Ben Miller of Gateway Feathers offers his recommendations for taking care of your feather fletchings to ensure you can get the most out of them
The best way to take care of your feather fletchings is firstly to not abuse them; feathers are far more durable than you might realise but they’re not indestructible. So storing your feathers in a suitable case so they don’t grind against each other in transportation is a good start. When it comes to healing feathers – because of course you can’t keep a feather perfect forever, they’ll all be subject to wear and tear – a little steam goes a long way.
If you fire up your tea kettle and just hold your feather fletchings over the steam you would be amazed at how much they return to their natural state. So if they have any bends or creases they’ll just come right out. On the micro level feathers are much like Velcro, they’ll stick to each other like a hook and loop system, and if you just give them the opportunity to sit flat and clean without any stresses they’ll go to their natural form right away.
Waterproofing your feathers is a good step too if you’re doing anything outside. We have a waterproofing powder that’s very simple to use; you just put it in a small plastic bag, put the back end of your fletched arrow into the bag, zip it up and work it in to the barbules, shake it off and it’s going to be good for months.