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Preparing Lady Amherst Tail Feathers

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Hi Guys,

 

Well I just got a real nice package of Centre tail feathers, really nice ones, I'm pretty excited!!! I don't feel they are as "white" as they should be.

 

I know most reccommend washing feathers before use, wondering if someone could share the best way to prep this particular feather and the best drying method. I'm sure it's nothing to difficult, but I want to optimize their appearance.

 

Many thanks for the info guys.

 

Damian

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The center tail I purchased also looked a little dirty, I just figured they dont clean them before shipping. I first soaked mine in a big tub of Woolite for a day, rinsed it and then layed it on newspapers to soak up the water. Used a blow drier to finish them off. Since they are so long, I cut mine into 8" lengths, then split the stem right down the middle so they lay flat. I paired the 2 sides up and put them in zip-lock bags. They did clean up nice. Hope this helps, CJ

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Damian

 

I wash mine in warm water with Dawn dishwashing soap and a little splash of Woolite. I soak them for a few hours swishing them around on occasion. When they are done I take them out and rinse them off. When you take them out and rinse them, gently squeeze the water out of them by gently moving your hand with the grain of the feather fibers. I then put them in a 2x4 with holes drilled in (make sure they are large enough holes to fit the quill) and let them dry. When they are dry I steam them and watch them puff back up.

 

As far as the feathers not being as white as you would like. If they are not white after you wash them and you know it is not dirt, then you may have a bird that is not a true Amherst and may have some Golden in it. I have some feathers like that. Also, are they true tail feathers or are they side tail feathers as they have some brown in them? They are also a very nice feather, just the barbs are not as long and they are colored a little differently.

 

My two cents worth.

 

Kyle

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Hey, thanks for the quick feedback guys!! much appreciated.

 

Kyle, they are true centre tails, the length is excellent and could tie probably up to an 8/0 easily. They are also symetrical. I've got about 6 choice tails that I want to wash up and steam.

 

About the cross, I did see some Golden feathers in the bunch, but I'm not sure if they are from the same bird or not. Could be, not sure.

 

Thanks again.

 

Damian.

 

 

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Well I took two feathers, took the sweet spots from a left and right about 6 inches of each, soaked in water with mild detergent (just a little) and took them out and rinsed. One kept it's shape, the other seems to be destroyed.

 

I let them dry and then steamed. One turned out beautifully, the other each strand is separated and won't remarry and go back to shape, it looks like a spey hackle with a very thick stem. I cannot get it to reshape even with steaming.

 

I've had this issue before with goose, but man, this sucks! I hate to ruin a nice piece of feather.

 

Any suggestions on how to get it back together?

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Try soaking the bad one just enough to get it real wet all through, rinse well, roll it up in a towel and pat it to remove some water, take it by the base and shake it hard for a few seconds, lay it on a towell or use a blow dryer and shake it well often as it dries. You must jostle feathers about when drying in order to fluff up the barbules and realign the barbs. That is what wet birds are doing when they shake as they dry.

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dam...the stuff i got from superfly marries better than anything ive been using....you cant stop it from marrying, and i didnt even have to steam it....was it superfly ??

 

 

i am in no way afilliated with said company, but dam its good

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Brewer,

 

That is the same stuff that i carry here in the shop. The Superfly branded Lady Amherst Center tails are fantastic and will almost marry themselves together. I haven't had one yet that gave me any difficulty at all.

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I'll have to pick some up from you Jamie. The stuff I got was from a private breeder, thus the cleaning and steaming.

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Damian,

 

Just let me know whenever you are ready, i have another 12 Prime Center Tails in Natural coming in any day plus a few more dyed ones as well (orange, sd blue, chartreuse). I always try to keep a few hanging on the wall at all times.

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Damian,

 

As soon as they come in i will let you know, i think the couple of guys who ordered some last night have pretty well cleaned me out until thursday/friday when my re-stocking order comes in.

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