Information on Down Products from Down To Basics

  • Down vs. feathers (no quills vs. quills) – Allergies are usually due to the oils in the quills of the feathers. Few people are allergic to the very best down because there are no quills.
  • Fill power: how much air the clusters of down hold – the higher the fill power, the lighter and loftier the comforter.
  • How it’s made: The down and feathers are separated by fans blowing the mix of down and feathers up and across into several bins. The finest down goes to the farthest bin and the heavier feathers stay in the first bin.
  • Origin of down and feathers: colder climates – larger clusters of down.
  • The larger area will allow down to loft. If stitching is too close it will compact the down and give a heavier feel. A comforter with 30″ squares or diamonds will feel more lofty and lighter with 10″ squares or diamonds with the same ounces of down.
  • Washing and drying of down products: comforters and pillows can be washed as long as it is thoroughly dried. If it is not dried enough the down will dry clumped together. Putting something hard (clean sneaker, etc.) in the dryer helps to break up the clumps. Drying in high heat for a couple of hours or more will usually puff the pillow or comforter to its original loft.
  • Down is “green”. The geese are not killed to harvest the down. In fact, the 4th plucking is better than the 1st – larger cluster. Down is also a by-product of geese used for food. Nothing is wasted.
  • Thread count. The thread count, or the quality of the shells, has a significant impact on the feel of the product. If a lower thread count or quality of shell is used with the higher quality of down the luxurious feel of the finer down is lost.
  • Duvet covers. A larger comforter can always be put into a smaller duvet cover (even a king into a twin-it will be very puffy), but not a smaller comforter into a larger cover – it will shift too much.
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