Dear Constant Reader,
Here it is, Friday again and I have once again failed to fill your week with delightful missives. For that I am terribly sorry. May has been a busy month indeed!
I’m teaching my last installment of Fantastic Fan Dancing tomorrow with “Fan Dance Uncovered”, a history of the art. I’m very excited to teach this brand new class and a little nervous, since it will be my first hybrid class, taught simultaneously at the American Burlesque Collection and on Zoom. Tickets to the in-person class are very limited and include museum admission and a guided tour of the “Fantasy of the Fan Dancer” exhibit. I hope you will join me!
May also celebrates 4 years on Patron and 500 tips right here! You have until Monday to subscribe to my Patreon at the Advisory Committee tier ($5/month) and download my Very Little Book of Costuming Tips, which contains 25 helpful hints to improve your costume-making!
And now for your tip!
You can wash ostrich feathers.
I know it seems terrifying, it can be done! You can wash loose feathers or ones attached to washable clothing. Feathers on fans or headdresses and antique or fragile fragile get a different treatment, which perhaps will become another tip.
Note: if your feathers have been dyed, there is the possibility you’ll get some bleeding. Test a small spot first.
- Fill a basin (sink, tub, etc.) with tepid water and a little mild soap. Dawn is my go-to.
- Gently swish the feathers or feather-trimmed garment through the soapy water. Don’t rub or scrub.
- To rinse, swish through clean cool water. Repeat with new changes of water until the water is clear.
- You are going to be horrified at how your feathers look. Don’t panic!
- Lay your feathers on a fluffy towel to dry, preferably on a drying rack. Don’t try to wring out the moisture.
- The feathers will fluff up a bit as they dry, but after they are completely dry, steam them for maximum fluff.
(I was really sure I’d given you a tip about steaming in the past… I guess it’s a future tip!)