1. Rinse salt brine off the gut. This is best done with lukewarm or room temperature water. It softens the gut allowing it to expand slightly. This also removes some of the odor.
2. Put about 1 cup of cold water to about 5 drops of food dye in a pot and put it on low heat.
3. BEFORE THE PAN HEATS UP, place the guts in the water in the pot. At this point, you have to be quick, the water in the pan still needs to be cold! This will allow the gut to begin to soften and begin to absorb the color.
4. Keep stirring constantly, the gut cannot get HOT, it can be warm but not hot. When it is almost to the desired color you wish take the gut from the water. At this point again, the water can not be hot. Under no circumstances should it be allowed to boil or even begin to be close to a boil. This will ruin your gut.
5. Take the gut and open the end placing it around the opening of a faucet. Turn on the water and allow it to fill the casing (like sausage). This is expanding the casing without tearing it, make sure you put the water in slowly or it will rip. This also makes it very soft at this point.
6. Drain water and fill the casing with air. This will allow the dye to get into any recesses that may have been missed before. How you fill it with air is up to you, I'm pretty strong stomached so I pretty much just blow into it keeping it as far away from my face as possibly. It's a pretty funny sight to see, but this stuff has a pretty strong smell before it dries.
7. Return to the pot of color for about 2-4minutes while it is still filled with air, keep it moving so it coats all the sides.
8. Remove from heat. If it is not as dark as you want it, then take the color and the gut and put put it to air cool, it will continue to dye until you remove it from the color.
9. Rinse the gut throughly.
10. Final treatments as before in soaking the gut for about an hour until soft.
Here is the results of the gut that has not be dyed and was allowed to air dry overnight:
Below: The Gut and the dapped copper bowl I used for the sample.
1. Going to try a tube rivet, ball headed rivet, and a standard rivet in brass and copper on the first set of gut
2. Going to attempt to find faster ways of drying times (maybe a hair dryer?)
3. Stretch the colored gut.