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How Are Goose Down Comforters Made?

Updated on July 13, 2019
Anita Hasch profile image

Anita's main passion in life is reading and writing. She has a interest in many different subjects.

How Goose Down is Harvested

Feathers are normally removed during the natural moulting cycle of the bird. This is when they shed their old feathers and grow new ones, which occur every six to seven weeks.


Removing the Goose Down

  • First the feathers are lightly plucked starting from the goose’s tail to the neck. After that the down is plucked in the same manner.
  • The geese get plucked every six weeks. On one farm they have six hundred and fifty geese. Every six weeks 35 casual workers pluck the six hundred and fifty geese in one day. They remove 27kg feathers and 9 kg down with each plucking. The geese are very tame and get plucked in a large shed. They are handled gently and do not need to be tied up.
  • The next day the feathers and down are weighed and placed in pillow cases that are closely stitched.

Best Luxurious Goose Down Comforters

Luxurious 1200 thread count. Goose down comforter, queen size, 1200 TC- 100% Egyptian cover. Fill power is 700 and it has 50 oz fill weight.

  • Ultimate luxury, the comforter has a beautiful golden thick threading along the edges. The superior stitching and material of this product makes it a good investment which will last for years. A down comforter is lighter and also warmer.
  • Goose down clusters are bigger and therefore need less filling to fill the comforter in order to obtain the perfect level of insulation. Therefore the comforter is extremely light weight keeping you cool in summer and warm in winter. This goose down comforter is so warm and comfy, you feel warm and relaxed a few seconds after climbing into bed.

Preparing The Goose Down And Feathers

  • The pillow cases with the feathers and down are then washed in two baths. First they get washed with good washing powder and then with washing soda to get the feathers and down spotless and white.
  • After this the pillow cases with the down and feathers are rinsed a few times. In the last rinse a disinfectant is added to the water. The pillow cases are then spun dry in a washing machine one by one and then hung outside for three days to dry.
  • The farmer’s wife measures and marks the material, and the workers then fill and stitch the comforters.
  • As you can see it takes a great deal of preparing and work to make a goose filled comforter. This is how it is done on one farm. Other large concerns import goose and duck down from overseas. The farmer’s wife makes pillows as well as goose down comforters. The pillows are made in three different sizes.
    • The standard pillows (45cm x 7cm) she uses 1,1kg feathers and down for a pillow that is well filled.
    • A medium filled pillow is filled with 900g of feathers and down
    • A loosely filled pillow uses 600g mixture of down and feathers.

Best Goose Down Pillow

Superior 100% Down. Fill power 700. Hungarian Whit Goose Down Pillow. Size 26 inchesx18 inchesx7 inches, queen size.

  • The best Hungarian queen size 100% cotton white goose down pillow. The pillow is firm and flexible enough to provide the support needed for a peaceful sleep.
  • Pillows are firmly filled with goose down and are very nicely fluffed up months after purchase. My daughter was very impressed by the fast delivery of her pillows.

Goose Down Comforters are More Expensive

  • The pure goose down comforters are more expensive but considering that a well made goose comforter will last for years to come, it is certainly a good investment. No bedding is so light, snug and luxurious than a lovely goose down comforter.
  • The manufacturer has to ensure that the material is of a high quality and thickness that the down does not escape. The cotton used to stitch the comforter also needs to be of high standard and a certain thickness. If you ensure that the thickness and strength is correct you should have an investment in sleeping pleasure that will last for years.
  • The comforter will keep you warm and snug on the coldest winter nights. Goose down is natural as it holds body heat and keeps you warm, providing good insulation.

Best Economical Goose Down Comforter

Cozy premium Eqyptian cotton authentic natural white down filled comforter has 550 fill power. King 106x90 black Friday sales.

Fill power is a record of a down product. A measurement that tells us how fluffy and breathable it is. More fill power leads to higher levels of insulation.

A down comforter with a fill power of more than 500 and less than 600 will be economically priced and have medium warmth, which is ideal for moderate weather or to use during summer and autumn.

  • However, it is more superior than synthetic comforters as it still has a down filling. Down has the ability to trap air between the filaments of the clusters. This trapped air gives the duvet its loft and stiffness. Because down is a natural fiber it has the ability to breathe and absorb body vapor.

How Do You Fill Down Comforters

  • Baffle box design helps to avoid any movement of down when you’re sleeping and the side gusset offers maximum warmth. Light as a feather. A baffle wall construction means no cold spots and no daily fluffing.
  • Channel style comforters consists of a series of channel walls stitched together with a baffle wall construction. This prevents the down from moving from side to side and also prevents cold spots forming along the seam lines.
  • The reason why natural fill is better is because it provides three times more warmth compared to synthetic.
  • It means a down comforter is lighter and also warmer. Down has the ability to trap air between the filaments of the clusters. This trapped air gives the comforter its loft and stiffness.
  • Because down is a natural fiber it has the ability to breathe and absorb body vapor.
  • Goose down clusters are the biggest and therefore less filling is needed to fill the comforter in order to obtain the perfect level of insulation. Therefore the comforter is extremely light weight keeping you cool in summer and warm in winter.
  • A comforter filled with goose down will last longer than any other filling because of its strong resilient clusters.


Cruelty to Geese and Ducks When Plucking

There seems to be a misconception about the plucking of down and feathers from geese and ducks. After watching a video of the plucking done on a farm in China I am filled with disgust. However, I am sure that not all farms in China use such brutal methods.

It would be pathetic to encourage consumers to stop buying goose down products because of some cruel and inhuman producer's.

Surely forcing these producer's to adhere to the correct method of plucking the down and feathers by monitoring them would improve conditions. Buying only from reputable companies. Goose and duck down have such wonderful insulating properties that should you be lost in the snow you would have a chance of survival if you had a down filled sleeping bag and jacket. I recall a goose down comforter passed down from my grandmother that my sister and I slept under for years. It was homemade with a soft leather covering on top. You only have to think of our ancestors riding for months in wagons. They all had goose down comforters.

Having seen goose plucked countless of times on farms I can only assume that the cruelty I saw on the video was because of ignorance.

Anybody that's been on a well run goose farm will know that geese shed their down if it is not plucked. These producer's know when to pluck the geese. There is no bloody feathers or geese. On duck farms the ducks only get plucked after they have been slaughtered for their meat which is very popular at hotels etc.

Artificial made comforters are far inferior to a goose down comforter but of course much cheaper to produce. I can quess from where these misconceptions originated.

Goose and duck farms, like the one I saw on the video, should be forced to close down. Buy only from reputable producer's.

In South Africa the goose down producer's treat their geese well. After all they bring in the money. Producer's like the one in the video would soon be closed down.

Duck Down And Feathers

  • Duck down is the middle of the range filling. The duck down clusters are slightly smaller than the goose down clusters therefore the duvet needs to be filled with more filling to create similar insulation properties. A duck down duvet will be slightly heavier than a goose down duvet.
  • Feather and down filling is a more economical option. It is a blend of small duck feathers and duck down.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2016 Anita Hasch


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    • Anita Hasch profile imageAUTHOR

      Anita Hasch 

      4 years ago from Port Elizabeth

      Thank you for the comment. There really is nothing better than a well made goose down comforter. Well worth the price if you think how long it will last you and the joy and comfort it will give you.

      A prosperous new year to you and your family.

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 

      4 years ago from East Coast

      Very informative and well written article. I'm looking for a down comforter now and your hub is very helpful. Thanks.

    • Anita Hasch profile imageAUTHOR

      Anita Hasch 

      4 years ago from Port Elizabeth

      Thanks for the comment. Goose down comforters sure come a long way. I can just imagine kids sleeping under a goose down comforter in the early years of America as well as South Africa, as the wagons follow each other through dangerous territory.

      Bless you and a happy Christmas and prosperous new year to you and your family.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      4 years ago from North Central Florida

      Much interesting info here that I did not know. When I was a young girl I was so thrilled to snuggle under a real goose down comforter....I can feel it now as I think of it.

      Thanks for sharing.

      Angels are once again on the way ps

    • Anita Hasch profile imageAUTHOR

      Anita Hasch 

      4 years ago from Port Elizabeth

      Thanks for the comment Nadine. I wanted to start a duck down and feather business years ago. I love those comforters. I actually bought my first 100 pekin ducks, but they were so adorable I just could not have them slaughtered. I sold them alive on gumtree. Hopefully I can receive some commission from Amazon if I sell some comforters that link to my articles.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 

      4 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      What a lovely post Antia. We own two single down comforters that Ive sewn together ( purchase on a house sale) and that is wonderful for our winter in Cape Town. In summer we hardly need anything...


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