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Care of Feathers

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  • Care of Feathers

    I am curious how ppl care for their feathers.

  • #2
    i have a cedar box i put them in ...usually i also steam them over boiling kettle once or twice a month depending on which one needs work on...trimming them sometimes too-becca


    • #3

      Not sure what you are asking about. You wanting to know about feathers that are already rigged and ready to wear or ones that you have laying around waiting to be I will address both.

      One of my favorite things to use to store my roach feathers and other feathers that are ready to use is a men's tie case. You have to make sure you get one without metal on the inside but dang they are keen and travel better than a cedar box. For fans I make a a card board folder with ties to hold the fan to one side of the folder and then another set to tie it shut. some other things that work well are those small travel baby wipe boxes by huggies, and jewelry display folders, and silverware salesmen display folders. All of these things are small and light and can be packed into ones dances bag easily. You just have to make sure you put a cloth or something in some of these to keep the feathers from sliding around.

      Now feathers waiting to be used I just store in plastic tubs with cedar box or moth balls.

      "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." Pablo Picasso

      "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift...that is why is it called the Present." Master Oogway - KungFu Panda

      My comments are based on what I have been taught and my experiences over the years I have been around the circle. They should in no way be taken as gospel truths and are merely my opinions or attempts at passing on what I have learned while still learning more.


      • #4
        Some Other Things

        Great Reponses and Great Ideas

        I keep my Feathers in cedar boxes as well. I have different size boxes for diffrent size feathers, fans, etc.

        But even with cedar, cedar boxes, etc. one needs to clean and preen the feathers from time to time as not all bugs, mites and parasites are detracted by cedar and other chemicals.

        At some point in time it is good it invest in a really good steam iron, a steam travel iron or a steamer. This is great for keeping feathers looking good at all times.

        Also a need trick, I keep some of those Silica Gell Packs with all my Regalia including Feathers - it protects against moisture and humidity!

        As far as large items that are not packed or are on display, I steam them often and spray with a mite repellant.


        • #5

          my uncle told me that those birds that those feathers come off of live a tough life and they are always in the weather so ther isn't much we can do to a feather besides neglect it


          • #6
            Thanks all for the replies. I do what you all do. i have feathers already prepared, like a hair comb deal.


            • #7
              You can wash feathers if you use a non-reactive white soap, not detergent. I use tepid water with the soap, and I rinse thoroughly after washing. Hanging the feathers in the sun to dry is helpful. Also, hanging them in the sun occasionally (without washing) will kill the moth eggs, besides.

              As the feathers dry, they will be begin to open up a little and look more normal. When they're wet, they look pretty awful and droopy. I steam them over a tea kettle when they are dry, making sure my hands are clean, and I roll the openings together as best I can. After that, I iron them with a regular clothing iron which has been set on Minimum-Low. I iron from the large quill end toward the tip. Ironing will straighten some of the side curl, if that's what you want to do. Ironing also gives the feather a sheen. I've never tried to use an iron with the steam released. I use it dry.

              I did all of this once for a friend's 7-feather tail fan. The fan was already made up and had nice trim and beadwork, but it was so dirty, it looked like the owner had used it as a coal shovel (BOL). The final result was, it looked great.

              If the tip needs trimming, I use sharp scissors, starting from the central quill, and cutting carefully both ways of the quill.

              I learned these treatments from Bill Center, a Pawhuska trader, now passed away. Bill used to have a garage full of feathers before the bird protection laws were passed by Congress, and he was quite a feather craftsman.

              They say that mentioning a person's name, the one who gave you information, is like saying "thank you" all over again.

              Some good storage ideas have already been posted.
              Last edited by Gledanh Zhinga; 06-26-2006, 09:27 AM. Reason: spelling


              • #8
                and another thing....

                and another thing to remember, birds have natural oils that are produced that flow down the quills to the feather. It is important to keep feathers oiled. I was taught to use a fine spray like Skin-So-Soft. About once a year lightly spray your feathers and they will last a lifetime....
                Oklahoma Proud!!!


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