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Dark horsehair bows?
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Fiddlerman
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January 19, 2013 - 8:08 am
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Well that is all good and well for horses. Seems that the fact that they are safe for the horses skin is important but I would want to find something that is kind of permanent.
My guess is that permanent hair dye could work but I don't know how colorful it would be.
Maybe I'll try the "Fiebings Green leather dye" and some kind of hair dye.
We'll see when I find time. LOL

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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ADK-Mark
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January 19, 2013 - 2:12 pm
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I had to do this in between Etudes today.  I'm sorry in advance for the graphic images.  This is Fiebings green (turns out a little blue-green) on pre-cleaned horsehair.  I knew the hair was clean when it made no sound on the strings after drying.  Applied with a toothbrush, Rubbed out with cotton.  

It rosins very nicely and has a smooth feel.  The dye was absorbed by the hair like a sponge and hence it's slightly uneven in parts.

 

Mt. Fiddler (a.k.a - Green ThumbFiddler)serenade

 

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DanielB
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January 19, 2013 - 7:37 pm
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The dye job came out looking pretty good!  I wonder if it will affect the sound noticeably.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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Fiddlestix
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January 20, 2013 - 3:38 am
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Look's pretty good, Mt., and you're right about the buleish cast, but it still look's good.Thank's for that, it's  something to think about now. 

@ Daniel, I wouldn't think the color would affect the sound at all. The hair is still white with blue/green tint, the hair is still the same, I would think the hair structure hasn't changed at all, would you ?

 

 

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DanielB
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January 20, 2013 - 4:04 am
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Fiebings isn't a hair dye, most hair dyes are water soluble and any excess gets rinsed out.  But Fiebings, at least so far as I am familiar with it is a leather dye and I think it has a solvent in the base.  It may contain a bit of lac or maybe oils to help keep the leather nice.

All that said, I actually doubt it will make much difference in the hair once the rosin gets on there coating it.  It will probably play fine, but the feel may be slightly different if there's a bit more to Fiebings than just the color.   

 

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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ozmous
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Lol, i wonder if i can get one from a unicorn.....that should be very colourful!

cheers! - ⁰ℨ

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Fiddlestix
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January 20, 2013 - 5:16 am
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An article I just read about dying horse hair, the luthier said he often get's request's for different colored bow hair. In the article he say's he use's a "non bleach" type dye. He say's he use's his regular white Mongolian hair. He say's there is no difference in longevity of the hair, but that the hair does become a bit more course. The sound produced is affected more by the type of rosin used, different rosin's produce different sound's, he said.

Horse hair is much the same as human hair, as it is used for making 'hair extension's and fall's' for women's hair, then dyed to suit the color's.

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Fiddlerman
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January 20, 2013 - 2:52 pm
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I wonder what type of non bleach type dye he uses??????

Mt. Fiddler (a.k.a - Green ThumbFiddler) - Have you rosined the bow and tested it? I'm also wondering how much of that dye bleeds off onto other things. I noticed that you have quite a bit on your fingers. Was that from when you dyed it or from afterwards, touching it?

Looks great and now you're ready for St Patriks Day too. :-)

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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ADK-Mark
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January 20, 2013 - 9:18 pm
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Hello, thanks for the interest in this, it's some small way I can give back to the site, so thanks for asking..

 

The dye on my fingers came from the plastic container of dye... someone (probably me) spilled some on the last project, and got on the jar and wasn't wiped off, so there it got on my fingers.  Plus applying it a drip or drop happens in the sink and you'll be cleaning it with alcohol pads or face a mad wife...  So it's messy stuff unless you have a space set aside with newspapers, etc.

I also combed the bow with a clean toothbrush (the same one used in application, but cleaned with alcohol).  Brushed it out a few times and dried the bow hair using the light/fan/heater in the bathroom ceiling.  Probably should have let it dry 24 hours or something if I was doing it for someone else.  Today I rubbed it all over a white paper towel and there isn't any green on the paper towel.

Applied the rosin as usual and nothing unexpected happened except on the chipped side of the rosin cake where it hit the metal keeper, chip was predicted by FM on the "How to Rosin your bow" video.  Some very slight green spots on that chipped section, but only when the bow hadn't dried fully overnight.

 

No green anywhere in the house and my fingers are back to the normal color, I washed them with alcohol pads and etc.

 

I think that the color is rather permanent.  The rosin powder if I bump the bow, comes off white (I have light colored rosin).  The bow performs as good as it did before, but may a bit smoother since I had cleaned off the previous caked rosin where it had glumped from poor application techniques.

 

Other than that, my 5 year old likes it better than the old color, and my 11 year old thinks she might like to play the violin if I make her a pink one.  My fifteen year old thinks it's "cool" (that's saying a lot!!)  It's not true green because of the slight color of the hair before staining.  If I bleached the hair white beforehand it might have come out different, but am unsure what household bleach will do to the properties of the hair.

I would be happy to send you the half bottle of the dye (my wife will also thank you for accepting it so she can get it out of the house), though it could be messy and I warn the use of rubber gloves when handling the bottle.  I had a green thumb and forefinger right after application and used the rest room, now I have green "certain other places" too.  But after 20 years of marriage the wife was more concerned about the green bathroom sink.

Well that's all I can think of... yes the green color is there to stay but is affected by the light powder from the rosin, so it's got a fading in/out look as far as the whole length of the bow goes.  Time will tell if the color wears out after a while with vigorus bowing, but I don't think so because he strings are actually sliding/sticking on the rosin which serves a buffer for the actual hair. [?]

Off to more practice with Ash Grove, and of course now Angelina the Baker.  When do I get tostart with classical peices?, how about after I master the basic skills to play these two with some basic beginner competence.  As for that, I'll leave it up to you guys after you see my properly practiced attempts!

Mr. Fidder. (ps. no work tomorrow for us... more time for violin!cool

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Fiddlerman
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January 21, 2013 - 6:45 am
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Thanks for the very descriptive and informative review. I think I'll pass on the dye now that you have done the experiment for us. That is basically what I wanted to do. I might do the same experiment with some hair coloring later. So this Fiebings Green Dye is a leather dye to be correct right?

Thanks again.hats_off

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Fiddlestix
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January 21, 2013 - 7:01 am
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Maybe the fact that it's a leather dye, it can penetrate better than just a regular hair dye. Perhap's KevinM has some input on this subject seeing as he has horse's and is also very knowledgeable on thing's of this nature.

I guess it's off the buy some hair dye today and test it on the hair I cut off my old bow's when I rehair them.

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ADK-Mark
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January 21, 2013 - 7:34 am
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Yes, it is leather dye.  For shoes, saddles, etc.  It's sometimes sold in hobby shops, I got mine online since the nearest major shopping centers are about an hour away.  That's not too good but also brings a certain peace and serenity to the community!  

Check us out at http://www.saranaclake.com!!

@Fiddlestix, I do beleive that the density of the pigment/matrix is very high so it is a very very dense coloring agent.  

 

 

 

Mt. Fiddlercheers

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Fiddlerman
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January 21, 2013 - 7:49 am
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Great plan. :-)

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Irv
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Hi all.  I recently purchase 2 chinese carbon fiber violin bows with black hair.  The hair seems to be of a higher quality than I normally use, and there is more of it.  I used D-Addario Kaplan Artcraft (black) rosin on them.  They quickly took the rosin and in a minute or two I was ready to play each one (it generally takes me about 10 minutes to initially rosin a bow).

The playing surface of the black hair became completely white from the rosin, which makes sense but was something that I did not anticipate.  The bows are very easy to play and I don't experience any bow bounce with them, but I don't know if this is due to the bow or due to the hair.  

It is very easy to tell the quantity of remaining rosin on the bow due to color change, which may be important to the beginning student.  

I don't think that the violin is any louder when bowed with black hair, and I don't feel any more bowing resistance.  

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.  —Werner von Braun

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

Experience is a difficult teacher, it gives the test first and the lesson after.

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