How to Iron Feathers Flat

By Darby Stevenson
Keep your feathers looking sharp with iron steam and some heavy books.

For many Native American rituals, powwows and other public events, elaborate costumes involving feather decorations are required by many of the dancers and participants. In the past, hawk and eagle feathers were used for these costumes, however today it is illegal to buy and sell most raptor feathers. Today, reproduction raptor feathers are often used, generally made from turkey feathers. These feathers, however, have a curve in them that is not present in raptor feathers. To straighten reproduction feathers you can use the steam from an iron.

Fill the iron with water and set the heat to high.

Hold the feather on the ironing board so that the middle curves up towards you.

Hold the iron slightly over the feather but do not touch the feather with the iron.

Press the steam button as you move the iron over the length of the feather.

Set the iron aside. Press the feather against the ironing board to straighten the quill. Gently push the quill of the feather against the curve to encourage straightening. If it is not pliable enough, add a little more steam.

Take the feather off of the ironing board once you have straightened it out. Place the feather in the middle of a heavy book. Shut the book and place one or more other heavy books on top of it. This will ensure that the feather stays straight.

Warning

Do not let the iron touch the feathers directly.

About the Author

Darby Stevenson began writing in 1997 for his high-school newspaper, the "Alsea Valley Voice," which won him statewide awards for Best Feature Article and Best Personality Interview. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies and a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies from the University of Oregon.