A Passion for Peacock Feathers
I don’t think that there is a woman alive who doesn’t smile when
she sees a peacock feather. The colors are extraordinary and we
wonder at the birds that ‘make’ them. Several days ago, I decided to
buy some Peacock feathers and make some unusual fascinators.
This was the first fascinator I made and started out making a large
feather pad using eight Peacock feathers, before I made the
fascinator base. I will be writing a tutorial on how to make
designer feather pads within the next few days.
The feather pad wound up seven inches across and I curled the feather ends.
I added a green sequin center piece that is the same iridescent green colors of
the peacock feathers.
I wanted the fascinator base to be as luxurious as the feathers, so I covered
it in dark green velvet.
Before the next one, did you know?
Every year, toward the end of summer, peacocks finish shaking
their tail feathers, and their stunning plumage gradually falls off.
This shedding process, called molting, is a common part of most
birds’ lives. Feathers can wear out and lose their functionality
over time, and since these feathers aren’t self-regenerating,
birds must replace them.
This time I used blue and green colors to enhance the peacock
feather fascinator and made matching earrings. I covered the teardrop
shaped base with green satin and overlaid the green with a lovely
blue lace fabric. I added layers of fringed beading of blue, black and green.
I enhanced the beading with black French Gimp braid. I made the
feather pad by laying olive green feathers under the single
This close-up shows you the detail and coloring.
As a milliner I make all of my fascinator bases and finish them the
same way that I would finish a hat. Every piece is lined
and my label is added. I could not find the perfect French
Gimp braid to match either the green or blue, so I lined
this piece in black. It’s all about coordinating colors.
To fill out the background of my peacock feather earrings, I used
the same olive green feathers and added a few beads that match the
fringe on the fascinator.
Did you know? Hormones trigger the beginning of the molting
process, which is timed to occur after the mating season
to allow for the energy required to grow the new feathers.
This time I coordinated the Peacock feather with the color
Amethyst. I made this teardrop shaped fascinator covered
in Amethyst faux suede fabric and made coordinating earrings.
This close-up shows you that my feather pad consists of soft fine
olive green feathers with a single Peacock feather in the center.
The soft green feathers naturally flaired to form an arch. I added
another sequined green motif at the base of the feather pad.
I added Amethyst faceted beads in the earrings to enhance the
Did you know? In about seven months — in time for the peafowl
mating season to come back around — peacocks will regrow
their plumes longer and fuller. The peacock’s tail reaches peak
development around age six. In fact, mature peacock trains can
extend more than 5 feet (1.5 meters) in length. Because of the
size boost from the feathers, peacocks are one of the largest flying birds.
The focus of this fascinator was the 1920′s Erte style broach
of a lady wearing an outfit that was the perfect colors of
Peacock feathers. It had purple and green so I chose fabric
and braid to coordinate. I first covered a round base in a
lovely iridescent blue/green fabric and made my feather pad
from the most gorgeous soft purple dyed coque feathers.
Erte was a pioneer of design during the roaring twenties era.
The coque feathers are so soft and curl naturally over the crown
of my mannequins head.
I added a hand beaded Peacock feather to dangle down under
my 1920′s lady’s feet.
I lined this piece in dark green satin that matched the green braid.
This photo also shows you how I hand curled the tips of my
Did you know? Peacocks were taken from their native
residences in India and surrounding countries and transplanted to
royal homes. Different peafowl species feature blue, green, white,
light brown or purple coloring, but India’s blue and green bird
is the most common. There, the peacock is not only the highly
protected national bird, but also is considered sacred within the
Hindu religion. Today, commercial peacock breeders will
save the molts to sell as the demand for these stylish feathers
in the home décor and fashion industries endures.
Before I end this blog, I wanted to show you a special feather
pad I made to go with the special gold peacock filigree jewelry
piece my daughter gave me to use. As soon as I saw it I knew it
had to have a very special feather pad behind it and of course
a special hat for it to adorn. I used turquoise marabou feathers
to back seven Peacock feathers
Here you can see the gold filigree peacock which is not attached to the
feather pad until the pad has been first attached to a hat. The hat will be
made at a later date.
My next blog I should be advertising my designer feather pad tutorial.
The fascinators on this blog are available in my shop.