Burlusque Fan

The Art of Burlesque Feather Fans: History, Types, and Tips

Tiaan Pepper

Have you ever seen a burlesque performance and been mesmerized by the beautiful feather fans? Did you know that these gorgeous props have a long, fascinating history in burlesque? In this article, we'll explore how burlesque feather fans evolved over time to become an integral part of the art form.

burlusque feather fan

Burlesque has its origins in early 19th century Britain as a parody of high-brow theater. As the art form developed, so did its use of props - including those stunning feather fans! By the mid-20th century, they had become iconic symbols of burlesque performers and were used to add glamor and sensuality to performances.

Today, many modern burlesque artists also use these colorful props as part of their routines. Not only do they create dazzling effects on stage, but they are also deeply meaningful for performers who carry on the tradition of burlesque. So let's celebrate this glamorous piece of history by learning more about these fabulous feathered wonders!

Definition Of Burlesque

Burlesque is a type of performance art that combines elements of comedy, dance, and theater. It often features striptease performances, as well as variety acts like singing, acrobatics, and live bands. Burlesque has roots in vaudeville and minstrel shows from the late 19th century. It emerged as a genre of its own in New York City during the 1920s.

The main focus of burlesque is on humor, satire, parody, or exaggeration rather than sexuality alone. The performers wear elaborate costumes with exaggerated makeup to create an atmosphere of fantasy and glamor. They also use props such as feather fans to enhance their act.

Feather fans have been used in burlesque for centuries due to their lightness and movement when opened wide by the dancer on stage. Fans come in many shapes and sizes - some are large enough for just one person while others can fit two people under them at once! Some dancers will even use multiple pairs of fans in their routine to add extra drama to their act.

The use of feather fans helps bring a unique visual element to burlesque performances that audiences love. From classic seductive styles to modern avant-garde looks, these versatile props can be used to great effect no matter what style you’re performing!

History Of Burlesque Feather Fans

Moving on from the definition of burlesque, let's explore the history of one accessory that is associated with this art form - feather fans. Feather fans have been used for centuries in a variety of ways and can be found in various cultures around the world.

The use of feathered fans as an accessory to enhance dance performances dates back to ancient Greece and Rome. During these times, they were used more as a status symbol than anything else; only those who could afford them would wear them while performing. In addition, some cultures believed that wearing feathers during ceremonies had spiritual importance or signified fertility and luck.

In modern day burlesque performance, feather fans are often worn by dancers as part of their costume to add visual appeal and drama to their routine. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors which makes it easy for performers to customize their own look with these props. The most popular type of fan is one made with ostrich feathers which give off an elegant and sophisticated appearance when incorporated into costumes.

Feather fans have become such an iconic part of burlesque culture that there are now companies dedicated solely to making custom-made pieces for professional performers who want something unique for their shows. Whether you're just starting out or already established in your craft, having a stylish set of feather fans can make all the difference between having a memorable act or not!

Types Of Feather Fans

Feather fans come in a variety of different styles and sizes. The two most common are the traditional fan, which is composed of several layers of feathers mounted on a handle; and the burlesque fan, which has four or more individual feathers attached to each side of the handle. Traditional feather fans typically feature larger feathers that can be used for dramatic effect during performances, while burlesque fans tend to have smaller feathers with intricate detailing.

Both types of feather fans can provide great visual impact when used as props in theatrical productions or dance routines. However, they also make excellent accessories for stage costumes and everyday wear. Feathers are lightweight and easy to work with, so it's possible to create beautiful pieces from any combination of colors and textures. For example, one could use teal ostrich plumes along with peacock eyes for an eye-catching look.

In addition to their practical uses, feather fans are often seen as symbols of femininity and gracefulness. As such, they're popularly featured in works of art, fashion photography, and film scenes depicting female beauty and elegance. Beyond this aesthetic appeal, some cultures place a greater spiritual significance on these objects due to their association with birds—which represent freedom and flight—as well as other animal spirits that may hold symbolic value within certain traditions.

Overall, feather fans offer versatility both practically and aesthetically: whether you’re looking for something fancy enough for the stage or simply adding a touch of glamor to your wardrobe - there’s sure to be an option perfect for you!

Different Designs And Colors

So, now that we know about the different types of feather fans available for burlesque acts, let's take a look at what kind of designs and colors are out there. There are a variety of styles to choose from, including ornate vintage-style fans with intricate details or more modern and abstract designs. You can find fans made with feathers in all sorts of shades--from bright pinks and purples to classic black and white hues. Some even have metallic accents, like silver or gold sequined trim.

No matter which style you decide on, it’s important to remember that your fan should fit your performance needs as well as aesthetic preferences. If you need something lightweight yet sturdy enough to hold up throughout an entire show, then consider purchasing one made from plastic or silk fabric instead of real feathers. On the other hand, if you want something more authentic looking for a traditional burlesque routine, then go for a feather fan crafted with care and attention to detail by experienced artisans.

When it comes to accessories for any type of performance piece–including burlesque routines–it’s always important to make sure every element is just right. From the materials used to create each item down to its overall design, everything must come together harmoniously in order for your act to be successful! That’s why selecting the perfect set of feather fans is so essential; they could very well be the missing link that turns a good routine into an unforgettable experience!

How To Make A Burlesque Feather Fan

Making a burlesque feather fan is an art form that requires patience and commitment. It’s important to use quality materials, such as genuine ostrich feathers or marabou plumes, for the best results. The first step in making a feather fan is to create a frame. This can be done by cutting two pieces of lightweight wood into the desired size and shape using a saw. Then, glue them together with strong craft adhesive. Make sure that the edges are even and smooth so they won’t snag on anything when opened or closed.

Next, cut out several strips of fabric about 1-2 inches wide and long enough to fit around the entire frame. Glue these strips onto the frame one at a time using craft glue to secure them firmly in place. Once all of the strips have been glued down, it’s time to add the feathers! Start by gluing small bunches of feathers along each strip until you reach the edge of the frame. Continue this process until every inch of fabric has been covered with feathers.

The last step is to attach a handle to your feather fan. You can find handles specifically designed for fans or make your own if you prefer; either way will work fine! Just make sure that whatever handle you choose is securely attached to both sides of the feather fan before displaying your beautiful creation proudly!

Care And Maintenance Tips

Caring for your burlesque feather fans is essential to keeping them looking their best. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of yours:

  1. Cleaning – Before each use, be sure to clean off any dust or dirt that may have accumulated on your fan using a soft bristled brush and lint-free cloth. This will ensure they open and close smoothly with no snagging or pulling. It's also important to keep them away from direct sunlight as this can cause fading over time.
  1. Storage – When not in use, store your burlesque feather fans in an airtight container such as a plastic bag or box. This will prevent damage from dust, moisture, insects, etc., so they stay beautiful for years to come!
  1. Handle With Care - To avoid damaging the feathers, always handle your fans gently when opening and closing them. Never force them open; instead hold the two sides lightly and let the tension gradually increase until it reaches its full size naturally. The same goes for folding them back up again - go slowly to make sure none of the individual feathers get bent or torn off in the process!

By following these simple guidelines, your burlesque feather fans should remain vibrant and eye-catching showpieces for many performances to come!

Benefits Of Using A Burlesque Feather Fan

Using a burlesque feather fan has many benefits. One of the most obvious is that it adds a touch of elegance and glamor to any performance or costume. They are also perfect for creating movement, as they can be manipulated in various ways to create different shapes and styles. Plus, fans can be used to create dramatic pauses or climaxes during a routine.

The use of burlesque feather fans can also help set the mood and tone of your performance. By using them creatively, you can add subtle movements and accents to your dance which will captivate an audience's attention. In addition, if you're looking for something more theatrical, larger fans with intricate designs can really draw people into the show.

Another great thing about using burlesque feather fans is that they are relatively lightweight and easy to transport around. This makes it convenient when traveling between performances or rehearsals as you don't have to worry about lugging heavy items around with you! Additionally, they come in a variety of sizes, materials and colors so there’s always something unique and visually appealing on offer to enhance your look.

Finally, these accessories are fairly low cost compared to other props such as veils or hoops - making them ideal for those who may not have much money available but still want to make an impactful statement onstage.

Styling Ideas For Photo Shoots

Burlesque feather fans are a great way to add glamor and sensuality to photo shoots. The feathers can be used in many ways, from creating an elegant backdrop to making a statement piece for the model. Here are some tips on how to incorporate burlesque feather fans into your next shoot:

First of all, consider the colors you want to use – bright pinks, purples and reds will bring out the boldness of the fan whereas softer shades like whites and creams will create a more muted look. You can also choose different sizes of fans depending on what kind of effect you're going for – larger ones make bigger statements while smaller fans provide subtle elegance. When it comes to placement, try using them as accessories around the face or body or even as part of a costume. They'll definitely draw attention!

When styling with burlesque feather fans, don't forget about lighting. Natural light is usually best but you can experiment with other sources too; spotlights bring out their sparkle while shadows give them drama. If you're shooting indoors, keep in mind that flash photography tends to flatten out details so adjust accordingly.

No matter where you decide to place them, remember to stay creative and have fun! Burlesque feather fans offer endless possibilities for expressing yourself artistically through photos. Use these ideas as inspiration and let your imagination lead the way!

Popularity Of Burlesque Feather Fans

Burlesque feather fans have become increasingly popular in recent years as more people discover the beauty and artistry of burlesque. They are often used by dancers to add drama and flair to their performances, but they've also become a fashion accessory for those looking to make a bold statement with their look. The popularity of these fans is due in part to their versatility; they can be worn in any number of ways depending on the occasion or mood. Some prefer them draped around the neck while others may opt for wearing them over one shoulder like a shawl or cape.

The use of feathered fans has been seen on runways and red carpets alike, where stars such as Lady Gaga and Beyonce have donned them with confidence. Fans made from exotic feathers such as ostrich plumes, pheasant tails and marabou fluff create an especially stunning effect when combined with shimmering rhinestones and sequins. This trend has trickled down into everyday life too, making it easier than ever before for anyone wanting to recreate that glamorous burlesque look without breaking the bank.

Another factor contributing to the growing popularity of burlesque feather fans is their ability to evoke emotion through movement. One wave of a fan can express joy, excitement or sorrow - all conveyed through its graceful swish-swoosh sound as it glides across the stage. With each flick of the wrist comes an opportunity to show off skillful techniques learned during practice sessions - something both novice performers and experienced professionals alike appreciate about this unique prop.

Burlesque feather fans continue to rise in popularity within our culture today thanks largely to their captivating visual appeal coupled with endless possibilities for creative expression. Whether you're looking for something special to enhance your next performance or simply want to make a stylish statement at your next event, there's no doubt that these beautiful accessories will bring out your inner glamour girl!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Should I Store My Burlesque Feather Fan?

Storing any item comes with its own set of challenges. When deciding how to store a feather fan, you'll want to make sure it is done correctly and in such a way that it won't be damaged or ruined over time. This article will provide some tips on the best ways to store your feather fan so that it will remain beautiful for years to come.

When storing your fan, the environment needs to be taken into consideration. Feathers are very delicate and can easily become dulled if exposed to too much moisture or direct sunlight. It's important to keep them away from these environmental factors as much as possible. If necessary, use airtight containers or bags when storing your fan in order to protect it from humidity or dust buildup.

Another factor to consider when storing a feather fan is the type of feathers used in its construction. Different types of feathers require different storage methods because they may react differently when exposed to certain environments. Be sure to research which kind of feathers were used in your fan before attempting any type of long-term storage solution.

Finally, always take care when handling and moving your feather fan around. These items can often have fragile parts that need special attention while being transported or stored away. Take extra caution while folding up the fan, making sure all pieces are properly tucked away without risking damage caused by bending or tearing of the feathers themselves. Taking these steps now will help ensure that your feather fans stay intact and looking their best for many years down the road!

Are There Any Safety Measures To Take When Performing With A Burlesque Feather Fan?

When performing with any kind of prop, it's important to consider the safety measures that need to be taken. A burlesque feather fan is no exception; if you plan on using one in a performance, there are certain precautions you must take for your own protection and the safety of those around you.

The first thing to remember when using a burlesque feather fan is to make sure it has been properly constructed. If the feathers have not been securely attached or glued onto the frame, they may detach during use which could lead to injury or property damage. Additionally, check for loose threads or broken pieces before use as these can cause issues such as snagging clothing or poking skin.

It's also essential to practice proper form when handling a burlesque feather fan. This includes how you move and spin the fan so you avoid hitting yourself or anyone else nearby. It's best to start slowly while learning, gradually increasing speed and complexity once comfortable with the movements involved. Doing this will help prevent accidents from happening and keep everyone safe throughout your performance.

Finally, pay close attention to where the tips of your fan are pointing at all times. Even though feather fans look delicate and harmless, even a light swipe across someone’s face can cause pain or discomfort if done carelessly – especially if their eyes get hit! To avoid this unfortunate situation, always ensure that none of your audience members are in an area where they might get struck by accident.

By following these simple steps, you can safely enjoy incorporating a burlesque feather fan into your next show - without worrying about potential harm coming to either yourself or anyone else in attendance!

Are There Any Special Techniques For Using A Burlesque Feather Fan?

When it comes to using a burlesque feather fan, there are some special techniques that can help you get the most out of your performance. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced performer, these tips can give you a leg up when utilizing this prop in your routine.

The first thing to keep in mind is how and where you hold the fan. You want to make sure that you have complete control over both sides simultaneously – as opposed to just one side at a time – so that you'll be able to move smoothly from one position to another. Additionally, if possible, try and keep your wrist bent slightly for added stability while still leaving enough room for movement.

It's also important to remember not to rush through any movements with your fan. Instead, think about making each gesture count by emphasizing the fullest range of motion available with whatever pose or transition that you’re doing. This will allow you to create more interesting visuals than simply flicking the fan open and closed without taking full advantage of its potential as part of your choreography.

Finally, don't forget to practice! Even small motions such as opening and closing feathers take coordination and precision; something which takes time and effort before being mastered on stage. With patience and regular practice sessions however, soon enough those seemingly difficult moves will become second nature - allowing you to show off all the possibilities of working with this exciting accessory during your act.

How Long Does A Burlesque Feather Fan Typically Last?

When it comes to the longevity of a burlesque feather fan, there are many factors that can affect its lifespan. The type of feathers used, how often and for what purpose the fan is used, as well as proper care and storage techniques will all impact how long it lasts. This article aims to provide an overview of these variables so you can make informed decisions when purchasing or using one.

The quality of the feathers plays an important role in determining how long your fan will last. High-quality materials such as ostrich or turkey feathers tend to be more durable and longer lasting than lower-grade options like chicken feathers. Additionally, if you plan on using your fan multiple times over time, consider buying ones made with synthetic material instead; this way they won't degrade due to wear and tear over time.

How frequently and for which purpose you use your feather fans also affects their life expectancy. If you're planning on using them regularly for performances, then investing in higher-end products may be beneficial in order to ensure that they stand up under frequent use. On the other hand, if you only intend on using them occasionally for special occasions, a low-cost option may suffice since they'll likely not experience much wear and tear during those events.

Finally, taking good care of your burlesque feather fan is key when wanting maximum longevity from them. Make sure to keep the fans clean by dusting off any dirt before storing them away after each use; avoid letting them get wet or exposed to high temperatures as this could ruin the feathers quickly too! Additionally, store them properly - preferably in a cool place out of direct sunlight - so that mildew doesn’t form within the fibers of the plumes. With these tips in mind, you should have no problem getting plenty of enjoyment from your fancy accessory!

Are There Any Age Restrictions For Using A Burlesque Feather Fan?

Using a burlesque feather fan can be an exciting way to show off your style and creativity, but are there any age restrictions that come with it? Age requirements for using a burlesque feather fan vary across different countries, so it's important to check the legal guidelines in your area.

In some cases, only people over a certain age may purchase or use a burlesque feather fan. For example, in many US states you must be 18 years of age or older to buy one. This is because these fans often contain sharp objects such as metal blades and pins which could potentially cause injury if used by younger individuals. Additionally, some venues also require their performers who use burlesque feathers fans to be at least 21 years old.

It's important to note that even though some places have specific laws regarding the sale and use of burlesque feathers fans, other locations may not enforce them due to limited resources or lack of awareness about the potential risks associated with their misuse. Therefore, it's always best to consult local regulations before purchasing or using one yourself.

Regardless of whether you're above or below the minimum age requirement set by your state or venue, safety should always be taken into consideration when handling these types of props. Make sure you know how to properly operate a burlesque feather fan and never point its sharp edges towards anyone else while performing. Taking steps like this will help ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment during shows featuring these unique accessories!


In conclusion, taking proper care of your burlesque feather fan is essential to ensure it lasts for a long time. It's important to store the fan in an area away from direct sunlight or heat sources and handle it with caution when performing. There are special techniques you can use when dancing with a burlesque feather fan that will help create stunning visuals. Additionally, there aren't any age restrictions on using a burlesque feather fan; however, I'd recommend consulting with a medical professional if you have any concerns about safety while performing with one. With the right amount of care and practice, my feather fans are sure to add some sparkle and glamor to my next performance!