WHAT IS DOWN?
Contrary to popular belief, not any feather is considered true down. Authentic down is painstakingly harvested-often by hand-from ducks, geese and similar water fowl. The down feathers are located underneath the bird’s main feathers. They look like little cotton balls with a round center called a plumule. Each plumule has thousands of tiny fibers emanating from its core. As these fibers link to others, they create air pockets, which insulate by trapping heat to keep the ducks and geese warm. Because down is primarily found on the bellies and chest of birds, it only comprises about 12-15% of the birds overall feather weight. Unlike regular feathers which repel water and are therefore unwashable, down is fully washable. This is why many people allergic to feathers, have no reaction to down. Thanks to down’s ingenious bit of natural Thermodynamic Engineering, waterfowl can comfortably weather the foulest weather and temperatures. While down has enough natural inherent benefits to fill a website of its own, we’ve chosen the ones most critical to your purchasing decision. As you read the following, you’ll begin to understand why buying a quality down product is a worthwhile investment.
WHY BUY DOWN?
Down weighs about 20% less than even the best synthetic fills. Plus, it also compresses more easily into smaller packages than synthetic fibers. This is why when it comes to providing the most warmth in the least space, nothing else measures up.
THE ULTIMATE IN COMFORT: As down is naturally porous, it inherently absorbs and releases body moisture slower than synthetics. This provides for a wider comfort zone—as in the range of temperatures in which a user is comfortable. Normally, down offers a range of +/-17F degrees // 10C degrees, compared to synthetics which offer only +/-10F // 6C).
FROM BEDROOM TO HEIRLOOM —Down lasts up to four times longer than synthetic fills. Small wonder our comforters often get handed down from generation to generation.
THE NATURAL CHOICE—IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE: Unlike synthetics, down is environmentally sound and naturally biodegradable, so it's as good for our planet as it is for you.
The quality of down is usually classified by two criteria: Its source-as in goose or duck-and fill power, as in the area a decompressed ounce of down takes up. When combined, these comprise the product’s grade. Understanding these differences will help you choose the best product to suit your particular needs. But no matter which you choose, rest assured, the Downright brand means your're getting the very best product in its class.
WHAT IS FILL POWER? How many cubic inches a compressed ounce of down will occupy (loft) after it’s decompressed. As a rule, the higher the fill power, the better the quality –and warmth, because down works by trapping air. This means that a higher quality comforter can weigh less than a heavier lower quality one, yet still provide more warmth—not to mention lightweight comfort.
Grades: While there are many grades of down, we at Downright prefer to exclusively offer the Top 5 grades. This is our way of ensuring that no matter your budget, you’ll be getting the best value—and warmth for your money.
FILL POWER=800+ SIBERIAN WHITE GOOSE DOWN: Unequivocally, the finest available as it comes from mature geese bred specifically for their down, which results in large uniform clusters. Because it is carefully harvested by hand, the plumules stay intact for optimal warmth with minimal weight. As so much of the process is done by hand, Siberian White Goose Down is both expensive and durable and with proper care, will become a treasured heirloom that will be enjoyed for generations to come.
FILL POWER=700+POLISH WHITE GOOSE DOWN: Similar to Siberian in terms of loft, and virtually identical in terms of warmth. As this is harvested from less mature geese, the plumules are slightly smaller—though still far superior to the “top line” products of competitive brands. Small wonder this is the fill found in some of our finest products, such as the Mirage comforters and pillows.
FILL POWER=650+ HUNGARIAN WHITE GOOSE DOWN:
This large cluster down comes from geese raised for both their down, as well as for food production. As a rule, these geese are rarely as mature as geese raised only for down production, so their down clusters are slightly smaller. Because of our exclusive relationships with leading suppliers, our Hungarian goose products should last at least 2 decades with proper care. This combined with a surprisingly moderate price make them a remarkable value.
FILL POWER=575+ WHITE GOOSE DOWN: Usually a by-product of the food industry, White Goose Down usually originates from the Orient, Canada or Europe. As it comes from younger geese, the clusters are smaller and less lofty which means more weight is needed for warmth. Unlike other brands, Downright White Goose Down is virtually pure, carefully washed goose down, without minimal fillers, quills, etc. thus making it the best in its grade.
FILL POWER=550+ WHITE DOWN: Most all of this category originates from China. As the down is removed from ducklings, the clusters have minimal lofting—at best. To optimize the challenges of working with White Duck Down, we meticulously select only the best plumules, which are then carefully washed. White Duck Down is usually found in winter outerwear and mass-market pillows and comforters.