Do you have any tips for dyeing fur?

Pink Fox Fur Jacket
Name: Georgia

Message: Hi! I recently received a hot pink rabbit fur coat as a present, and it makes me look like a strawberry marshmallow.  Do you have any tips for dyeing fur?  I've looked all over online....but no one knows anything about it.  I'd like to dye it black or a more wearable shade, but I don't have the money to send it to a furrier or anything.  Any advice would be GREAT!

This is not going to be an easy beginner's project, I'm afraid. Dyeing fur is made difficult by the water- and heat-sensitivity of the skin to which the fur is attached. If you dye the fur like any other animal fiber, such as wool, by simmering it in a nearly-boiling dyebath, you will end up with hard, shrunken ruined leather behind the fur.
Natural Black Hair Dye - Black Henna (Indigoferae, Flium and Lawsonia Inermis)
Perhaps the most novice-friendly approach would be to try treating the fur like hair, using a dye commercially sold for use in dyeing hair. This would require many boxes of hair dye, I suppose, and results might be patchy in color. You will probably need to apply a leather conditioner to the skin on the inside of the fur to soften it after the exposure to water.
Jacquard Procion Dye Jet Black

To use textile dyes, instead, you could try PRO Chemical & Dye's instructions for dyeing leather with Procion MX type dyes. Procion MX dye is an excellent fiber reactive dye for cotton, rayon, and silk, but can also be used on other fibers, given the right recipe. The leather base of the fur seems more vulnerable to damage than the fur itself, so it makes sense to try leather dyeing instructions. One key detail of this recipe is that the maximum temperature recommended is 120°F (49°C), so you won't be getting hard stiff boiled leather. (Do not try to follow this recipe using all-purpose dyes, such as Rit® dye!)

Orco, the Organic Dyestuffs Corporation, sells a complete line of dyes for use in coloring fur. There are dyes which will color fur while leaving the leather backing unchanged, and dyes that will color leather without dyeing fur, as well as dyes which will color both. They have a customer support line, but the question is how small-scale the support they offer is. Most large dye companies are not set up to interact with customers who want only ounces, not many kilograms, of dye.

Be sure to choose a color which is much darker than your pink jacket. Black or dark brown should work well, or even purple. Since dye is transparent, you will not be able to dye your fur to make it a lighter color, only darker.

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Jacquard Procion MX Fiber Reactive Dye 2/3 oz. jar jet black

Jacquard Procion MX Fiber Reactive Dye 2/3 oz. jar jet black

Permanent, colorfast, and very washable. You can easily create a palette of brilliant colors ranging from light pastels to deep, vibrant hues. Perfect for all natural fibers--cotton, rayon, linen, silk, wool, paper, reeds, and wood. These will not dye synthetics. Use for tie-dye, vat dyeing, batik, airbrush, hand painting, printing, spatter-painting, and more. This concentrated dye, which you add to tap water, gives you brilliant color. 2/3 oz. jars.Generally, use 1 tbsp. of dye per 1 pound of fabric (three to six square yards or three T-shirts).

Posted: Monday - December 03, 2007 at 10:16 AM          

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