Quite often, when I'm selling at craft fairs or just wearing something I have conjured up out of feathers, I get asked how I know the feathers I use are clean. Obviously, potential customers don't want a piece of a bird hanging off them unless it is 100% clean and germ free, which I totally agree with. I'm quite open about the fact that I use feathers found by myself or my merry troupe of fellow feather collectors around the globe, and making sure the feathers are clean and safe to wear and work with is of utmost importance to me. So let me tell you how I know the feathers you may like to purchase from my wee store are clean my friends.
I clean them myself.
Here's how I make sure my feathers are bug and dirt free before turning them into things to look pretty on your head:
First off, freeze the feathers. Sounds odd, but after extensive research, I have discovered that freezing them for at least 24 hours ensures anything that might reside on them is taken care of, without compromising the feathers structural integrity. So into the freezer in organised baggies they go, generally for a week or so.
Then I wipe them down. I use antibacterial babywipes with tea tree oil to make sure I'm totally disinfecting the feathers, and getting rid of any nasties left over after freezing.
I generally sit down and do this right before an earring making session, as I'm looking at each feather individually its normally the best time to pair up any couples that go well together.