The following are the most commonly asked questions and answers on down and feather:
What is down?
A single unit of down is called a cluster. It is a 3-
dimensional spherical plume comprised of a quill point (with no quill shaft) and the many thousand filaments
which radiate from it. A down cluster has the overall appearance of a ripe dandelion pod.
What is the source?
Down comes from the underbody of waterfowl such as goose, ducks and swans. Landfowl such as chickens and turkeys do not produce down. Down clusters grow under the outer protective layer of feathers, and are most numerous on the breast area.
What is feather?
Feather, the principal covering of birds, is of flat, two dimensional construction. It has a hard, tubular quill shaft from one end to the other. A series of softer processes for a flat structure on each side of the quill shaft.
What’s the difference between down and feathers?
First of all, they are two completely different structures. A down cluster has an identity all its own. It is not a young, or small feather, and will never develop into a feather. A down cluster has a quill point but no quill shaft, so it is far more resilient than feather. In spite of the fact that it is lighter than feather, it is three-dimensional rather than two and therefore down has more "loft" or filling power.
How can down be so light, yet insulate so well?
Because of its three dimensional structure and ability to "loft each down cluster traps more dead air for its weight than any synthetic. Every ounce of good down has about 2 million fluffy filaments that interlock and overlap to form a protective layer of non-conducting still air that keeps warmth in and cold out. Because of its resilience, you can scrunch it up or flatten it out. All it takes is a good shake for it to fluff up and bounce back to the form that keeps you cozy and warm.
What is fill power?
Fill power is the ability of down to regain its original volume after being compressed during shipping, storage, or use. The higher the filling power, the greater the ability of down to insulate and provide warmth.
When should fill power be measured?
Fill power is first tested after removal from the down washing/ drying/sorting machines. This test for fill power represents the maximum fill power for the down. The first test is the basis for all labels, advertising and marketing claims.
Why do subsequent fill power measurements drop?
After long-term storage, compressed shipment and assembly into finished products, the fill power measurements drop. These processes cause the down clusters to close. Comforters will drop 5-15% in fill power. Jackets, vests and sleeping bags will drop 10-40%.
How is the best down chosen?
Down is washed, chemically cleaned and separated into different grades by blowing. The drafts from a machine send the best down drifting up to the highest bin, to be graded as the finest quality. Down of lesser quality then falls into the lower bins.
Which birds provide the best down?
Generally speaking, the best down is formed by the biggest cluster. And the biggest clusters come from the larger, more mature birds. This is why geese usually provide the best quality down. Large, mature ducks provide good quality down too, but under the microscope, goose down has a slightly different construction. The larger goose down plumes tend to be stronger, last long, and have more filling.
Does climate affect the quality of the down?
Climate doesn’t affect the quality of the down. The age of the bird is really the determining factor here. It does, however, affect, quantity. A bird killed in cold weather will yield a greater amount of down. But quality depends simply on the maturity of the bird.
Does color have any relation to quality?
None at all. As stated previously, quality is determined mainly by the age of the bird. White down is prized because it can be put into light colored coverings without showing through. However, duckling down is pure white, and beautiful, but has very low filling power. Conversely, the down of the mature Canada goose is dark grey, and the prized down of the eider sea duck is almost black.
If down is so superior, why are so many synthetics being manufactured?
Because, even if everyone could afford down, there simply isn’t enough of it to go around. But, the highest compliment is to be copied, and there is even. a synthetic "down" being manufactured. Synthetics are cheaper, and more plentiful than down, but they just do not measure up in attributes.
Why is down superior to synthetics as an insulator?
Down gives approximately 3 times the warmth per ounce compared to synthetics. Also, its ability to loft, or fill the space it occupies is greater, longer lasting, and more uniform. Synthetics mat and lump together, in time, leaving empty, cold spots, while down continually relofts and molds itself to the body.
Why is down more comfortable than synthetics?
Down has the ability to mold itself to the body while synthetics remain rigid. It also has the marvelous ability to breathe and wick away perspiration, so the user doesn’t experience the clamminess which often occurs with synthetics.
Huafeng Feather&Down provides you a wide variety of down and feather material for bedding , outerwear,and more. We have more than twenty-five years experience in collecting and processing feather&down.
We could supply you down material 150 ton per month or feather material 250 ton per month