We shall start from the easiest – the pillow. That you should not have morning headaches and the ache in your neck you should pay attention on your pillow’s filler. That’s why you should choose new pillows very carefully. You go to the shop and choose the pillow you like. Feel it and ask the shop assistant about its filler. Now it’s time for making your choice between synthetic material, orthopedic plastic and goose quill or down.
By the way, Germans consider down pillows to be orthopedic, synthetic ones aren’t even rivals.
After such advertisements synthetic production makers usually gather together in the flock and…no, they are not flying to the South, they start effusively sputtering everywhere in all mass media sources telling that saprophytes, mites and leeches are there in the down by all means. But the fact is saprophytes live only in the places where are pieces of epidermis, they eat them. They simply cannot be there in the pillow which undergoes 150 degrees (302 degrees Fahrenheit) of temperature processing. Besides feather and down pass multilevel sorting, they are cleaned from dust and allergens, washed in special shampoos, dried in peak temperatures etc. Yes, that’s true we do all these processes with your pillow before it goes to your bed, your health is our business!We’d like to know how synthetic materials are worked up.
Well, we found out that down was still more natural and comfortable. It is not without reason that all birds and some kinds of animals cover little ones with their own soft, warm down.Let’s look into the down.
The down in Ukraine is estimated under OST 49-157-85. According to analysis which can be officially made in "Reepex" laboratory in Ukraine, the specialists sort out the following components feather-down blend:
Feather-down which consists of thin, flexible core and vane which by-turn consists of small quill and mostly indistinguishable from core thin, flexible barbs forming chaotic elastic accumulation;
small feather – core length 35 mm and lessmiddle feather – core length 35 - 95 mm
immature feather – this feather has partly developed vane and its core’s quill isn’t horny
blended components – admixtures of organic and inorganic origin: horny flakes, feather powder, sand etc.
According to OST elastic attributes are estimated “to the touch”. The international level analysis can be made in the "INTERNATIONAL DOWN AND FEATHER TESTING LABORATORY", the highest instance (situated in the USA). "Reepex" products were tested there. The results of the test approved the quality of feather-down blends which are made by "Reepex" factory. According to international standards "Down clusters" and "Down Fiber" are allocated and elastic attributes are estimated by certain "Fill power" parameters.
As a rule, just the quality of the raw material defines the quality of the down production. White feathered geese are considered to be the best for down producing. The best breeds of white feathered geese are Italian, Rhenish, Lindian, Vishtinec, Hungarian, Northgerman. In addition the natural factors of growing poultry influence on down quality. It is no coincidence that Ukrainian raw material is very valued in the West, it contains more down which is larger than in other countries. The same reason why people aren’t completely satisfied with Chinese down.
There are 2 kinds of raw material. Intravital picking and the picking after slaughter are 2 methods of raw material producing. Raw material produced by hand intravital picking of adult poultry is considered to be the best because it mostly doesn’t contain nap which influences on elastic properties of the down. We use the down of this raw material for producing expedition clothes at an altitude of 8000 m and other important orders. However the raw material of such a perfect quality is rare and very expensive. The raw material which is produced using the second method (picking after slaughter) is often very spoiled. A few words about eiderdown. It is usually picked just after the nesting season. It is possible to pick not more than 30 gm from one nest. Besides it’s very difficult to make it producing. That’s why eiderdown is very limited (20 kg p.a.) and extremely expensive.
After the raw material is chosen it should be washed, the down should be separated from the feather and blended. The complete technology of down processing consists of 18 operations and is possible only in first-rate down-feather factories such as “Reepex”, “American down” etc, which are supplied with necessary equipment. We work raw material up using German equipment and produce 4 kinds of down blend. Each blend contains different percent of down: 2%, 10%, 50% and 98%. Then we treat down with special substance, for example liquid soap “DOWN PROOF” or “DOWN WASH” by German company “NIKWAX”, which contain special additives improving down’s quality and making it waterproof.
The main characteristic of down valuation is its elastic properties. People in the West appraise the down according to the following method: they take 1 oz of the down, compress it and inch its volume up to which the specified portion of down was restored. This parameter is called “Fill Power” (F.P.) and its top showing is 650 units. Generally such famous companies as “North Face” and “Columbia” use the down with F.P. showing not less than 550 units. “Columbia Sportswear Company” cites data according to which we find out that it is possible to reach such a high result by using grey goose down and it should be blended in the following composition: 70% down, 10% nap, 17% small feather, 3% blended components.
At present Ukrainian down market is unstable, the rising of the price depends on many reasons: 1) geese reduction in Ukraine, Russia and Byelorussia, 2) active foreign companies buy raw material up at a very high price, which is much higher than traditional Ukrainian price, 3) and the last reason is lack of serious producers of down products who could stably buy a lot of down.
You should be very careful if you buy feather-down products from private people who don’t have distillery. They usually keep unwashed down. As a rule they mix goose and duck down. But we make our products only from goose down (white or grey) using intravital picking method. Each down lot has veterinary certificate confirming the absence of bacterium and background radiation (this is very important in our time).
We’d like to share one practical advice with you; it will help you to choose nice pillows and blankets.
1) Take a pillow or a blanket (these products are usually kept in the pressed form), compress it strongly, shake it twice or thrice, if the down is elastic enough it will restore 50-70% of its volume and the full volume of the product will be restored in 20 minutes. Imperfect, inelastic product takes much more time for restoration of its volume.
2) If down product smells not really well, better don’t take it or wash it straightly with a special soap. In case of bad washing down spoils very fast.
3) If you feel thick or long quills inside of the product, its down is of wrong sublimation then. It is probably large grinded feather (there are special machines for grinding feather) and it contains too little of the down. The normal blend contains only small feather (not longer than 35 mm).
4) Immature goose feather has a sharp end which needles almost each cloth. According to standards there in the down should be not more than 2-3% of it. Take as much down as you can, compress it strongly, if your hand feels some pricks, there is too much of immature feather then.
5) Pay attention to cloth. It should be light, breathable, practical and don’t let down out.Give a present to the person you love!We wish you lucky buy!