Down & Feather 101 Guide


Blue Ridge Home Fashions’ feather and down comes with the Fresh Loft™ guarantee. Our down is washed several times using a specially designed process with cleaning agents. This process eliminates odors and ensures optimum lofting properties. Finished products must meet these Fresh Loft™ requirements:

WASHING PROCESSThe feather and down are washed at high temperatures several times to remove impurities. During the drying process, the feather and down are sterilized Fresh Loft™ .

OXYGEN NUMBER - To qualify, the oxygen number must be less than 4.8 (mg/100g). This number signifies the amount of foreign matter on the surface of the feather and down. All Blue Ridge Home Fashions products are certified hypoallergenic.

TURBIDITY - The higher the turbidity, the cleaner the down. Fresh Loft™ products have a turbidity of greater than 500 mm.


What is it that makes a down pillow so irresistible, so comfortable, and so cozy that getting out of bed every day is near impossible? One word: clusters. More specifically down clusters, which are the light, fluffy undercoating of geese, ducks and other waterfowl that keeps them warm in the arctics and cool in the tropics. It is the world’s best natural thermo-regulating material.

Down consists of clusters of filaments growing from a central quill point without a quill shaft. Down has a three-dimensional structure that allows it to make thousands of air pockets that trap air, which makes for incredible insulation. It also moves moisture very quickly keeping the ambient humidity at ideal levels.

Being the industry leaders, we have the most extensive list of down and feather blended fills, which provide the best comfort and support for every possible type of sleeping position.


This type of feather is found among the larger flight feathers and form part of the flying surface of the wing. Small flight feathers are used in better quality feather pillows or comforters and are often mixed with a percentage of down.


Larger flight feathers are found on the wings and tail. They are a straight, flat feather that has a hard quill shaft running from one end to the other with a series of fibers joining together into a flat structure on each side of the shaft. Larger flight feathers are used in good quality feather pillows and feather beds.


Body feathers are primarily for protection and found over the entire body of the bird. This type of feather is great to use in feather pillows and featherbeds because the natural bend or curve provides natural spring.


The age of the ducks and geese that are raised for the food market will determine the quality of down. The younger the bird, the smaller the down cluster. Better quality down comes from farm geese, which are allowed to grow to maturity.

Generally, the best down comes from larger, more mature birds, especially those raised in colder climates producing a larger and more dense down cluster. The denser the down, the better it traps air, which provides better insulation and fill power.

There are many reasons why down-filled products are the best choice when it comes to bedding:

NATURAL Down is a natural product and nature’s best insulator.

WARMTH Down has superior insulation capabilities without being bulky and heavy.

HYGIENIC Down and feathers are safe and clean. Every country in the world has a minimum cleanliness/hygienic requirement.

ECO-FRIENDLY Feather and down are a byproduct of the food industry, making feather and down a good, eco-friendly choice.

FIBER This natural fill is comprised of down fibers not connected at a central point, and feather fibers not connected to the quill. Down Fiber can achieve 500 Fill Power, and is an economical natural fill option.


The most important character of down is the fill power, as it determines the amount of loft and the insulating capability of trapped air. Higher fill power down is more durable due to the greater size of the down clusters. The trapped air gives greater loft and insulation for the same weight and requires less weight to achieve the same warmth.


Comforters come in both natural and synthetic options. Proven design techniques are used to create long lasting products that are perfect for any season and are examples of the quality Blue Ridge Home Fashions is known for.


True baffle box design refers to internal three-dimensional fabric wall boxes that allow maximum thickness and comfort, while maintaining even distribution within the boxes. This construction will minimize migration of fill, eliminating shifting or clumping in any section of the item.


Sewn-through box stitching contains the fill in individual compartments, which prevents shifting and minimizes cold spots. This is an effective and traditional technique that results in a quilted appearance. However, sewn-through stitching can prevent the fill from attaining its highest loft, where as the baffle box allows for more loft.


The walls are placed diagonally to keep the fill within each baffle, which maintains an even warmth throughout the entire comforter, making sure cold spots can be eliminated.


Blue Ridge Down and Feathers are carefully chosen so only the highest quality and softest are used.

Fresh Loft™ Down and Feathers are washed at the highest standards using our proprietary cleaning process. Dust, Dirt and allergens have all been removed providing a restful nights sleep.

Blue Ridge Home Fashions Craftsmanship - Extra tight cotton fabrics have a special weave and finishing that ensures down and feathers won’t leak out. Double needle sewn edges complete the perfect construction to ensure a durable and luxurious finished product.

OEKO-TEX® enables consumers and companies to make responsible decisions which protect our planet for future generations.

The Responsible Down Standard is a global standard for best practices in animal welfare throughout a brand’s entire retail supply chain. Since 2014, Textile Exchange has sought input from animal welfare groups, industry experts, brands, and retailers to perfect this standard as it is today.

IDFL is committed to guaranteeing the quality of filled textile products and their raw material components. We also guarantee the integrity, transparency, and sustainability of the related supply chains. Guaranteed quality is essential for providing consistent, reliable products. IDFL helps consumers, brands, and suppliers know exactly what they are getting and avoid product failure and recall.

The ADFC Seal of Approval ensures that a product is manufactured by an ADFC member in good standing. ADFC members adhere to standards of quality that meet or exceed all claims made on the label or packaging.

The GRS is an international, voluntary, full product standard that sets requirements for third-party certification of recycled content, chain of custody, social and environmental practices and chemical restrictions.

The Organic Content Standard (OCS) is a voluntary global standard that sets the criteria for third-party certification of organic materials and chain of custody.