Ostrich feather
Ostrich feather

ostrich feathers can be found from a wide variety of sources and are usually instantly recognizable, whether they are being used as part of a house decoration or whether they are adorning a costume.

They are come in all sizes, measuring anywhere between three inches to twenty inches, and when you can touch them, you'll recognize the soft texture and the almost silky quality of the feather itself.

Feathers that appear on the market are often dyed commercially, but this does not mean that their natural colors are less lovely. The feathers of females and adolescent male ostriches are charcoal-gray to pale gray, while those of the adult males tend tend to be black and white.

Unlike feathers which are used for flight, you'll find that nonflight feathers are fluffier. The technical term for these feathers is that they are unzipped, that is, they lack the stiffness of feathers that are used for flight and the barbs of the feather are loose.

The feathers of an ostrich are soft and flowing due to the fact that ostrich are flightless birds. They have no need of the stiff feathers for wind resistance or for gliding purposes. Instead, these soft feathers are used to warm the body or are spread to provide shade for chicks.

 

 

Males will also shake their vestigial wings during dominance displays. These feathers, like all feathers are water-resistant and can been fluffed up to keep in heat at night and shaken to shed heat during the day.

In terms of texture, you'll find that these feathers are soft and fluttering. When you hold one up in your hands, you'll find that it will flutter in the wind. It is this quality that makes it so useful for the ostrich itself and so desirable in costuming and adornment.

Feathers harvested from ostriches today can be taken with no harm to the bird itself. During molting season, when birds lose and replace their feathers, domestic ostriches are herded into a pen and then blindfolded to calm them down. Experienced pickers will walk among the birds and gently dislodge loose feathers before the birds are released once again. This painless harvesting provides us with enough ostrich feathers to use in terms of household products and decorations.

The quality of the these feathers makes them ideal for dusting, as can be seen in the industry of feather dusters, which has been around for over a hundred years.

 

Feather dusters are known for the fact that their soft, loose feathers will create static electricity and pick up dust, making them ideal for delicate household cleaning. The first ostrich feather dusters were created in South Africa, but soon became a status symbol throughout the words. These dusters are so durable that they have been known to last for over twenty years when given proper care.

 

It would be difficult to speak about feathers without considering what they have been used for in the past. Ostrich feathers were used as ornamentation and status markers among many African nations, and when Europeans saw them, they were quickly integrated into Western stylings as well. They were sent to every part of the British Empire for example, to be used to accent dresses. They found a special place in terms of fashion when it came to hats, and many women enjoyed the lofted, curling feathers that adorned their headgear, especially after it had been dyed to all shades of the rainbow. The popularity of feathers is still a part of our world, as ostrich feathers remain a part of costuming and theater shops.

These feathers were a symbol of status during the days of the British Empire, and even before that were used in head dresses and ceremonial clothing in Africa. To the Egyptians, the ostrich feather symbolized purity and every human's heart was weighed against a feather to judge its worth and virtue.

 

Whether you're looking for a beautiful addition to a costume or you just love the luxurious feel of ostrich feathers, there are plenty of reasons to look at these wonderfully soft feathers

 

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