Farmers around the world commonly breed ostriches in particular for their feathers. Ostrich feathers are different from those of other (flying) birds in that they do not have the small hooks to lock the feathers together. Another difference is their softness and fluffiness that serve as insulation to the bird. There are five different types of feathers produced by ostriches: wing plumes, tail feathers, short body feathers, and long body feathers. Feathers are plucked before they become ripe and lose their luster and shine.
The natural color of the feathers is dependent on whether they come from a male or female. Male bodies have black feathers, while females have feathers that are a dull grey. The black feathers are known to be very soft and stringy. In contrast, the grey feathers are more sharp and crisp. The more delicate ostrich feathers are the floss feathers which come from under the wings of the bird. When plucked, an ostrich produces around 5lbs of feathers for various uses including:
• Feather boas – created from ostrich wing plumes and tied together with a needle and string. Boas typically takes just over a day to make and uses around 40 wing plumes.
• Feather duster – created from ostrich body feathers. Popular due their durability and effectiveness.
• Jewelry – ostrich feathers are often used to embellish earrings as well as to make brooches.
• Decorations – the feathers can be dyed so that they can be used for various event theme décor.
• Fashion – in many instances, ostrich feathers are used to enhance costumes or in different fashion trends.
Of its many uses, feather dusters are known as the most valuable industrial use. Unlike other feather dusters, ostrich feather dusters pick up static electricity when stoked which allows them to collect dust rather than just moving the dust around. Another benefit is that ostrich feathers are not oily since the birds do not have oil glands. Ostrich feathers can be washed, dried, and used again for long-term use. Jutemill offers ostrich feather dusters that can be used in the home or office to quickly and effectively get the job done.
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