Are genuine barred feathers worth the cost over printed barred?

PLEASE HELP TO FUND ARCHERY INTERCHANGE

LittleSkink

Active member
one problem with the internet is it presents you with choices you didn't know existed . . . I am looking to make some new wooden arrows up and like the really trad look of black and white barred feathers - you can get "proper" barred which are nearly 2x the price of the printed variant (made from plain feather printed to look like natural barred feathers)

Being unable to see them next to each other its impossible for me to know if the printed ones look a bit fake or the genuine ones look truly amazing

As a rule I hate things pretending to be something they are not, so my inclination is to go "natural", but its a fair price difference - welcome thoughts
 

LittleSkink

Active member
didn't think of that :)

in the end I didn't go natural barred (at nearly a quid each) and have ordered 4" Gataway barred instead for half that. The photos of Gateway barred I have seen look nicer than the Bearpaw barred so we shall see
 

English Bowman

Well-known member
I don't like barred feathers, they look good, until the first time you miss the target and have to search for arrows which have camouflaged feathers. I use plain white, they look natural and they stand out.
 

Timid Toad

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Fonz Awardee
Ironman
Something you also have to consider is that commercial non barred then dyed/printed feathers are a by-product of the food industry. But where do the natural ones come from? Illegal hunting/trapping? who knows?
 

Timid Toad

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Fonz Awardee
Ironman
Turkeys are white. At least in this country. Free range are black or bronze. So I would question that!
 

bobnewboy

Member
Few if any finished fletchings are sourced in the UK. Probably 99% or more of all feather fletchings available in this country were made and supplied by Trueflight or Gateway in the USA. That most likely includes nearly all of the finishe d feather fletchings that you buy in bags made up by other suppliers in the UK - from bulk boxes supplied by True flight or Gateway.

Trueflight state that all of their feathers are gathered at US turkey processing plants, and are only from the US domestic turkey Melagris Gallopavo. Almost all of that species have naturally barred feathers.

If you want to source real turkey feathers in the UK, you could do what I did and approach smallholders who raise a few hundred / few thousand turkeys free range. They will usually be happy to hold back some birds wings for you before the birds go into being dip-plucked, which otherwise ruins the feathers.

https://flic.kr/p/97zxF7
https://flic.kr/p/97zxQw
These cost me ‘a drink’, and a little time splitting, grinding and cutting to shape. Far, far less than buying imported products.
 
Last edited:
Top