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  • sticky feathers

    Has anybody ever had a problem with painted imitation eagle feathers where a sticky residue has accumulated over them? I have these three feathers and I've kept them in a cedar box to protect them and I opened up the box for the first time in about six months and this sticky stuff was all over the feathers. the residue is only my pained feathers and not on my natural ones. Is it sap from the box? Is there any way to prevent this? How can I clean my feathers without damaging them?

  • #2
    I had a friend who had a similar sticky problem but it was with a gourd rattle. The varnish or coating that had been placed on the gourd became tacky after being in his cedar box. It took either acetone or gasoline to get it off. Have not heard of this happening with painted feathers, but I wonder if it could be related to the type of paint or dye used?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by tcumonster View Post
      I had a friend who had a similar sticky problem but it was with a gourd rattle. The varnish or coating that had been placed on the gourd became tacky after being in his cedar box. It took either acetone or gasoline to get it off. Have not heard of this happening with painted feathers, but I wonder if it could be related to the type of paint or dye used?
      that sounds just about right. I'll try that. thanks!!

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      • #4
        Keep in mind that acetone or gasoline will likely eat your feathers and you may not be happy with the results. Not sure what you could use.

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        • #5
          The volatiles from cedar can interact with certain resins in paints and make a tacky mess. However, solvent will make your problem worse. In all likelihood you can kiss the paint job on your feathers goodbye if you use acetone. (As a chemist I can't sanction using gasoline for anything other than your car engine. There are many decidedly unhealthy compounds in gasoline.)

          You might try letting your feathers air out. The reaction might be reversed if the volatile compounds are allowed to outgas. Keep them somewhere well ventilated and keep an eye out for bugs. See if they are any better in a few weeks.

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          • #6
            OLChemist...thanks for the help. I should have tracked you down on this one from the start.

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            • #7
              I always enjoy reading OLChemist's posts - thoughtful and scientific! Kewl beans -

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              • #8
                Originally posted by bphibbs View Post
                Has anybody ever had a problem with painted imitation eagle feathers where a sticky residue has accumulated over them? I have these three feathers and I've kept them in a cedar box to protect them and I opened up the box for the first time in about six months and this sticky stuff was all over the feathers. the residue is only my pained feathers and not on my natural ones. Is it sap from the box? Is there any way to prevent this? How can I clean my feathers without damaging them?
                I don't know how to clean painted turkey feathers, but if they are natural feathers, I use woolite. I thoroughly wash my eagle feathers with warm water and woolite. The feathers become a sad sight to behold when they are wet and washed, but..don't loose heart. hehe After washing them, shake them out and pat them with a dry towel. Then, 'preen' them, rubbing the ribs lightly between your index finger and thumbs. The veins of the feathers have a sort-of-velcro that will re-attach as you preen them dry in your fingers. It'll look awful as you start, but after five or ten minutes you'll have a beautiful feather and fluffy hackles all back to form, clean and well formed.

                Practice on one feather, and you'll see. :)
                Scott Zotigh
                Kiowa Black Leggings
                Kiowa Gourd Clan
                Kiowa Tiah Piah
                Kiowa Marine Veterans
                American Indian Veterans

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by OLChemist View Post
                  The volatiles from cedar can interact with certain resins in paints and make a tacky mess. However, solvent will make your problem worse. In all likelihood you can kiss the paint job on your feathers goodbye if you use acetone. (As a chemist I can't sanction using gasoline for anything other than your car engine. There are many decidedly unhealthy compounds in gasoline.)

                  You might try letting your feathers air out. The reaction might be reversed if the volatile compounds are allowed to outgas. Keep them somewhere well ventilated and keep an eye out for bugs. See if they are any better in a few weeks.
                  thank you very much for this info. i have not had a chance to try this and lucky enough i saw your post before i did.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Zotigh View Post
                    I don't know how to clean painted turkey feathers, but if they are natural feathers, I use woolite. I thoroughly wash my eagle feathers with warm water and woolite. The feathers become a sad sight to behold when they are wet and washed, but..don't loose heart. hehe After washing them, shake them out and pat them with a dry towel. Then, 'preen' them, rubbing the ribs lightly between your index finger and thumbs. The veins of the feathers have a sort-of-velcro that will re-attach as you preen them dry in your fingers. It'll look awful as you start, but after five or ten minutes you'll have a beautiful feather and fluffy hackles all back to form, clean and well formed.

                    Practice on one feather, and you'll see. :)
                    that sounds very promising! thank you!

                    Comment

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