Skip to main content

Birds of a Feather – Braided Hair

08/01/2011 17:46, Published by Deb Olsen, Categories: In Print, Community

Riley Jacobs, 7, adorned with feather extensions. Photo by Deborah Olsen.

Ladies turn to plumage for adornment

by Nora Parker

In nature, the male bird sports the fancy plumage. Is that why feathers crop up every so often in women’s fashion? Do ladies have a case of feather envy?

The look is so hot right now that fly-tying suppliers, who have also become the vendors of choice for jewelry designers, are experiencing a shortage of feathers. 

The trend took hold locally about four years ago. That’s when artist Julie Hebard spotted a leather clothes designer at Art in the Park who accented her pieces with feathers. She began selling custom-designed feather earrings at the Farmers’ Market and First Friday Artwalk, and from there, extensions were the next step. 

The extensions go on with a crimp bead, and generally stay in place for several weeks. They withstand shampoo, flat irons and curling irons. “The trend started with the 20-somethings, but now everybody from tweens to grandmas are getting them,” Julie says. The cost of feather extensions ranges from $10-$35.

Ten-year-old Makala Lowe makes her own feather hairpieces. “I like the really long, thin, striped feathers,” she says about her medium of choice for extensions. She got her supply of feathers at Steamboat Flyfisher and bought some crimp beads at Hobby Lobby. “It’s easy to do,” she says.

“I’m seeing headbands, hair clips, earrings, necklaces, even broaches made with feathers,” Hebard says. As a trend, “anything feather goes!”

Almost all of the feathers come from farmed roosters and are naturally black-and-white striped, but can be dyed any color from purple to hot pink. “Even the most outlandish creations I can design sell well,” Hebard says. 

The feather shortage is likely to be short-lived as farmers up their rooster production. But in the meantime, feathers are a girl’s best friend.

art in the park 100 years feather art riley jacobs

You might also like


6 Summer Events You Don't Want to Miss

What is there to do in Steamboat in the Summer? Lots of things! Here are 6 events that are sure to have you smiling.

Steamboat Signature Events

Steamboat Summer Time Events: Steamboat Marathon, Rocky Mountain Mustang Roundup, Cowboy's Roundup Days, Hot Air Balloon Rodeo, Art in the Park, Steamboat Wine Festival, Steamboat All Arts Festival, Wild West Air Fest, Steamboat Oktoberwest.

Wild West Air Fest celebrates 10th anniversary with new, thrilling aerobatic airshow

Steamboat's first-ever air show highlights the 10th anniversary of the Wild West Airfest.

  • Holy Eucharist

    08:00am — 09:00am

    All are welcome at this Episcopal communion service

  • Holy Eucharist

    10:30am — 11:30am

    All are welcome at this Episcopal communion service.

  • Steamboat Farmer's Market

    09:00am — 02:00pm

    The Market is the perfect first stop and launching place for a day browsing in our local stores, ...

  • Carpenter Ranch Nature Conservancy

    09:00am — 12:00pm

    The Carpenter Ranch serves as the centerpiece of the Conservancy's efforts to conserve the natura...

  • Art in the Park

    09:00am — 05:00pm

    The highly anticipated 41st Annual Art in the Park will be open to the public July 11th and 12th,...

  • John Fawcett Retrospective Exhibit

    11:00am — 06:00pm

    May 29-Sept. 19, closed Sunday and Monday

  • The Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series is the most successful weekly rodeo in the country. While ...

Order a hardbound copy of the Summer 2014 Wilderness Issue