Making dubbing 101 a step-by-step by Doug Korn.

Making dubbing from yarn is easy using a coffee grinder.  Buy one just for making dubbing, they are cheap, about $15.  Experiment with different yarns yourself to find the right color, texture and float-ability desired for your fly tying needs.

Today's goal is to make an orange sulphur dubbing for dry flies.

Materials needed.  All you really need is a coffee grinder and some yarn...

I use a 12 inch board to measure my "parts".  

I cut one part of orange yarn and ten parts yellow. 

Then, cut the 11 pieces of yarn in 3/4 inch lengths or "bundles".

Keep the 3/4 inch bundles nicely lined up so that they can be added to the coffee grinder in the proper 1 to 10 ratio.  You will end up with about 15-16 bundles.

Add 3-4 bundles at one time to the grinder.  Turn it on and run it for about 20 seconds.  Grinding times will vary depending on your wool and the volume of yarn in the grinder. 

You should end up with dubbing that looks something like this, with color blending and texture consistent throughout the batch.  Safety Note: always unplug your grinder before putting your hands in it. Repeat the steps above with the remainder of your bundles.

You should end up with some nice orange sulphur dubbing.  Here is the orange sulphur compared to my standard sulphur dubbing.

If you get this - you haven't blended enough.  There is too much material in the grinder.  Remove some and grind some more.  Trial and error is necessary until you get a feel for how much material is too much.  Take notes on your dubbing blends so that you can repeat your recipes when needed.

As you can see here this batch needs a little more blending to be consistent throughout the blend.
Be careful though, too much grinding creates heat and the heat will melt and clump the yarn/dubbing.

I ended up making two batches of orange sulphur dubbing.  Above is the darker of the two.  This was 2 parts orange to 10 parts yellow.

The finished dubbing...  On the left 1 part orange to 10 parts yellow and on the right 2 parts orange to 10 parts yellow.


  1. Great info. I may invest on the grinder soon.

  2. Very good Satoshi, give it a go.... I make and use almost 99% of the dubbing I use these days.

  3. Do you sell your dubbing? I bought Walter Wiese's Book Yellowstone County Flies and he mentioned your dubbing that was numbered. If you sell dubbing can I get a list of colors?

    Gary Hartung

  4. Thanks for photos and info, been wanting to find a source.


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