Sep 18, 2012

Peacock Quill Attempts

For tying tiny dry fly bodies one of the most important materials is the peacock-quill. Popular material, but his completion,- if we do not want to buy it ready- rather troublesome.
Erasure method is good, works for me, but it is time-consuming. His important benefit is, that the quill can be painted. On the other hand, erasure produce a lot of waste material, mainly the thinner segments tear easily. Heavy to hit the good eraser.
The best quill is made of the 4-5 year old peacock tail feathers.

The path around the eye is the best, roughly where the blue shade is beginning. The quill there the widest one, the strongest one and the most nicely shaded.

Example onto the weak or unusable feather

White peacock tail-feather

We may use this long, lower segments as these at worst, the white feather according to me onto nothing good. Fragile, thin, for a body inappropriate, moves in the water like a hem. It's possible to find good white peacock feathers, but I did not face one like this yet.

One of the used methods liked by me is the epilation of the whole part of the feather. Cosmetic depilatory creams are suitable for this f.e. Opilca.

Select a suitable whole feather, lay a thick foil on a board, lead onto the foil ca. a hazel-nut depilatory cream and put onto the cream the feather (with its coloured side) and with a dog comb powerfully work the cream between the feather segments. The cream can be rubbed with your finger. Use a plastic glove because the cream contains corrosive substance!

Leave the cream max 2-3 minutes on the feather, crumbling it carefully between our fingers though with a delicate rag thoroughly wipe the feather, taking care that we should not be ripping it apart. The wiped substance leaves a black trace on the rag.
Wash the residual cream out of it with warm water promptly and dry it (a hair dryer may be used)
Before usage I moisten the quill, so it is not broken so easily.

I rehearsed the painting of the quill prepared so, works with a permanant marker, but not lasting.

Lookout of a good feather quill

A trashy one


The waxen treatment is the other method.
Melt the suitable feather into wax, or parafine, dip the feather with a blunt-ended rod, let it have him everywhere. Let the boiling wax emphasized to drip and to get cold. The result slightly odd, looks so:

Store it in a plastic sachet. Before tying, pull the wax down simply, with your circle from the segment singled out before a usage, that epilates the quill. This method is express, efficient, but it is not possible to paint the quill.
In a contrast with the corroded and the erased one, this quill is not so fragile.
A good, useful quill is wide (1, max 2 mm), segmented, not fragile, not dry and can be painted.
More or less so:

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