The plume maker

A plume maker specializes in feather and plume creations.Historically they existed as early as in ancient Egypt, several thousand years ago.Knowledge about from what birds the feathers originate, where on the bird they are located, how they are used and reworked is a must.

Part of the work entails refining, dying, cutting, stripping, tying and sewing on fringes and bows, shaving, doubling and curling them. The curling process is an art in itself since they can be curled in so many different ways.

Boa and tassels manufacturing of different feathers is also something the plume maker must master. The mounting of feather creations on military helmets, "caps", casques, hats and of course the decoration of headdresses, clothes, costumes and different types of accessories. The projects may vary but the love of the craft remains.

This hat once belonged to Selma Lagerlöf – the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Apart from being an author she was involved in politics and joined the struggle for voting rights for women and in local government politics.

She continued to wear hats that were big as millwheels with plumes long after it went out of style. The iconic black hat is no longer preserved. This hat is the only one with ostrich plume that still remains. On loan from Mårbacka, SWE


IN THE WORKSHOP

Tim Mårtenson is currently Scandinavia's only plume maker. In his workshop the knowledge legacy, material and tools of Hilda Ahnfeldt continue to live on.

In 1879 Hilda Ahnfeldt founded Sweden's largest and perhaps only plume factory, at a time when feathers and plumes were the highest fashion.Like his predecessor Hilda, Tim Mårtenson is self-taught, since there is no formal training available. Through a passionate interest, curiosity and perseverance he has learnt the trade. Today he teaches and creates feather pieces, working for the royal court, theaters, opera houses, production companies, artists as well as private individuals. In the showcase you will find objects from Hilda's time as well as, for example, ongoing or completed works.

Come visit the plume makers studio - watch the video above.