Friday, October 12, 2012

Preserve Feathers the Native American Way

Feathers x001

Feathers! “Feathers” is the ESN theme of the week and it is a theme that is right up my alley, so to speak. Being of Native American decent I know something about feathers. I routinely find bird feathers lying on the ground here at my Northern Minnesota outpost and of course I collect them up. The most common feathers that I find are black feathers either from a crow or a grackle. I also find feathers from the blue jay and a few from the red or yellow finch. The feathers at the left are some that I recently collected.

It is generally not recommended that one wash feathers in soap or detergent as the alkalinity of the solution can damage the feathers. I have, however, gently washed some in Woolite with no ill effects.

Feathers found in the wild can harbor microscopic organisms that slowly eat away at the feathers. One way to rid the feathers of such organisms is to put them in the freezer. It is an old Indian trick. I put them in the freezer for several days, take them out, brush them and then put back in the freezer again. I do this a few times and then finally store them in an aromatic cedar box.

Ultimately, I use the feathers to make adornments for Native American regalia. Such items are not for sale so you will not find them in my curios store but you can find this cute little pair of swan planters in my store. They are all covered with ceramic feathers. I do hope you will stop in to the Sirocco’s Curios store and take a peak at the planters and have a look around at all the curios for sale.



  1. I absolutely loved your post. Thanks for the instructions on the feathers. This was a really good post.

  2. Terrific post. I enjoyed reading how you collect the feathers and preserve them.

  3. That's a great tip about using the freezer! Love this post!