"The arrows are fletched with hane (feathers) about fifteen centimetres in length and can be the most expensive part of the arrow. Traditionally, the outermost tail feathers of large birds of prey were considered the finest. Many of these birds are now endangered – in particular the Sea Eagle – therefore, feathers of lesser eagles, swans, geese or even turkeys are being used in modern times.
On the other hand, owl feathers were never used, as they were thought to be bringers of misfortune.
They would use feathers from both the left and right wing. Because wing feathers naturally curve left or right. Ya with feathers from the left wing are called Haya and they spiral clockwise. Ya made from the right wing feathers were called Otoya and they spiraled counter-clockwise."
As Ian said the tail was considered the best, but it seems that wings where used. I tend to prefer the wings since you get the natural curve and you can do both haya and Otoya and still place the feather straigt along the length of the shaft. You can place the feather of the center line to create the same flight result, but I think a straight line with the curvature in the feather is more neat, but this is just a personal preference.
Anthony, can you open another thread please. This is a dealers page, the items for sale get deleted once sold, so do the comments
Thank you Dave, I just wanted to open this new thread. Anthony, thank you for the great info. I knew about the left and right wings but not that they preferred feathers from a rooster. I thought they used hawksfeathers.
I missed what Ian mentioned in this topic, does anyone remember?
Esentially what I said was that a lot of arrows were fletched with pheasant tail feathers - there are plenty about and they are long so they would be easiest. Ian B
Hello Ian thank you very much! I have not heard from the pheasant fearhers yet but I can imagine they were used. Do you maybe have an idea if different types of tailfeathers were used for different types of purpose? Like the feathers for types of arrows for hunting or those of arrows for war?
Last week I met an old friend who has been active in Kyudo from the 80s in Japan. For what he knew they used all kinds of eagles tail feathers but also hawk. I can imagine from the killertype those animals are that they used those also symbolic for wararrows. That was the kyudostyle as well.
Now I told him the story which I read about using feathers from the left and the right wing. He explained me that, making an arrow you need to cut the feather in two pieces. Do that with 3 feathers. Use all the right or all the left pieces to add them on the arrow so the arrow twists well around.
So far my humble part of knowledge on this subject to share with you all.
Mischa, the size of your fletchings are determined by the size of the head. For broadheads you would use a larger fletching than for a bodkin or target arrow. These have to be balanced out as larger fletchings mean a slower shaft.
Thank you for this information about this subject Paul. That makes sense. Thinking about it again different types of birdsfeathers must have been used for different purposes. The feathers of the hawk for example has the ability, after making it wet, to get in the right shape again. So it's all about the qualities of the feathers. An eagle needs a strong tailfeather for hunting, etc. That putting together with which arrow you would use, the right option had been chosen.