the wonder of down

The Wonder of 100% Down Duvets – natures insulation for both warm and cold climates. In nature, very few materials have the same insulating qualities as down. Our duvets are 100% down, which keep you at the perfect temperature, regardless of climate.

While not necessarily common knowledge, there are significant and important differences between down and feathers.

Feathers sit on the outside of the bird and protect against the elements.

They are well known to most people, and they have a stem that easily breaks and pokes you, as it comes out of the pillow or duvet.

Unlike a typically flat feather, a piece of down is ball-shaped and contains a lot of air. Additionally, instead of a feather’s quill shaft, down features a fixed central point, which barbs spread outwards from. Consequently, down is made up of small air passage systems – and these are what insulate your body against both hot and cold.

Most of the down is found on the birds’ chests, and they are highly outnumbered by feathers. That is why down is a lot more expensive than feathers. The whiter, purer and more feather free the down is, the more expensive it gets, as one needs to remove feathers and colored down by hand.

The most exclusive and luxurious down qualites there are are white and feather free and each piece of down is considerably much larger than lesser qualities. They therefore trap the most air, and have the highest fill power.

In northern Norway, the eider has almost the status of a sacred bird. This is because down-picking has been a vital source of income for the local population for over 1,ooo years.

The people here know that well-cared for birds are happy to return – with more down. No effort is spared to make them feel ‘at home’ and the tradition of building special nesting shelters, the so-called eider-huts, goes back a long way. To provide the bird with protection against weather, wind and predators, these huts were originally made of driftwood, a few flat stones or an upturned old boat. Seaweed was then collected, dried, and spread both inside and outside the shelter, all to help the eider build her nest.

In days gone by, entire communities would depend upon down-picking and for several months a year life in the local area revolved around the birds.

Once spring had arrived and the birds noisily announced their return, it was essential to let them settle in undisturbed. Dogs and cats were kept indoors, and no fires were lit in hearths lest the smoke disturb the eiders. Boats turned off their engines and sailed silently to shore, while wise housewives wore the same apron as last year.

The nesting period lasts a month. Then the birds “go to sea”. This means that the mother eider gathers her ducklings together to brave the journey down the beach to the ocean and a whole new life among mussels and seaweed.

This is still the moment the community waits for all year, because now is the time to harvest the down left in all the nests. It takes a strong back, nimble fingers, and infinite patience, but the work provides crucial extra income for life in a tough rural environment.

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