raven feathers

topic posted Mon, March 20, 2006 - 12:10 PM by  nux
i have a ton of raven feathers i have collected over the years, and i am wondering what i can do with them besides have them sitting in a jar. i tried sewing a feather down to cloth one time, and that totally worked, but obviously you would not want to wash it.

i welcome any and all clever ideas on this one!

posted by:
offline nux
  • Re: raven feathers

    Mon, March 20, 2006 - 1:13 PM
    Feathers can be attached to lots of stuff. Hot glue is much easier than sewing them on. How about decorative boxes? I have this african mask that I have attached my parrots feathers to, they stick out all the way around the mask. It looks really neat. I've seen some great costuming pieces done in feathers, masks, bras, belts, headpieces, earrings. How about a braclet of feathers attached to elastic?
  • Re: raven feathers

    Mon, March 20, 2006 - 1:50 PM
    My wild bird feathers are slowly filling in a grapevine wreath that hangs in a window. One at a time I weave them in, yesterday it was a blue jay feather from the front porch. I use more powerful feathers as props in dances and to waft incense about a room.
  • Re: raven feathers

    Mon, March 20, 2006 - 2:49 PM

    As Vaj was saying feathers are great for smudge wands if you enjoy the practice of smudging or using other incense.
    I like to use the feathers that I collect for unusual head peices ot go in my hair.
    I wire then to hair comes with silver wire and beads.
    They are also great to use when making costumes.


    • Unsu...

      Re: raven feathers

      Mon, March 20, 2006 - 3:01 PM
      I have sewn several feather costumes, and I prefer hand-stitching to gluing. Also, you are right about no washing.

      You could make a feather boah, a neck-piece/ collar, a feather-trimmed skirt, jacket, or top, or a headress or hat.
      • Unsu...

        Re: raven feathers

        Mon, March 20, 2006 - 3:25 PM
        If you wanted to add feathers to a costume that would require washign, you could sew the feathers to something sturdy, like grosgrain ribbon, then attach them to the costume.. via snaps/hooks/buttons/zippers... whatever would work best with how the costume is going to be used...
  • Re: raven feathers

    Mon, March 20, 2006 - 7:21 PM
    I'm sure if you were wanting to sell them there would also be people out there willing to purchase them. Use for Magick or maybe quills, or even for strumming musical instruments in some cases.
  • Re: raven feathers

    Fri, March 24, 2006 - 12:33 AM
    In Hawaii they make art out of feathers. In hula we used instruments with feathers attached and also made lei's.
    Check out;
    or for something even more crazy and crafty!
    • Re: raven feathers

      Fri, March 24, 2006 - 5:15 PM
      hey of the things that keeps reverbrating in my brain when i ponder this is the spiritual significance of whether a feather is upright (quill down) or upside down...what if any significance does this have in the hawaiian culture? little things like that are important to me, and i am interested in learning how important it is to other spiritual traditions.
  • Re: raven feathers

    Fri, July 13, 2007 - 9:22 AM

    over a year ago, you posted that you have a bunch of raven feathers.

    do you still have any?
    if so, interested in selling?

    raven is one of my totems, am building some stuff like a little shrine, a raven walking stick, etc, and would love to adorn these personal artifacts/icons with found raven feathers.


    "coyote" eric
    • Re: raven feathers

      Fri, July 13, 2007 - 9:52 AM
      i have collected feathers near my place, but have been warned by other people that wild collected feathers are very often carriers of lice - this seems quite reasonable to me, as i've worked in animal hospitals in the past - do y'all do anything to the feathers to insure that they are not carrying lice - question mark -

      my computer won't do shift functions today, please pardon my alternative punctuation

      love all-ways,
      • Re: raven feathers

        Fri, July 13, 2007 - 10:33 AM
        I betcha that about 3 minutes in the microwave would cook the li'l suckers good. For a longer, but less potentially damaging to the feathers, option, I'd suggest throwing them in a low-temp (<0 degrees F) freezer for about 2 weeks.
      • Re: raven feathers

        Fri, July 13, 2007 - 11:37 AM
        Gee, the ravens in my 'hood are stingy with their feathers. I still have yet to find any that they dropped. I would love to find one someday. It'd be a special day if that happened.

  • Re: raven feathers

    Fri, July 13, 2007 - 5:19 PM
    I agree with the wear them if they are personal theory. What about making a small bundle of them with some rafia/silk cord/knotted embroidery floss and nice glass beads and then attaching them to a pin back? I LOVE the magnetic pin backs that you can get at Wal-Mart that are "supposed" to be for name tags and ID badges...They are really strong and can hold more substantial stuff - can you see your raven feathers on the lapel of a blazer? Classy....

  • Re: raven feathers

    Sat, July 14, 2007 - 4:16 PM
    I work at a Cirque Du Soleil shop, there is an artist that uses Rooster feathers in her pieces. Her name is Giselle Shepatin and her scarves are to die for,you may wish to use these Raven feathers in this way to create a meaningful piece for you to wear. She lays them all flat and sews the fabric over the top of the spines on both sides and creates a pocket of sorts so the ends are hidden. I posted a pickture at my profile page so you can see, it is truly beautiful.
    • Re: raven feathers

      Sun, July 15, 2007 - 11:29 AM
      Please be careful. Most birds are protected and you can't legally own or sell the feathers unless they come from a bird that can be hunted. Check the Dept. of Interior website. I'd hate to see you get slapped with a monstrous fine for having these.

      Even if the birds dropped them naturally, you can't have most kinds of feathers.
      • Unsu...

        Re: raven feathers

        Sun, July 15, 2007 - 11:10 PM
        Sadly, this is the truth - basically, only the feathers you can buy online or in the craft store are legal to own and use. Basically any food bird - turkey, chicken, duck, ostrich, pheasant, guinea hen - or peacocks. Macaw and parrot feathers are legal to use, own and sell, as long as they are shed feathers; the brd has not been killed for the feather.

        HOWEVER - with dye and shaping with scissors, you can make most feathers look like something else. Ostrich are very easy to make look like heron, duck you can make look like crow, hawk, eagle.

        If the feathers come from hawks, eagles or any songbird - strangely, a crow is considered a songbird - it's been illegal to use them for decades.

        I would love to have some of those other feathers - or even taxidermied birds - for my hatwork, but it's just not going to happen. We have to make do with what we can legally get and fake birds.

        However, bird lice do NOT transfer to humans, and they die off on the feather within 72 hours of the feather being off the bird. Your bigger concern is moths - they eat feathers and lay eggs on them. If your feathers are getting raggedy, put them in an airtight bag and freeze them. It kills the moths, lice and any eggs.

        Microwaving a feather can ruin it.
        • Re: raven feathers

          Tue, July 17, 2007 - 1:36 AM
          "If the feathers come from hawks, eagles or any songbird - strangely, a crow is considered a songbird - it's been illegal to use them for decades. "

          Just to clarify, crows and ravens (Corvids) are considered to be migratory, and are thus covered under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. It's this protection that makes it illegal to own any living or dead birds, or parts thereof.

          Interestingly, most U.S. states have a designated crow hunting season that trumps the MBTA, so you can probably get away with posessing crow parts. Don't think that extends to ravens, however. Though it would take a serious expert to tell the difference in naturally-shed raven vs. crow feathers...

          • Re: raven feathers

            Wed, July 18, 2007 - 5:33 PM
            i use found feathers on my dreamcatchers, i think ravens are real good medicine for dreamcatchers because ravens always have been seen as bringing messages from the spirit world, and are said to be able to fly between this world and that one.
            i just used all my cool feathers, including a few raven feathers that i had collected on my last batch of dreamcatchers, now i stuck to using phesant and guinea because thats all i can buy, which are pretty but i dont think have quite the right vibe and spiritual impact that the raven feathers have. i have to go on some long walks to go finding, but that takes a long time and i am under a little time pressure. i would ask for you to send me some, but i would gather you dont want to part with them. but hey maybe you should make some dreamcatchers, they sell real well, and you dont have to think of the money as bad, it is for your time, and the dreamcatcher is medicine.
            i was plauged by nightmares and believe that the dreamcatchers help people...they also help would be lucid dreamers, and i think raven is one of the best birds to use.
            • Re: raven feathers

              Wed, July 18, 2007 - 7:42 PM
              Any feathers you find are a gift and should be treated with respect. Mans laws smans laws!!! The people who would wear feathers probably wouldn`t kill a bird in the first place. Many dead birds have come to me over the years and become medicine fans for weddings and sweat lodges, By making things with feathers you give these animals life again, a purpose and power, wear them with pride,and remember the beautiful animal they came from, Or in the case of Raven wear them with mischief on your mind, anyway from Headdresses to Mari Gras bras feathers are a great addition to costumes.
              • Unsu...

                Re: raven feathers

                Thu, July 19, 2007 - 11:03 AM
                You could make a version of the Victorian feather tree like this one: but much cooler : )
                • Unsu...

                  Re: raven feathers

                  Fri, July 20, 2007 - 12:45 AM
                  I have a patternfor one of those somewhere - ask me about it in two months, after I get it unpacked again.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: raven feathers

                    Fri, July 20, 2007 - 10:45 AM
                    I most certainly will--the crows have been dumping off feathers all over my neighborhood.
                    • Re: raven feathers

                      Sat, July 28, 2007 - 11:56 AM
                      Thanx, everybody, for your responses ~ great information!

                      love all-ways,
                      • Re: raven feathers

                        Sat, July 28, 2007 - 1:44 PM
                        cool thread...

                        my collection consists of vulture feathers. i've been fortunate to live near a roost and they've left me about a hundred to date, magical birds too! some of them are raven as they seem to hang out doing the bird tribe thing. just in sharing mode, i am native so my family has this traditional gathering and i gifted the feathers, attached some leather and traditional beads and made smudge wands to gift to elders and drummers and other helpers. my own connection to vulture and raven stem from both traditional bird clans and some other ancient connections. i wasn't aware of the medicine to the degree it holds until they started coming and i started asking the significance. my family has agreed the the vulture feathers will be made into a traditional headpiece, woven with some other significant medicine for ceremony. my hope is to be able to bridge the tradition with some contemporary storytelling, still in progress... :)

                        i am kwakiutl (northwest coast first nations on my moms side so this was significant as we are raven/thunderbird clan):


                        and i posted this when the feathers started becoming numerous:

                        i love the ideas and intentions of this thread and will utilize them as well! thanks!

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