Book Illustration, The Practical Ostrich Feather Dyer, Revised and Corrected by Dr. M. Frank, 64a, 1888
During the last quarter of the 19th century, feather decoration for hats, fans, and boas was at its peak; in 1886, 77% of women’s hats were decorated with feathers and a milliner’s window had a display of colorful ostrich tips and plumes. They were used not only on hats, but were used in trimming dresses, wraps, and to a large extent used in making exotic fans. Ostrich farming and ostrich feathers was a lucrative business; the authors of this treatise tell how you could start a business in your own kitchen; the equipment needed, instructions for the dyeing process and formulas for producing different colors. The author states “the greatest disadvantage manufacturers have had to contend with was a lack of knowledge of coloring…" The important feature of this book is that it contains actual dyed feathers, mounted on plates, as color samples.
It is credited
Collection of Smithsonian Institution Libraries.
Its dimensions are
H x W: 17 × 14 cm (6 11/16 × 5 1/2 in.)