Her we have collected a lot of useful information and good advice about down, feathers, duvets and pillows.
Information about down and feathers
The finest, largest and strongest down comes from geese and ducks that live in certain regions of the earth where there is a great variation in the day and night temperatures. The birds have developed the ability to keep warm when it is extremely cold, and also so to be comfortable when it is very hot; all with the same plumage.
The best down comes from fully-grown birds. The best possible treatment and nourishment of these birds ensures the best qualities of down and feathers.
Birds that come from warm regions are not treated so well and are also slaughtered at a very young age. This does not give very good down and feather strength. What little strength there might be in the product, disappears very quickly when in use. This poor quality down is mostly used in cheap products.
It is the very great differences in the quality of feathers and down that give the very great differences in price for the finished quilts and pillows.
What is fill power?
Fill power is an expression of the down’s insulating ability and quality. A high fill power means that the fill is light and airy and insulates well because it contains a lot of air – and it is the air between the down that keeps you warm underneath the duvet. The lower the down quality, the lower also the fill power and the ability to insulate. If treated properly, good raw materials can preserve their fill power for many years.
Measurement of fill power
Prior to 2019, fill power was measured on a scale up to 13, with 13 being the best and most isolating. This measurement method has now been updated to match the fill power known from sleeping bags and down jackets. The change means that in the future there will be a new fill power on the products.
Now the fill power will be measured on a new scale up to 900. Although the fill power is now called something else, it is exactly the same products in question.
An example of this is a 90% European muscovy down which previously had a fill power of 11. In the future it has a fill power of 725. But the filling (the down) is completely the same.
The finest duvets with the most exclusive cases are normally combined with a down percentage right up to 100%. All other components, especially small feathers, are sorted away in a very time-consuming process. Down percentages of 80-90% are more common and also give a very good and airy product.
On the other hand, there has to be a certain quantity of feathers for pillows. Feathers have a much greater suspension than down, as they have a fixed shaft, which on selected qualities has a strong, natural bend. The support to the head is obtained via the springiness of the feathers. It is often a matter of taste whether a firm pillow with a low down percentage (typically 15%) is preferred, or a more airy and softer pillow with typically 50% down.
As a supplier DYKON has to satisfy great demands, and it is, therefore, a prerequisite that filling and cases can be certified in accordance with the rules and agreements in force in the down and feather sector. It is also of great importance to Dykon that the water from the production is purified in an environmentally correct manner, so that there is no environmental impact.
OEKO-TEX Class 1
OEKO-TEX standard 100 is an international and voluntary product control.
Among other things, the standard ensures that down pillows and quilts have the highest health-related quality and are not harmful for the user.
NOMITE classification is a documentation that down quilts cannot contain house-dust mites. The case is so closely woven that neither the nourishment of the house-dust mite, skin flakes from people, or the mite itself can penetrate it.
There are several resence why you should buy a Nomite-classified down quilt Read more here.
Downafresh Greenline marking is your guarantee for a high quality pro-duct, manufactured in accordance with the strictest demands in force in Europe. This means, among other things, that the raw feathers are cleaned in water and dried at a temperature of more than 100o C.
The Downafresh Greenline marking can only be used by members of EDFA (European Down and Feather Association), who manufacture or trade in fillings for quilts and pillows with feathers and down from Europe.
Read more about Downafresh Greenline here
Good advice about duvets and pillows
In order to avoid cold bridges, all quilts for year-round and winter use have channelled walls separating the two layers of material that surround the down.
This ensures that there is down all over the duvet lying right up against the walls, instead of through-stitching which just presses the down away from the stitching.
Varying numbers of boxes are used depending on the filling quantity. More boxes are used for a low filling quantity in order to keep the down in place.
For summer duvets quite small squares are used as well as through-stitching, i.e. no channelled walls to keep the low quantity of down in place.
It is important to take advice on the choice of the right duvet. Duvets can be light, heavy, hot, warm, cool, short, long, cheap, expensive etc. Listen to the advice of the sales person and choose the product that suits your needs best.
However, a down duvet can be many things. The most expensive and finest products contain fully mature down from large grey geese. In duvets with this huge down it is only necessary to fill relatively few grammes in the duvet shell.
When the shell is also woven of the finest, combed cotton yarns, the quilt will weigh almost nothing. The down has a maximum life span, as it is much tougher and breaks down more slowly, which means that the duvet feels fluffy and voluminous even after many years of use.
Duvets from DYKON are allergy-neutral and are tested continuously. Furthermore, the shells are Oeco-Tex certified.
Our down and feather filled quilts are built up around an extremely closely woven bolster, which makes it impossible for down and feathers to pass through. The close weave prevents skin flakes from penetrating the bolster. Therefore, there is no risk of house-dust mites. The NOMITE-labelling is a guarantee for this.
Never dry your washing in the bedroom, as some of the moisture is absorbed by the quilt and pillow!
Many people, who have allergy symptoms when they are lying in bed, are reacting to housedustmites. And here it makes no difference whether the quilt or pillow is made of down/feathers or of synthetic material, as house-dust mites are not interested in the material.
So it is not the filling that is crucial for allergies, but the temperature used for washing.
The main problem is the house-dust mite, which prefers to live in damp rooms that are not kept clean. It is the excrements from the house-dust mite that certain allergy sufferers react against.
Our products comply with the European NOMITE-classification, which documents that our down products cannot contain house-dust mites. The case is so closely woven that neither the nourishment of the housedustmite, which consists of skin flakes from people, or the mite itself can penetrate it.
All of our down products are allergy neutral, as they can be washed at 60oC – the house-dust mite dies at 55o C.
We spend 1/3 of our lives in bed without thinking about the maintenance of our quilts and pillows. Every night we give off more than ½ litre liquid, some via exhalation air, but most in the form of perspiration.
Some of the perspiration is absorbed by the quilt and the pillow, which causes the down and feathers to gradually become lumpy. The quilt feels heavier and its insulating qualities are reduced.
No product tolerates water better than down and feathers from geese and ducks – indeed, these birds spend more time in the water than on land!
Furthermore, the quilt and pillow cases are made of 100% cotton and are washable.
Wash the down quilt in a 7 kg washing machine at 60oC. Spin-dry it well and tumble-dry it with a shoe or a couple of tennis balls at 80-90oC often up to 3-4 hours. Take the quilt out of the machi-ne and shake it during the drying process.
Pillows can be washed in an ordinary 5 kg washing machine.
Use approx. 1/3 of the normal amount of detergent – which must be enzyme-free
To get the most out of your quilt and pillow for many years, it is important that you keep them in good condition.
Do not cover the bed with a bedspread immediately after getting up in the morning, so the quilt can get rid of the moisture it has absorbed during the night.
Now and again it is a good idea to put it in a tumble-dryer to remove the moisture, and the quilt or pillow will become nice and fluffy again.
Shake the quilt when you make the bed, this keeps it fluffy, light and airy. Remember to shake it from different sides, so that the filling is kept evenly distributed.
You should air both quilt and pillow as often as possible, but always in the case – never in direct sunlight as it can damage the natural lanolin layer which protects the down and the feathers.
It is important to avoid vacuuming or beating the quilt. Use a soft brush instead.
Continuous maintenance is important for the life span of your quilt and pillow….