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  • Straightening Feathers

    Hey, I have some eagle feathes that have a slight curve in the quill. I was wondering if and how I could straighten them, and use them after that as a tail fan? I have a "fake" tail fan, but would like a real one as well ( Yes I know how to make the fan) just need some advice on the feathers issue:)

  • #2
    When I make fancy dance bustles, I straighten my feathers with an iron (press the hot corner of the iron on the shaft and gently bend the feather back on itself.) Of course I only do this with turkey spikes...eagle feathers might be a different story.
    This is the worst signature ever.

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    • #3
      I at one time, had a light bulb setup on a board. It was attached to a 6Volt battery(the big ones that go in lanterns). And I would sit in front of the TV and run the feathers along the surface of the light bulb to heat it up. I would assume using an iron without steam might accomplish the same thing. I was once told to use steam from a tea pot to heat the quill, but never tried it. I have used irons, and although the iron seems to take longer, t seems to work pretty well. I haven't used one on an eagle feather, though. I'd be real careful, just to be sure.

      Scott
      Scott

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Quick to judge,
      Quick to anger,
      Slow to understand
      Ignorance and prejudice
      And fear walk hand in hand.
      --Neal Peart(from the song Witch Hunt)

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      • #4
        Iv'e used the lightbulb and the iron method. The iron is easier just make sure not to burn the feather. Just do it like The Rat said. Maybe put it on a lower heat. The lightbulb works well but takes longer than the iron. If you use the lightbulb method wear sunglasses or you'll get some wicked bad sunspots. The steam method is good beacuase theres less of a chance of damaging the feathers also you can push the feather back together if any of the feather has moved away from each other. I don't know the name for the things that come off the quill and form the feather but those are what im talking about pushing together. The moisture from the steam will lossen it and when you push it back it will stay together better.

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        • #5
          She's not looking to straighten the feather part itself..she's wanting to straighten the quill... can that be done?
          Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic

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          • #6
            Oh, yeah. That's what we are talking about. you run the iron along the quill slowly pullng against the natural curve. You can heat up the quill and then carefully bend hte feather against the curve too.
            But sometimes, doing that will separate the feather part. And you'll want to smooth that back together. After steaming, the fether will want to dry out a bit. Just use some oil (just run your hand through your hair or across your forehead - I'm not being insulting, it's what most people do) to help put the feather back together.
            Scott

            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            Quick to judge,
            Quick to anger,
            Slow to understand
            Ignorance and prejudice
            And fear walk hand in hand.
            --Neal Peart(from the song Witch Hunt)

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            • #7
              Tahemet

              The iron and light bulb tricks work, but all you really need to do is use your fingernail then gently and ever-so-slightly crimp the quill in the direction you want it to go. You may have to do this in several location up the length of the quill to get the desired effect but it will get there. Remember small gentle crimps, you don't want to break your tail feathers now do you. You might try practicing on some other feathers since this method will work on even the smallest of feathers.

              Good luck
              PB49

              "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.

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              • #8
                I was taught the tea kettle method. It works good on all kinds of feathers and works fast!!!! Haven't had any problems with my feathers curving back to their natural shape yet. If I do, I'll just steam them again. It also works on feathers already in a fan that need a little reshaping
                The things you are doing today are the traditions of twenty-five years from now.
                -Daryl Baldwin: Miami


                https://www.facebook.com/SpottedeagleFans

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Blackbear
                  She's not looking to straighten the feather part itself..she's wanting to straighten the quill... can that be done?
                  You just read my mind:D How did you know;)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by powwowbum49
                    Tahemet

                    The iron and light bulb tricks work, but all you really need to do is use your fingernail then gently and ever-so-slightly crimp the quill in the direction you want it to go. You may have to do this in several location up the length of the quill to get the desired effect but it will get there. Remember small gentle crimps, you don't want to break your tail feathers now do you. You might try practicing on some other feathers since this method will work on even the smallest of feathers.

                    Good luck
                    I have heard about doing it this way, but never thought that would work for eagle feathers... seems a better way for myself, cause I can get clumsy sometimes... get this, I stumbled into the coffee table in my livingroom, and I cut my toe bad enough, I had a bit of blood running down my foot Sorry to talk about that, but thought I would mention the crimping way sounded a bit easier, but I will try both.. :)

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by scottlollar
                      Oh, yeah. That's what we are talking about. you run the iron along the quill slowly pullng against the natural curve. You can heat up the quill and then carefully bend hte feather against the curve too.
                      But sometimes, doing that will separate the feather part. And you'll want to smooth that back together. After steaming, the fether will want to dry out a bit. Just use some oil (just run your hand through your hair or across your forehead - I'm not being insulting, it's what most people do) to help put the feather back together.
                      That sound easy enough to do, I will let you all know how it goes:) Mussi Cho ( Thank you) for your advice:D

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                      • #12
                        tahemet
                        thank you for sharing that story with me i'm going to go passout now.





                        Rob

                        'i believe I can fly'
                        Rob Young

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by powwowbum49
                          Tahemet

                          The iron and light bulb tricks work, but all you really need to do is use your fingernail then gently and ever-so-slightly crimp the quill in the direction you want it to go. You may have to do this in several location up the length of the quill to get the desired effect but it will get there. Remember small gentle crimps, you don't want to break your tail feathers now do you. You might try practicing on some other feathers since this method will work on even the smallest of feathers.

                          Good luck
                          I have a really big, beautiful black tip that was recently given to me. It's a fairly young feather and I've managed to get the feather perfectly straight using the light bulb method.
                          The quill is pretty crooked but only where my barette would go. I've tried the crimping method but it doesn't seem to be working. Maybe I'm doing it too gently because I'm scared to damage the feather. The quill is fairly thick so how would I do this?
                          Help me somebody!!

                          :(

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                          • #14
                            Iron Wrong??

                            Ok, I used a hot iron to straighten mine. Wow was that an experience....lol. I learned the hard way, on a crapy feather, that before you put the iron on the feather you have to have a cloth over it...melted feathers aren't pretty.
                            So, once I got that all figured out and my feathers were all straightend, I even got the bend out of them as far as left side right side, but now I let them set over night and when I got up this morning, they were still straight, but just bowed back so that they weren't flat anymore. Am I doing something wrong, or is there always going to be a little bend in the feather? How to I make them stay flat? I even tried the heavy weight on top of them idea....that was a bust....any ideas out there? Thanks in advance for any info....

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                            • #15
                              I straightened my bustle feathers 3 times using the iron and light bulb methods before I learned that they need to be put in a thick book or something else heavy and flat while they're still hot for the straightenin' to "take". Keep 'em flat and weighted for a day or two. They stay straight after that.
                              I've seen the fingernail crimp method work well, but never have got the hang of it to do it myself. Always afraid of breakin' the quill.
                              Pow Wow Radio Addict
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