Storage of ostrich feathers:
Ostrich feathers will thrive if certain storage conditions are met. We have found that feathers stored at temperatures of 15-23 ° C (59-73 ° F) perform very well. In fact, the higher the temperature, the better as it means there is less humidity in the air. Over time, moisture can damage ostrich feathers, which means their lifespan will be shortened. Hence, it is best to keep the ambient temperature as close to 23 ° C as possible.
This is indoor room temperature, but what should ostrich feathers be stored in? Although standard paper is often used for feather storage, this is not recommended because, over time, the acidity of the paper can have a negative effect on the feathers. The best way to store ostrich feathers is in an acid-free (PH neutral) cardboard box. These boxes not only prevent the possible acidity of ostrich feathers, but also protect the feathers from other sources of damage; insects, dust, exposure to light and excessive handling for example. These boxes are easily found on the internet and start at around £ 20.
Cleaning of ostrich feathers:
Despite the good preservation of ostrich feathers, they will eventually need to be cleaned. We will now describe a couple of methods on how to achieve this. If the feathers carry dust or other easily removable dirt, we recommend brushing them. The best brushes to use would be a large (dry!) Painter’s brush with natural bristles or a soft children’s brush. A soft brush is needed so that the plumage is not damaged during cleaning. Holding the ostrich feather in one hand, brush in the direction of the plumage while exerting light pressure. After a few hits, the dust should begin to release from the feather. Be careful not to apply too much pressure or brush against the plumage as this could damage the feather.
Many people choose to clean ostrich feathers using water. We do not recommend it unless it is really necessary. If you need to wash your feathers, the following method should work. Clean each feather individually by rinsing it under warm water, when the feather is damp apply a little baby shampoo and gently massage the ostrich feather by stroking in the direction of the plumage. With the shampoo rinsed off the feather, it can be left to dry overnight or you can use a hair dryer at the lowest position. Using a hair dryer on the feather should take about 10 minutes. If the feather starts to lose its fullness, hold it over a pot of boiling water for a couple of minutes, where the humidity should help get the feather back into great shape once again!
We hope this article has shown how, by following a few simple care tips, ostrich feathers can last for many years.
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