Porcupine Quill Jewelry
ASTALI porcupine quill jewelry is made from the shed, striking South African Porcupine quills and the delicate North American Porcupine quills, using antique brass and other materials for hooks, chains and more. Our porcupine quill jewelry contains earrings and necklaces and can also be found as part of our Jack collection.
These striking porcupine quill earrings are made from shed South African Porcupine Quills hanging from brass earhooks. True statement pieces, they dangle at 4.25"- 5" in length.
This necklace is comprised of 16 shed North American Porcupine Quills in Chevron-formation between antique-brass chains. Inspired by Native American jewelry and utilizing naturally shed quills.
This delicate necklace is made from shed North American Porcupine Quills that swing from antique-brass chains. Movement creates a wind-chime-like sound because they are so light.
These porcupine quill earrings are made from shed South African Porcupine Quills hanging from brass earhooks. They dangle at 3"- 4" in length. Tips of the quills are capped with brass beads for safety.
About Porcupine Quill Jewelry
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who made the first porcupine quill jewelry?
A: The oldest tools that have been found for quillwork date back to the 6th century, CE. Quillwork as an art form is unique to North America, and began with the indigenous peoples who lived in proximity to North American Porcupine habitats.
Q: How do people acquire quills used in porcupine quill jewelry?
A: The Lakota women perfected the technique of throwing a blanket over a porcupine and harvesting the quills that stuck to the blanket. We use shed porcupine quills in our jewelry.
Q: Can porcupines shoot their quills?
A: No. A porcupine loses its quills by direct contact, wherein the quills stick into something, or by shedding, in which case the quills drop to the ground. When lost, the quills grow back within a few weeks.
Q: Are porcupine quills poisonous?
A: No. But the tips are sharp and have tiny barbs that can make them difficult to remove once embedded in the skin. For this safety reason we clip and cap the tips of all quills used in our porcupine quill jewelry.
Q: What are quills made from?
A: Porcupine quills are actually modified hairs that are coated in thick layers of keratin. The hair in between quills is called guard hair, and is also used in some of our jewelry.
Q: Why are some of the quills in your porcupine quill jewelry so much larger and thicker than others?
A: Old World Porcupines (found in Africa, Europe, and Asia) are much larger animals than New World Porcupines (found in the Americas), and their quills are considerably longer, thicker, and stiffer. The North American Porcupine is smaller than its Old World counterpart. Its quills are similar in size to a toothpick, and somewhat flexible. In our jewelry we utilize both the striking South African Porcupine quills and the delicate North American Porcupine quills.
All ASTALI crafted jewelry is made with care in South Pasadena, CA.