What's Down and Feather

One of the oldest natural materials in the world, down feather is now favored as a premium filling for keeping the body warm throughout the winter.

What's Down

goose down

Down is the soft undercoating of Waterfowl (Geese and Ducks), consisting of clusters of light, fluffy filaments growing from a central quill point, without a quill shaft. A single down cluster is three dimensional and looks much like a dandelion pod. Down provides geese and ducks warmth and insulation, yet keeps the birds dry by allowing water and moisture to escape from the body of the bird, through the down, and into the air.

Down filled products are extremely resilient and insulate very well. In duvets, down is the best insulator per ounce over any other fill, natural or manmade. For pillows, down provides incredible re-lofting capabilities, yet is soft and comfortable.

There are many factors that affect the quality of down and its price. Such as:

  • Countries of origin of down & feather
  • Source: Goose down or Duck down
  • Down to Feather Ratio
  • Fill power

What's Feather


Feathers are the plumage or outer growth, forming the contour and external covering of birds. Feathers are generally characterized as two-dimensional, with a hard quill shaft running from one end to the other with a series of fibres extending to each side. Feathers come in different sizes and shapes and include small flight feathers, larger flight feathers, and body feathers.

Consumers are best served when products are manufactured from smaller feathers, allowing them to trap more air and be less "crunchy." Small flight feathers and body feathers are perfect for this use. Body feathers are even better as their shaft tends to be curled giving them a spring which makes them suitable in pillow and featherbeds. Large flight feathers are sometimes used, but tend to be chopped first for use in lower quality products.

APMSILE never uses chopped feathers and only uses body feathers no larger than 3-5 cm. Even though they may be slightly more expensive, these feathers are optimal for pillows, duvets, and featherbeds, over other types of feathers.

Back to blog