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Heads Up About Down

Down…coats, jackets, comforters, pillows, upholstery... they are luxuries that are worthy of our attention and yours. Here are a few things you should be aware of before you buy a down item.

1. Filler.

All down is not equal. The most expensive and best qualities down items are created with goose down, and Siberian goose down is generally considered the finest. Be wary of down items with high feather content. Feathers do not have the same capacity for warmth or bounce back, and the feathers have an increased propensity for poking through the fabric. Shy away from duck down as well. It often carries an odor, which can be especially problematic after cleaning.

2. Thread Count

The higher the thread count, the higher the quality of the down item. A higher thread count is often considered the most luxurious as it is the softest and tightest weave which keeps the down from pricking through the fabric.

3. Fill power.

This is a term used to describe the quality of down and its insulating power. The higher the fill power, the larger and stronger are the clusters of down. Large clusters provide superior insulation, breathe better and last much longer than smaller, fragile down clusters. When looking at a down garment or comforter, as with the thread count, the higher the fill power, the better the quality. 550 fill power and higher are considered a luxury item

4. Labels

Reading the labels on any down comforter, pillow or garment will let you know what the filler consists of, how high the quality is, and special instructions regarding cleaning. While some labels may read ‘wash’, tread carefully before embarking on home care.

5. Cleaning

The typical home washer does not have enough ‘room’ in the basket to properly wash, rinse or dry a down item. In addition, it is critical that the item be microscopically inspected before processing. This pre-inspection is especially important because the slightest opening in a seam or weak spot in a fabric must be repaired before cleaning. Otherwise, the mechanical action will cause some (or most) filler to escape and you will be left with a mess in the washer or dryer and a fluffless and downless garment or comforter. These items are best handled professionally. We have the equipment and chemistry especially designed to handle large, bulky items and the tools needed to carefully inspect and repair items prior to cleaning.

6. Pillows

We are fully equipped to remove, clean and restful the down in your pillows leaving you with a hygienically clean pillow inside and out.