Here you should find answers to some common questions I have been asked about my veils and veil
fans. If you don't find the answer here, please feel free to contact me.
Help! My veil fan is stuck!
You should never have to force a veil fan to open. They are made to freely fall open so that a
flick of your wrist while dancing is all that is needed. If your fan is truly stuck, a gentle tug will
free it. However, if the silk appears wrapped around the stave or folded between them then it
has been opened in the wrong direction and nothing is wrong with it. Here is a picture tutorial
on how to tell if this is the problem.
This is what your fan should look like if
it has opened properly. The silk is
smooth and the fan is fully spread.
If it has opened to look like this:
Then please follow the steps below.
Click on any of the images to see larger versions.
Opening Your Veil Fans
Everyone who has handled a veil fan has encountered this problem at some point. I make my
sets so that there is a left and a right and I find that there is a moment in the first encounter
with the left-handed fan where the person goes "why won't it open? There's something wrong
with this fan." It's true! There is. It's one of two problems actually. Either it's the right-handed
fan in your left hand, or it's a true left-handed fan being opened as a right-handed fan in your
left hand. I'm not making fun. I do this myself all the time even though I know the trick to tell
them apart. It's so easy to open one the wrong way that I feel the need to write this page. And
now you get to read what the trick is.
Hold both closed fans with one of the end slats, or guards, facing you and look at the piece of
silk hanging off to one side or the other. It doesn't matter which hand right now. They are
opposite each other. The one hanging to the left is the left-handed fan and the one hanging
to the right is the right-handed fan.
Now, since most fans made are right-handed fans, we need to retrain our left hand to open a
dance fan made to fit it.
Take the fan in your hand with the hinge at
your palm and your thumb on the top slat.
Here's another view of the hold. You
want your index finger to be on the slats
just beside the top one and the rest of
your hand relaxed.
Now press your index finger against the slats, sliding it behind the top
slat. You should now have the top slat between your index finger and
thumb. Release the rest of your hand and let the fan fall open. You'll
also be able to see at this step if you have the fans in the wrong hand
by the way they open.
Here's the same step with the silk over
the slats instead of behind them. It's
your preference which side you want
facing you. Just flip the fan in your
hand if you prefer the other view.
The next two images are what you should see as the fan falls open. Notice that in the last
image my hand is open as well and the fan is pinched between my index finger and
thumb. Once your fan is fully open you will want to support it with the rest of your hand to
keep it open, of course.
Left-handed fan in left
hand. The piece of
hanging silk is circled.
Right-handed fan in left
hand. Note the circled silk is
draped to the right of the top
If you are holding the top slat under your thumb and the silk is folded or appears wrapped
around the inner slats, swap hands and start again. As I said, I don't always pay any
attention to the silk hanging off the ends and will open the fans with the wrong hands
myself. Once I have the right hands I don't put them down. If your routine requires you to
release your fans for any reason and pick them back up, you may want to mark one for
quicker visual identification.
If you have gone through all of this and you still have a problem fan, the possibility does
exist that I have sent you two for the same hand. If I have made that mistake, I will
certainly fix it. Just contact me.