in Zoom~ Sunday, July 24, 2022

*This Class Will not Be Recorded*

From Feather to Plume

Working with ostrich feathers

Have you wondered why the millinery plumes of old look so lush and full, and the feathers that you buy today seem thin and unimpressive in comparison? Well, the thing is, those milliners used techniques to layer and shape the feathers, making them into gorgeous creations.

Denise Wallace-Spriggs will lead a three-hour session to share some of these techniques with you. We will look at the cutting, stitching, and layering techniques to improve upon the natural feather. We will go over methods of shaping and curling the plume. She will demonstrate dyeing methods and show a few beauties from her own collection to inspire you to create your own Regency plumes, and hat trims.

This class will have lots of demonstration with student interaction. Students may choose to work along and ask questions throughout the session. It will be delivered in one session.


Parts of a feather

layering feathers together

Adding length

Trimming the shape

Sources for supplies

Shaping the quill

Curling techniques


Using the leftover bits

Wiring for strength

I am in Boston, MA USA. To find your local time zone:

Supply list if you choose to work along during class

Ostrich Feathers:
at least 2 of any length that you choose
Millinery Wire: I suggest a light gauge such as #20 or #21 covered. You can also use fine, covered florist wire
Thread: standard sewing thread
StrongThread: such as topstitching thread, CottonQuiltingThread, Silktopstitchthread, or#69BondedNylon. Needles: Suggested are #7, or #8, milliners, any long thin flexible needle that you feel comfortable with will do. Sewing Pins: I like the type with a ball head
Wonder Clips: not required, but mighty useful
Curling tool: You could use the dull side of a small knife, dull scissors, or any thin flat metal tool such as a pallet knife Cardboard: it could be mat board, chip board, even a cereal box. I like two pieces that are about 5-6″ x 10-14″

depending on the size of your feathers

Steam iron Press cloth

masking tape: or another tape to tape the cardboard
Not strictly needed, but nice to have:
Curling iron:
various barrel sizes will work
Millinery Head Form: This could be a canvas wig block, a wooden head form or a simple styrofoam head form.

It will be used to balance your plume.

Mat Knife or Exacto Knife

Also:Pencil, eraser, tape measure, clear 2” ruler , craft scissors

Some Suppliers:
An online search will bring up suppliers in your area. If you have questions, please reach out to me.

DWS Studio reserves the right to cancel this class at any time, for any reason. If the class is canceled you will receive a full refund. Registrants may withdraw from the class up to 72 hours before the scheduled, for a refund. This allows DWS time to fill the empty seat.