Fact worth of knowing

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Care

There are very little products of daily use that require so little care as the feather stuffing. Daily airing and fluffing of the duvet is the real and sufficient care.

Fluffing: this loosens the stuffing, enabling so the re-arrange of the feathers and downs and developing the necessary air cushions.

Airing: enables the evaporation of moisture.

Difference between duck and goose feathers

Only covering feathers and downs from ducks and geese are suitable for duvets. Wing- and tail feathers are not suitable for stuffing, as they have a stronger and harder quill and a higher weight. Goose feather is commonly bigger and more bushy then a duck feather. Both feathers are curved, bushy and elastic, equipped with a more or less developed fluff at the lower end. The quality of the feather depends on this.

Downs from duck and goose are quite the same, having no quill, the fluffy hair concentrated around a neat center. A down has the weight of one tenth of a feather.

The quality difference, as said, depending on the fluff, is due to the habitat of the bird. Commonly the birds, with habitat in colder climate, have a more developed fluff and are logically of higher quality. Due to this, feathers from east Europe and Asia are better and higher priced then the ones from the west and south.

Downs

The finest of fine! Only from duck or goose. From a tiny center soft silken-like Hair is radially spreading, with neatest ramification, enabling thus smallest air cushions.

Duck and goose downs are very hard to differentiate, the goose down only being usually just a little bigger. But there are also species of ducks, having bigger downs, too. Both downs, from ducks as well as from geese, being equal, the differentiation doesn’t matter. The specialty of downs is their weight of about 0,001g up to 0,002g, so that one has to accumulate some 1000 pieces to acquire one gram, or one million of downs for a spare kilo.

Duck feather

The feather of the duck is strongly curved, small and neat, having a radial structure towards the top. The appearance is from mat to shimmering.

Eiderdowns

The eiders (Latin: Somateria mollissima) habitat is at the northern sees. Her Latin name distinguishes her as the duck with the “chubbiest body”. Her downs are remarkably big sized, having further evolved in the rough climate of the northern sees. Big downs are more valuable as they enable bigger stuffing, and also the eider being spare, her downs are quite high priced. Apart from being bigger than the normal duck or goose down, the eiderdown has also a finer hair and a lesser weight, so having one on your palm, you could notice it being there only by the warmth due to her isolation.

Feathers

Not all feathers are equal. Differences can be made out as well in the look as in the quality. Only feathers from water birds – such as duck or geese - are usable for stuffing.

All feathers are more or less of the same structure. The hollow quill is wearing finest hairs spreading to both sides. These hairs build the barb. Studying the structure under the microscope, one could see quite more ramifications of the single hairs, having curves and hooks on the ends.

Feather and down

Only feathers and downs from ducks and geese are suitable for stuffing – except their second naturally function with these birds, of rejecting water by being greased.

The isolation is established in two layers – the covering feathers are closely laid, enabling so a roof-structure and covering the bushy downs with their air cushions.

The stuffing is made equal to this – with a higher portion of downs – thus being loose but isolating at the same time.

Stuffing made just of downs is the best then.

Filling power

Being elastic and flexible, feathers are like a spring. One can bend and deform these, the pressure released, they will always acquire their former shape. A vast amount of feathers and downs pressed, bent or deformed and afterwards released will always spring back and create new air cushions in between them.

Not even an elephant can press and deform a feather stuffed duvet persistent. Leaving this, the feathers will again spring back and the elasticity will endure even years after.

Goose feather

The quill of the goose feather is round and truncated, the feather is strongly curved and stocky, on the lower part of the quill being rather fluffy. The whole feather is mat.

Inlet

Inlet is a cotton textile with 2/1 twill weave. The weft yarn is lying on the inside under two warp yarns and crossing one. The softer weft yarn on the inside becomes more felted in transaction with the feathers, more increasing the textile density.

Inlet / Percale

Feathers and downs must be contained in an enclosing, which is often exposed to rough power and so has to fulfill high expectations as to endurance. The expectations are best fulfilled by percale, inlet or satin.

Some of these expectations are the necessity to hold back the stuffing on one side, on the other to be permeable for air.

Cotton, which is the source for percale, inlet and satin, woven to finest yarns, acquires the necessary and is tear proof. These yarns – warp and weft - are woven crossover again – called twill weave with weft on the inside - and being worked in this matter, they form the necessary textile – canvas or satin.

Natural product

Nature has been very gracious to ducks and geese, equipping them with very special feather clothing. Even in winter months, in rough freezing, they can swim on water with no effect on them. Scientists lately found out, that ducks and geese can endure temperatures of minus 110 degree Celsius and below, whereas ice bears cannot survive temperatures of minus 80 degree Celsius.

One of the reasons for this effect can be found in the air cushions in between the finest hairs of the feathers and downs, as air is a very bad heat conductor. These air cushions themselves are surrounded by horn substance (Keratin), a very bad heat conductor, too.

This same function is provided by the feather stuffing of duvets.

Percale

Percale or Percalcos is a closely woven plain-weave fabric often used for bed covers. Sometimes it is referenced to as “Cambric” or down percale.

Processing

The processing of the feathers and downs is a highly technical process containing the following main steps: removing the dust, washing – to remove the grease and further impurities, drying, sorting out and mixing.

Drying and steaming at a temperature of more than 120 degree Celsius is ensuring disinfection, too.

Sorting is done by a vertical air stream – in dependence on the weight and size the feathers fall in different containers.

Feathers and downs are traded as loose ware or are further processed into stuffing.

Satin

Satin for down stuffing is a weft satin, where the weft yarn is laid across four warp yarns and beyond the fifth. The density of the yarns is higher pro square inch then the density of cotton.