Down comes from the breast of the birds and is a cluster that consists of a soft center from which light fluffy filaments rise in all directions.
Down does not contain a stalk or quills.
Goose and duck down is one of our most efficient and lightest natural insulators. It has been used for hundreds of years as a cosy long lasting duvet and pillow filling. Luxurious comfort and warmth isachieved through the ability of down to hold warm air within its millions of tiny clusters. The size and amount of the down clusters determines the fluffiness or loft of your duvet.
Feather are heavier than Down and have a very elastic quill that can be compressed a thousand fold.
Feather are by their nature flatter than down and do not loft as well. This means that they do not have the same insulating power as down.
Feathers, the principal covering of birds, have a flat construction. A feather has a hard, quill shaft from one end to the other, with a series of fibres joining together into a flat structure on each side of the shaft.
WHICH BIRDS PROVIDE THE BESTDOWN ?
Generally speaking, the best down comes from larger, more mature birds. When age and maturity are equal, goose down is better than duck down. However, down from an older duck is better than down from a younger goose. Larger Down has an extra ordinarily high warmth-to-weight ratio. A duvet or sleeping bag filled with this down will be very light and incredibly warm and it will last for decades.
On the other hand, poor quality White Goose Down will have smaller Down. It will not loft up, and has a rather low warmth-to-weight ratio. Even if there is more of this down by weight, it won’t be as warm. Down from younger birds not only tends to have poor filling power, it will also tend to collapse in a relatively short time, because its fibres are too fragile. This is usually the difference between an inexpensive goose down product, and an expensive one.