Ballroom Dance > Best way to attach feathers

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by mothers love, Jan 8, 2005.

  1. mothers love

    mothers love New Member

    I just found this site, so I'm hoping someone can help me. I sew all my daughters competitive latin dance costumes. Most are very elaborate, but I have yet to tackle feathers.
    I will be doing a short tight dress, but would like to attach feathers on the lower bottom of the dress. I have beautiful crow feathers in black, and I'm sure the turqoise feathers I also have are simply chicken feathers as there is not to much to them.
    Long story, but I need to ensure I add the feathers the best way possible.

    any ideas, I would love to hear from you!!! :D
  2. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    Welcome to Dance Forums, mothers love! :D

    I think someone will know the answer or at least know someone that will know the answer. Hopefully, someone will reply shortly.
  3. delamusica

    delamusica Active Member

    usually feathers on a costume are a feather boa that was sewn onto the bottom - but it sounds like you're asking how to attatch individual feathers, right?
  4. DancePoet

    DancePoet Well-Known Member

    Welcome to DF!

    Don't have the foggiest idea how to attach feathers, but you've come to the correct place to find out! :)
  5. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    The way I have seen "fringe feathers" attatched is putting the drop of glue onto the fabric and setting the barb into the glue. However that is if you are going to attatch a whole crows feather I would think that you would want to glue and sew through the shaft as well.
  6. Laura

    Laura New Member

    I second Larinda's opinion. If the feathers are like ostrich fringe, they are very lightweight and can just be glued on, try E-6000. But if they're bigger with a real shaft, then gluing and sewing makes the most sense.

    I'd love to see this dress when you're done! It sounds great!
  7. mothers love

    mothers love New Member

    Yes individual feathers. I feel this way I can still have the fullness and the feeling that it is a full boa, but with it being spaced apart I can add size 20 crystals to the top of each feather for flair.
    I've rec'd some great ideas so far, so perhaps I should get the glue and needles out and start testing.

    thanks for the reply
  8. randomMysh

    randomMysh New Member

    i'm not sure how well gluing the crystals *on top* of the feather would work...the shaft is rounded so there's not much surface area for contact, and the feather itself isn't solid....let us know how it turns out, i'm really curious to see that dress! :)
    i wish my mom made me dresses...
  9. IvyAB

    IvyAB Member

    I have added feathers to a dress before, and let me tell you--never again! It was a HUGE pain. The feathers had to be sewn on individually, and then glued individually. They'll stay on that way, but if you have a lot of feathers, it's a very long project.
  10. kimbonner

    kimbonner New Member

    attach feathers to wedding train

    My daughter's wedding train will have white peacock feathers at the edge. I was going to use the E-6000 glue along with xtra hold clear glue dots so they don't flop. Can anyone tell me and reassure me that the E-6000 glue will not yellow the dress fabric? Do I get it at a craft store, or at a home improvement store. Thanks. Kim Bonner
  11. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    you can get it at walmart ...and I have never seen it yellow...another nice way to finish it is to put a crystal on top of it
  12. dancerdol

    dancerdol Member

    I think the E6000 folks are going to come after me but, I always post that this is toxic - cancer causing etc. Please read the label. As a cancer survivor - please look into non-toxic alternatives such as DSI (Dance Sport International) glue - dries clear and doesn't get stringy and tacky like E6000. Smaller feathers can be glued on in pairs with two size 20 Swarovski crystals at top. Feather boa is quicker and is also sewn on - not glued. Larger accent feathers are sewn on and a crystal is glued on. Feathers are heavy if they have a quill and glue won't hold them on. Accent feathers can also be sewn together and then attached to dress
  13. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I did not know this...I am so gld you are okay
  14. dancerdol

    dancerdol Member

    Thanks fasc - 8 years out this made a HUGE difference in my recovery : ) I am a little rabid though about the toxic stuff in ballroom dress construction, tanning sprays etc - I want to make sure everyone stays well and enjoys their dancing!
  15. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    And I will counter-it has a WARNING that some components CAN cause cancer. In all probability, it will not make you fatally ill. (Especially if the warning says anything about the state of California-pretty much everything which has, when given in massive doses, appeared to cause cancer in lab rats, gets that label. Most people will never be exposed to the concentrations used to create those lab results with any substance.) However, it stinks to high heaven and it takes at least a week for the smell to clear and you need to use it in a well-ventilated area. The dress WILL stink horribly.

    Now, the reason people use E6000 is it's much better than any of the white glues, no matter what people tell you. Dries clear, and it takes serious effort/impact to knock anything off. Ballroom dresses lose stones a lot when made with GemTac, which is what many people use. Skating dresses can't lose pieces like that for safety reasons, hence using the E6000. With a wedding gown, where you're only doing small items and it's not going to get worn for long or multiple times, you could probably get away with DSI or GemTac (which is easier to come by.)

    Now, if you're talking larger peacock tail feathers and not just the eye portion I would also sew it down.
  16. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    I'm with DancerDol on this one... if something is toxic, why not avoid it when you have other alternatives? California is more health conscious than most states... which is a good thing! As someone who sees a variety of illnesses every day in my work, I say, pick the choices that will keep you healthy.
  17. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    :applause: Absolutely. If there are safe alternatives, they should be used.

    (and I did try E6000 since I heard it was "the best", and I absolutely can't stand working with the stuff. I'd rather lose stones periodically than drive myself nuts and risk toxic effects)
  18. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Because what qualifies as "unsafe" by California standards involves loading up lab rats with doses per ounce of body weight that with most substances involved humans would need to dealing with pounds of the stuff to achieve the same effect. I'd have to EAT furazone to get the 'carcinogenic' doses that mandated it get a warning label. (I use gloves with it now. I know lots of other people who don't bother with that. No one has dropped dead.)

    If I don't care if I lose a lot of decoration, the white glues are fine. If I wanted to be SURE it would stick, I'd use E6000 or Dazzle-Tac. Depends on how important the project is. (For jewelry, it's always Dazzle-Tac as I'm not set up to spot-weld. Or resin, which is poisonous in its own special way, but you can't get the results any other way.)
  19. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    Since there ARE ALTERNATIVES that are, as far as we know, safe and effective for ballroom purposes, questionable testing procedures notwithstanding; and E6000 is a PITA to work with IMO, why take the risk?

    BOT: as others have alluded, for anything beyond small grouped individual strands of ostrich, sewing in place and then gluing a jewel over the stitching is the best bet, especially for something like stripped coque feathers.

    For the white peacock feathers on a wedding gown hem as proposed, you have a nice central shaft to sew around to keep them in place. I don't think matching thread would show, but you could try clear monofilament instead.
  20. jiwinco

    jiwinco Active Member

    Agreed, with both the risk issue and that E6000 is a PITA to work with. I would rather replace a few stones now and again than deal with E6000.

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