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Unread 02-23-2013, 10:25 PM   #1
StarsCASSiOPEiA
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Feather Types for Skirt?

Hello all,

I'm presently working on a Katniss Everdeen cosplay (Mockingjay dress), and I'd love some opinions on which feather type(s) to get for my skirt!

EDIT: Finished my sketch of what I'm trying to do!

While my design isn't totally concrete yet, I was hoping to cover the entire skirt, and possibly make an accessory piece or two (ex a hair clip) with what I get. Thus far, I've been thinking of doing a sort of gradient on the skirt, starting with white feathers up by the waist and ending with black on the bottom. This sketch gives a general idea of what I wanted for the skirt-- white on top, black on bottom, and a red/orange "flame" piece in the middle somewhere (below which the transition from white to black would really happen).

As for feather texture, I like the 'fluffier' feathers like this, but A) have no idea if that's practical, B) have no idea where to get those, and C) have no idea if that's cost-effective.

I do also like the effect that this Yuna cosplayer achieved. Would I be able to do this with rounds? If so, about how much would I need?

TL;DR-- Which type(s) of feathers would be best for covering this skirt, and about how much would I need of each colour (black and white) if the skirt was about half of each color?

Thank you!
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Last edited by StarsCASSiOPEiA : 03-02-2013 at 12:25 PM.
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Unread 02-25-2013, 08:04 PM   #2
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EDIT: In retrospect, this should maybe be in "Fabric/Sewing"? I thought I'd ask here, given that lots of people here in the prop section have made wings.
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Last edited by StarsCASSiOPEiA : 02-26-2013 at 05:25 AM.
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Unread 02-25-2013, 10:18 PM   #3
Midnight Dawn
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Honestly can't say as I've never worked with feathers.

However this can be mathematically solved by calculating the circumference of your skit as you go down as you would then account for the surface area of the feather in relation to possible overlap as you get them on.

But judging from your picture, you're going to need more black feather over white. How many exactly I can't say. Sorry for not being helpful on that matter as I don't know the numbers.

Now fluffy feathers could work. But where to get them I have no idea.
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Unread 02-26-2013, 05:10 AM   #4
StarsCASSiOPEiA
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Thanks for your advice, nevertheless! Math-wise, I can probably get a rough estimate that way, but since it's the overlap I'm worried about, I'll have to err on the side of caution.
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Unread 02-26-2013, 08:47 AM   #5
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Feathers can get really pricey, especially for high quality ones. Like ostrich feathers. You'll likely have to dye/bleach them too. Here is a good website for getting feathers: http://www.save-on-crafts.com/feathers1.html

Hope that helps!
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Unread 02-26-2013, 05:57 PM   #6
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Olive-- thank you for the link! The ostrich feathers were what I was thinking of in terms of the "fluffy" feathers, but after seeing that price (considering the huge volume I'd need), I think rounds might be the better option. I can't imagine using glue on those would be a good idea either, since I'd need a way to hold the feathers in place while I hand-sewed them on.
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Unread 03-01-2013, 10:51 AM   #7
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Yeah glue is probably not the best option...you want the feathers to be secure. But I did have an idea. Maybe if you just bought a few black fluffy boas and wrapped them around the base skirt and sewed them in place! That would give it a lot of volume, and its also cheaper than just doing one by one feather work. You would just have to have them really close together so there weren't any gaps between boas.

Then for the red/orange top part of the skirt, you could either continue the boas or do the individual feathers!
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Unread 03-01-2013, 11:52 AM   #8
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How about making fake feathers?? Real feathers are going to get really expensive.

http://www.cutoutandkeep.net/project...-fake-feathers

I'm not sure how it would compare to real feathers effort-wise (dyeing feathers vs sewing fake ones), but you can make them as big as you need and it is probably easier to make sure the colors match. And I'm sure you can make them in bunches/strings from the start and have that easier to attach to the base dress.
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Unread 03-01-2013, 12:32 PM   #9
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i like the the fake feathers as filler and real ones for the finish
use the math to find out what you need to make it from the nice feathers
then add twice as many filler feathers
this will help cut costs and soften the line between fabric and feather
having made props and a cape with feathers
it will take soo many more feathers than you think in the beginning
id say hand placing feathers is like hand making a wig
feather projects just are not quick or cheap
not to discourage you all great things are worth the time effort and money
i like this dress

good times to all
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Unread 03-01-2013, 06:47 PM   #10
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miss moonkin here... I covered my whole costume with feathers.. here's what I did:

this site:
http://www.smileyme.com/feathers_bulk_feathers_craft_feathers_wholesale_fe athers_art_feathers.asp

is where i found the best price on feathers.. that was a couple of years ago though but it might be worth it to compare.

For version 1 of my moonkin I used spray glue--- definitely dont do that, feathers fall off and get matted with the glue.

For version "2a" I tried to hand sew on every feather-- I gave up on the second one. because feathers have fluffy bits, they catch on the thread as you sew them, so it ends up making them look mangled

For the actual version 2 I used hot glue. every feather stayed on fine for a whole day [and being packed for a week in a vacuum sealed bag] so unless you're looking for high movement, I would go with hot glue. I applied the hot glue down the vein of the feather then stuck it to the fabric. I was able to dance and run around all day

moonkin pic:

btw this was the normal turkey feathers. probably around 2-3 lbs in the whole costume.
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Unread 03-01-2013, 07:25 PM   #11
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Oh awesome, thank you! This makes me think I can probably go with a half pound of black and a half pound of white, since I'm just doing the bottom part of the dress.

A friend of mine used hot glue for her Toothiana cosplay too, so I'm glad to know that it's worked for multiple people!

Emrys-- Love your suggestion about the fake ones! I'd do that if I knew I had the patience/time, but considering the sheer volume I'll be needing, bulk packaging is probably worth it. (I also anticipated it being expensive, so I've saved accordingly!)
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Unread 03-03-2013, 12:02 AM   #12
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Hey Stars,

I used a LOT of feathers in custom colours for the wings of my Gwendolyn costume. Here's what I've learned; hope it helps.

I ordered from http://www.rainbowfeatherco.com, and cannot recommend them enough. They have many types of feathers in many colours, good customer service, and will custom-dye if necessary. It seems you just need B&W, which are standard colours, so that shouldn't be an issue for you :3

I think I ended up getting the turkey rounds in several colours. They give you that very individual feather look. I used a scissors to cut the tip of each feather into a pleasing shape; don't skip this step, it really helps with the overall look.

I used Fabritac to attach the feathers. Since you are planning on a skirt, which needs to have movement, I would recommend this and/or sewing the feathers on, and not using hot glue, which isn't flexible. Fabritac is pricier, but is a great product. None of my feathers have come undone.

Also, the black fashion skirt you linked a photo of definitely looks like ostrich feathers and yeah, those are quite expensive. :/

I hope some of this helps. Good luck!
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