Jump to content
Fly Tying
Sign in to follow this  
flytire

Straightening Hackles for Feather Wings

Recommended Posts

 

yes your way is best and steam probably works but here is a different way

a little shot of steam from mama's flat iron should work too

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love to steal ... I mean GET new ideas!  Thanks, Norm!

Kim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure the method in the video will last. Ironing feathers will permit them to be reshaped, but as moisture in the air returns to the feather, the feather will return to the shape it was on the bird. If the feather was misshapen due to packaging or being crushed in storage or transport, the method shown DOES work. But if it is naturally in an undesired shape, this method is trouble. In fact a well-known but flash-in-the-pan streamer tyer a few years ago recommended using a curling iron or clothes iron to reshape feathers. After a month or so, any feathers treated this way reverted to their natural shape, not always the look the tyer had in mind; one of several unfortunate events that lead to her loss of credibility in the tying world. 

What to do?

Use a teakettle and bring it to a full boil. Either by hand, or in a small metal strainer hold the feather(s) over the stream of steam, taking care not to saturate the feather (or burn your fingers!). The feather will return to its natural shape. If that shape isn't what you wanted, pick another feather. Also this method works to straighten out and fluff up crunched waterfowl feathers, and restore peacock feathers, herls, and eyes to their natural beauty and fullness. Also works on whole capes and saddles, and entire skins. Steaming has some reasonable success on crushed hair, but hair is a bit less porous to the steam than feathers so be forewarned. 

Another related use of steam: Before the fishing season opens, take all your dry flies and steam them using a small metal kitchen strainer. Restores crushed hackle, bent hair wings (e.g. Elk Hair Caddis), and feathers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...