A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921.
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Sub-order 3.—Workers in Other Materials

632.—Feather Dressers and Dyers

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boa maker (feather)
general term applicable to any worker engaged in making feather boas, including feather boa curler, layer-up (638), sewer (638), feather boa steamer, and boa twister q.v.
boa twister (feather) ; twister and steamer (feather boas)
takes one end of sewn chain of feathers forming boa, and hooks one end over an attachment on a small wheel; turns handle, causing wheel to revolve; passes hand rapidly up and down revolving boa, giving a slight twist to feathers and at same time freeing fronds and fluffing them out; usually also steams boa by means of boiling kettle fitted with long stem; cf. boa steamer.
curler, feather
receives previously steamed feathers, either singly or sewn together, or receives feather boas for curling; draws fronds, and flues (i.e. fronds, not fully grown) between thumb and blunt curling knife; also assembles and wires feathers to form sprays, and covers wiring by binding round strip fabric and glueing down end of strip; often also does work of feather steamer q.v.
curler, feather boa ; ostrich feather curler
as for curler, feather.
dyer, black (feathers)
a specialised feather dyer q.v. solely engaged on dyeing feathers black; mixes and blends special materials so as to obtain most brilliant black dyes possible; varies treatment according to properties of dye and strength of feathers in batch to be dyed, taking care to make fronds stand out thickly, and not to let feathers be thinned during process.
dyer, colour (feathers)
a feather dyer q.v. who dyes feathers in various colours; duties generally similar to those of black dyer, except that dye materials used are different.
dyer, feather
dyes feathers to pattern, sometimes producing spot or shot effects on feathers; carefully chooses, mixes, or blends dyestuffs, having regard to action of various dyestuffs and mordants upon feathers; heats dyes in mixing vat, and at required temperature, immerses one feather for testing purposes; watches and times process; takes feather out of dye, washes it, dips it into trough containing starch, rubs it in farina to remove moisture and to fluff out fronds, i.e., flue, and dries it in drying room; then immerses entire batch, with such modifications in above process as may be necessary to obtain exact shade required; hangs feathers on hooks attached to revolving cylinder, which beats them lightly against a board to remove superfluous starch; sometimes paints parts of feathers, so that they may or may not take up dye, or otherwise varies treatment.
feather beater
beats feathers on a board by hand to remove moisture or starchy substances after dyeing; where machinery is used, work is usually done by feather dyer q.v.
feather bleacher
mixes bleaching solution according to requirements of particular kind of feathers to be treated and immerses feathers in solution; removes them and dries in drying room; rubs them in farina, ii necessary; sometimes does work of feather dyer q.v.
feather cleaner, ostrich feather cleaner
see feather washer.
feather dresser
general term applied to worker engaged on any process used in connection with feather dressing, and including cleaner, curler, twister, q.v.
feather maker, ostrich feather maker
general terms applied to any worker engaged on preparation of feathers for use in connection with articles of dress, including feather curler, feather dyer, feather bleacher, feather stringer, feather washer, q.v.
feather stringer
removes pith from base of feather with a knife; cuts away any flue, i.e., frond, not fully grown; ties together two or three feathers in a group; fastens several groups in a row on a piece of string to facilitate handling during processes of washing, bleaching, dyeing, etc.
feather washer, ostrich feather washer ; feather cleaner, ostrich feather cleaner
(i) (preliminary) places feathers in revolving washing machine filled with water containing soap or washing powder; removes feathers when thoroughly washed and places them in revolving dryer; takes feathers from dryer, and hangs them in hot chamber to dry off;
(ii) (after drying) when feathers are dry from dye, dips them in a mixture of soap and water, pulls them through the closed hand and places them in a tank of water to soak for several hours before putting them in drying room.
feather worker, plumassier
general terms for workers engaged in bleaching, cleaning, curling, dressing or dyeing feathers; cf. feather worker (688).
plumette maker
makes small plumes or aigrettes by twisting, by hand, short uncurled tips of feathers over steam until feather is twisted all the way down.
steamer, boa; feather boa steamer
receives boa from boa twister q.v. and allows jet of steam to play upon it at any desired points, by controlling direction of steam; dries boa by passing it over steam pipes; repeats process after each repetition of twisting operation; sometimes also does work of feather steamer q.v.
steamer, feather
allows jet of steam, direction of which she controls, to play upon feather; with other hand, shapes feather as required, by pressing and bending it.
twister and steamer (feather boas)
see boa twister.

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From: A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921,
Ministry of Labour, 1927. Digitised by Peter Christian, August, 2016.   This text is in the Public Domain.