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FEATHER TECHNIQUES

 
 

You WILL DESTROY some feathers while you are teaching yourself these technique. So get over it now.
Some have to "bite the dust" for your to learn. But it is worth the time and money. And even the ones you break can be used somewhere. 
To strip part of the feather, pull unwanted parts from the tip toward the quill end. Save these parts for later use as they can came in handy for flower making, masks, jewelry, earrings and such. 
 


 



To curve the quill of the feather, pull feather over the blunt side of a knife or back of closed scissors,
You will be making small breaks as you go. 

 

To cut the feather, use sharp scissors and trim from the tip again the push of the feather. If you cut from
the other direction the feather will just move with the scissors.

To contour the feather for a desired shape and add to its natural curve, use your thumb squeeze and push the feather over the blunt side of a knife or closed scissors. Do not pull the feather across the edges it will
destroy the smoothness of the feather. Flip the feather over and work from both side when you want it
to do an "S" curve. Good in flower making. To curl tips of feather hurl, pull over the open edge 
of the scissors, or knife. It helps if the scissors are sharp but be careful or it will cut the feathers.

Everyone at one time or the other has admired the beautiful plumage of some bird, whether it was a common
cage and do a little harvesting! Admit it!

Please remember the bird does need to keep them for a while, so gather from the ground at the zoo. And
no fair chasing. See your local shops for feathers that are already cleaned, "sanitized", dyed and packaged
for you. There are various types of feathers, since they need to do different engineering tasks for the owner.
Of course, we do not intend to use them to fly, so their original design configuration is not as important as what the shape and quality can do for our decorations.

Wing and tail feathers are stiff and somewhat straight and are excellent for leave and drama on a mask or hat. Depending on which side of the bird the feather originated it may be slightly curved to the left or the right.
Center tail feathers will be the most straight. Use the shape to your advantage.

Body feathers from the back, breast, neck, etc are more extraordinary, but
the lowly turkey has some wonderful colors and exciting shapes to loan you.

Goose feathers are very satin like and dye beautifully. And don't forget
our domestic chicken. He, too, contributes his attire for your design
enjoyment, as does the spotted guinea fowl. I might also mention, 
that the feather come from the food industry. No birds are killed for their plumage.

MARABOU OR CHANDELLE BOAS. Most versatile and easy to work with. Cut any desired length and it will not ravel. Can be glued or stitched. OSTRICH PLUMES
Have been used throughout history from adorning 
bed post in castles to decorating hats and masks. These are so elegant.

PEACOCK SWORDS AND EYES. Peacock feathers are so beautiful and can be
shaped and curled.
PHEASANT TAILS. Combine with coordinating flowers, decorate fans and use
on hats and masks

COLORS AND DYE. The dying of feathers has been improved over the years
but they are still not completely 
light fast so use them wisely. No continual direct sun, no moisture. 

 

PHEASANT SKINS-No other source has such a variety of naturally
beautiful contrasting feathers as those 
pelts. Golden, Ring neck, Lady Amherst, Venery.

SATINETTES Most elegant and richly textured feather, named after the fabric
satin, for it's smooth satin appearance.

BIOTS. This feather adds the feeling of natural movement to your project. Wrap this feather around a wire 
tightly and it will hole the spiral curl.

STRUNG FEATHERS- The most widely used for craft projects. Hand selected, sized, strung and sewn
together in strips.

PHEASANT PADS, HACKLE, AND HACKLE PLATES. Pheasant or hackle already glued on a fabric backing
DYED OVERNATURAL MARKINGS-Feathers with beautiful natural markings are greatly enhanced by dye,
chinchilla, guinea and pheasant to name a few.