Joining, Shaping and Curling Feathers

Many thanks to Gail Nicholes for demonstrating these steps while I took pictures.
Joining three feathers to make a plume. Start with three feathers.
Using a razor blade shave away the back side of the stem you sill have on top some of both sides of the stem you will have in the middle and some of the front side of the stem you will have on the bottom. Then glue the last few inches of the stems together.
With a single strand of a heavy waxed thread sew the stem together with a blanket stitch every 3/8 to 1/2 inch. Shown with white thread to the left.

Close up of blanket stitch (shown in white).Note the stitches are on the back side of the plume. Continue with the stitches until near the top of the stems. Knot off and secure the knot with a small drop of glue.

Front side of plume.

 

Plume sewn with matching color of thread.
Shaping a plume. With a dinner knife in one hand and the plume in the other.
Place the knife on the back side of the main stem and push against your thumb to make a small dent in the main stem. Move a short distance down the stem and repeat. Do this as many times as necessary until the plum curves the way you want.
Curling the feather. With a small plastic knife separate 1 to3 strands.
Place your thumb over the blade and pull away from the main stemb.
Separate the next few strands.
Place your thumb over the blade and pull away from the main stemb. Continue until you have curled all the strands.

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Last Revision: 12 Feb 2005

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