Down is known to be the light and airy clusters found beneath the bird’s feather. This is commonly found in geese and ducks. Known for it’s natural ability to keep the bird warm during cold temperatures, it traps and insulates the heat in between the very small pockets of fibers.
When it comes to the goose down and duck down, there’s no much difference when you look at them. During shipment, scientists have to literally check the species using a microscope.
In the market today, there is more down from ducks than geese since geese are rare. This makes goose down more expensive and duck down quite affordable. Geese are bigger birds, that produce larger down clusters, ideal for higher fill to offer more warmth during cooler climates. Duck down is perfect for less filled comforters and for warmer temperatures.
At very high fill powers like above 600 fill power, goose down is commonly available than duck down.
Goose down comforters could be of different colors, from white to grey depending an the season the down was harvested on the age of the bird, from which it was harvested. Color does not matter when it comes to the quality or insulation ability. However, white down is preferred since it can easily match with other materials.
This is the down’s insulation quality. Fill Power is defined as the space that one ounce of down can occupy in cubic inches. The higher the comforter’s fill power, the bigger the percentage of down clusters, hence a higher insulation ability. Comforters with fill power above 700, are considered to be the finest.
Density and Cling
Mature downs are known to have the right density. A mature down that has a denser center will have a better insulation and will be stronger or firmer than an immature down cluster with the same size. Cling is a quality for the very mature goose downs and is normally found when very small hooks grow on the down cluster’s individual filaments. The white goose down from Poland is a good example that portrays these attributes.
Down that’s not properly cleaned can have dust mites and dander. Some people are allergic to these. Good goose down comforters are clean and hypoallergenic.
How the comforter is constructed is really important. There are different types of constructions which are: baffle box, sewn-through box, ring stitch, karo step and European bag. The most popular construction is the baffle box whereby the stitching done joins a thin fabric into the comforter’s top and bottom layers. Baffle box describes the fabric-walled boxes of three dimensions that are designed to hold the down in place enabling the down to enlarge for maximum loft and get rid of cold spots. This way, you can stay cozy and warm since the down is centered where you need it.
Whether natural or synthetic, goose down is known to be among the best lightweight insulator. The special three dimensional structure of the down cluster creates very many tiny air packets. These air pockets provide the great insulating ability known for the down. High quality bigger cluster down is also extra firm and breathable as compared to other materials. Water vapor can pass through, absorbed and released through the filaments while maintaining the warmth in the air pockets.