into mini zip pouches. I repeated the process for several different color combinations.

dubbing array
Don't be afraid to mix in different colors of yarn and fur to achieve a desired color. Like singlebarbed teaches, a dubbing blend is likely not one single color of fibers, but rather a collective group of complimenting colors, composing the desired effect.

The final blend of the evening involved a cocktail of angelina and cat fur. Scavenged from the last days of my old cat's life, I grabbed as much fur from her brush as I could. The shorthair brown tabby had some incredible guard hairs, and the underfur provided for some impressive filler and binder. It blends beautifully.

Belle's mix
Belle's mix, closeup
This stuff is going into my secret stash.

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  1. Great article. I never even thought of making my own dubbing, but that made it sound pretty appealing.

  2. I dig that gray. I just put up a comment on Wendy's blog regarding color. I've had better luck over the last couple of years with orange/brown colorations. Everything in the shop is too bright, or too dull, so this mixing/matching could be the way to go.

  3. Yeah, I want some of the gray too. pretty stuff right there

  4. That's a mighty nice looking selection of colors.

    Here JPL's cat ain't even cold yet and everyone wants the grey? That's special sentimental dubbing ...

    OK, I'll take a fistful too.