Peacock quill stripping demonstration

Items required

Saucepan filled to two thirds with water, paraffin wax ( can be obtained from independent chemists ) kitchen tissue or greaseproof paper, teaspoon, grips and your peacock eyes. Use the eyes only as they have the two tone colours that you need for quill bodies. If you want to dye your peacock quills then do this beforehand.

Step 1

Bring your water to the boil and add a good teaspoonful of the paraffin wax, once the wax has melted the water will appear clear but the wax will have formed a layer on the surface of the water.

Step 2

Take the pan off the heat and let it stand for a minute

Step 3

Take your peacock eyes and dip them in the liquid two or three times and lay them on the tissue or paper. It may be advisable to use grips so you don’t run the risk of burning your fingers. Allow the eyes to dry naturally for 24 hours you will find that the eyes become quite stiff. Paul prepared some eyes the day before so could finish the demonstration.Step 4

Take the dried eye and a bodkin needle or similar and separate the quills as required. Take an individual quill and gently rub the quill with your nail and you will find the flue will easily come away from the quill. It is best to rub a short length at a time so working along the length of the quill.You will find that by stripping the quills this way the quill remains supple and not brittle which happens with other methods.

Thanks to Paul for demonstrating this to club members

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