Down and feathers
Down is a brilliant insulation material, and its low weight makes it extremely suitable as fill for duvets. The insulating ability of the fill is measured with the so-called “fill power”. Goose down with fill power 13 is certainly a fantastic warmer, but fill can also easily be used in a light and airy summer duvet – just not so much of it. Feathers are great as support in pillows – if you prefer a high, firm pillow. The time of the old days’ heavy feather duvets, which are more heavy than insulating, is over.
The finest, largest and strongest down originates from regions with substantial fluctuations between day and night temperatures. Anseriformes (ducks, geese and swans) have developed the ability to keep warm on cold nights, yet also feel comfortable in the day’s heat – all with the same plumage. The secret lies in a protective layer of fat, lanolin, which makes feathers flexible, resistant and waterproof, which is also the explanation why these birds can remain dry and warm.
The best down comes from fully-grown birds, and if they have lived under optimum conditions, in particular, geese can yield down with a fill power all the way up to 13. Birds in the Far East are generally treated worse and are also slaughtered at a very young age. The result: down of inferior quality and ready products with a shorter life span. As a rule, cheaper products contain inferior quality down, so the price difference between different duvets is therefore mainly owing to different fill grades. As a consequence of this, we only use down and feathers from from carefully selected suppliers in Europe.
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.
Eider down has the best insulating power followed by goose down and finally by duck down. But take a look at the product label because “duck down, fill power 10” denotes a better quality than “goose down, fill power 8”.
If treated properly, good raw materials can preserve their fill power for many years. There are many stages in the production process that can impair the quality of the fill. This is quite clearly something we keep in mind when we wash, dry and sort in order to subsequently fill, seal and pack your Ringsted Dun’s pillows and duvets.
High Fill Power– 20g down
Low Fill Power – 20g down
Down & Allergy
Many people think incorrectly that they are hypersensitive to down and feathers, but the actual culprit are usually the faeces of the house dust mite. Our pillows and duvets can be washed at a temperature of 60 degrees (all house dust mites are killed at 55 degrees). The cotton shell is also Nomite-certified, which means that the fabric is so tightly woven that house dust mites cannot penetrate inside. Read more about duvets and allergy here.