Duck Down Duvets
Before discussing components of a duvet, one should understand how it works. A duvet does not make you warm, it simply keeps you warm. It does this by providing insulation so that your body heat does not escape. Sometimes, we want a certain amount of our body heat to escape to maintain a comfortable temperature. Filling components are designed with this in mind. In feather and down duvets, the types of feather and down ratios are what achieves this.
There are various things that affect the price of a feather & down duvet. These are:
- Whether the filling comes from a goose or duck
- The percentage of down along with the size of other feathers used
- Whether the duvet is in channels or is box stitched.
Goose and duck feather prices trade on international markets and are subject to the same supply and demand pricing factors of any traded commodity. Goose prices are much more expensive than down. Luckily goose down is so warm that it is not optimal in the South African climate. Even pure duck down is too warm for most sleepers.
Often unscrupulous sellers will give the down a name such as Siberian or Hungarian to charge more for common supply. Most down available in the market today comes from China. To find more on these unfair practices, simply search google.
When it comes to the size of the feather, fine down is the three-dimensional belly feather of the bird. As it is only found on a small part of the bird, it is rare and therefore the most expensive feather type. It is also the type of feather which traps the most air, providing the insulation source of the duvet.
One up from fine down, three quarter and half inch sized down is somewhat three-dimensional but importantly does not have a feather spine. It is therefore used to regulate the insulation power of the duvet without adding uncomfortable feathers with spines. It is important to note that anything other than fine three-dimensional belly down should be called feather when giving the ratio of feather to down in a duvet. It is for the supplier to undertake that the feather component consists only of half and three-quarter down instead of spiny feathers.
Feathers, with spines, on the other hand, are an abundant part of the bird, and therefore cheap. As they are flat, they are not great insulators. Cheap duvets contain feathers and not down.
The simplest way to compare duvets is to scrunch it in your hand. The softer the duvet is given the price, the better.
A quicker and old-fashioned way of making duvets is in channels. The advantage usually given is that the user can regulate the temperature by shaking the feathers down. Feathers move down by themselves to the foot end of the sleeper, leaving nothing for their body. The best type of construction is box stitching to keep the filing distributed evenly over one’s body.
We find that duck down is the best kind of down for the average south African climate because it is smaller than goose and traps less air. Goose down duvets are best for snowy northern climates because they trap more air and provide extreme insulation. In South Africa, goose down duvets are often discarded soon after purchase because the user overheats. To get a warmer duck feather and down duvet, simply choose a higher filling weight of up to 350 grams per square meter. For those that overheat easily, a more regular weight duvet is about 250 grams per square meter of filling.