Archeryis one of the oldest human skills, and bows and arrows are one of the oldest human tools. Still used today by hobbyists and hunters, bows and arrows have benefitted from modern materials and engineering. While designs such as compound bows introduce additional pulleys and cables into bow design, the overall construction of arrows remains almost entirely unchanged. Arrows consist of the head, the shaft, the fletching, the binding and the nock. The head is the tip of the arrow, and both hunting and target heads are available depending on the desired use of the arrow. The shaft was once made of wood, but modern arrow shafts are made of aluminium, carbon fibre or a mix of both. The binding connects the fletching to the shaft, and while it was once cord or string, these days may be glue or an integrated slot system allowing for quick and simple replacement and insertion of the fletching. The nockis a gap at the end of the arrow designed to fit into the bowstring, holding the arrow for release. The fletches are the vanes on the side of the arrow and guide it through the air, ensuring smoother flight, with better distance and accuracy. Feathers were commonly used, but plastic fletches are common these days.Materials of Archery Fletches
Modern archery fletches are made of a wide variety of materials. Feather fletches can be purchased and are commonly used for training arrows or for hobbyists who wish to maintain an authentic experience. Other natural or historical options include leaves or pine needles, still fur patches or varnished pieces of cloth. Plastic fletches are the most common type available for purchase and are formed in specialised shapes, with modern aerodynamic engineering principles ensuring their designs maximise the stability and flight time of the arrow.Colours of Archery Fletches
Thanks to modern techniques, both feather and plastic fletches can be purchased in a variety of colours. From simple tones to eye-catching decorations to neon colours, these designs serve more than a merely aesthetic purpose, allowing for easy identification of arrows in target shooting competitions and easy locating and retrieval when hunting.Size and Orientation of Archery Fletches
Archery fletches are available in different sizes, from one to four inches. 2.3 inches are the most commonly used size. Larger sizes generally stabilise the arrow better, but create more drag, slowing it and reducing its maximum flight distance. The mounting style of the fletching also affects this. Fletching can be mounted in a number of ways, from precisely straight and parallel with the shaft, through various twists and angles around it. Again, the more curve, the more drag, the better stability in flight but reduced speed and distance.