Over the years, the quality, size and availability of turkey feathers(particularly imitation eagle feathers) for the craft market have diminished; however, we now have a good source for very nice feathers of this type. To help you prepare your imitation eagle feathers for the best possible results, we offer the following tips and techniques.
Today, feathers often have broken tips; however, this is normally not a problem because in most cases this flimsy tip should be trimmed off before use in order to strengthen it. These quality issues are due in part to the way turkeys are raised, as well as increasing government regulations, fewer suppliers and fewer processors of raw feathers. For these reasons, almost all turkey feathers need to be straightened, extended, “preened” and trimmed before use, as we explain here. Several before and after photos are included so you can see the difference these turkey feather preparation tips make. Photo A shows several imitation eagle feathers before any preparation work is done. Note: These same techniques apply equally well to the spikes used for feather bustles.