While researching what duvet or pillow is best for you, you may have encountered vendors saying that a certain down is best because of the country it originates from. This is not the case. No down is superior because it comes from Siberia, Canada, or Hungary. Contrary to popular belief, a bird’s country of origin has little to no bearing on the quality of its down. Because countries harvest down in different ways, some believe that one place must be better but rather, but the quality depends on many factors.
It is a common misconception that colder climates breed ducks and geese with higher quality down. In truth, down originating from warmer regions can be just as good as that from colder climes. The weather simply isn’t a deciding factor. In colder areas, birds produce more down to compensate for the colder temperatures – their down is more plentiful, but not necessarily better.
There are other factors which affect the quality of a bird’s down. Age is most important. The most insulating down comes from mature birds.
The quality and effectiveness of down is measured by something called fill power. The fill power rating is calculated by measuring how many cubic inches an ounce of down creates at its maximum loft. The higher the fill power rating, the more extensive the air chambers within the down and thus the more effective its insulating properties. This is why as down quality increases, the amount of down required to provide the same insulation decreases.
If you prefer a down duvet that feels a little heavier, then order a duvet with lower fill power or one that utilises a larger percentage of feathers. On the other hand if you prefer an ultra-light and very warm duvet, then choose one with a high fill power. Whether it’s Candaian, Hunagrian, or Polish goose down, it is the fill power that determines the quality.
Down with a higher fill power rating will also last longer because its fibres are less fragile. In summation, higher fill power means a relatively warmer, lighter duvet that lasts longer.
So Where Does Goose Down Come From?
China is the largest producer of goose down in the world. But its supply, while extensive, is not the best in terms of quality. The best goose down comes from European countries, such as Poland, Hungary, and France. Down from other areas such as Canada, Great Britain, Scandinavia, Russia, Serbia and Romania also produces excellent duvets.
Poland, Hungary, and other European nations have a long tradition of raising geese and ducks into adulthood. This results in generally higher grades of down. As you’ve already read, it’s the fill power that indicates down’s quality, not its country of origin. That said, the down industry and harvesting methods do vary somewhat by country.
Hungary is the largest producer of high-quality goose down. The country is notable for the history and maturity of its down industry, as well as the white and semi-white colour of its goose down. A variety of duvets in our collection are filled with Hungarian down. Hurray for the Hungarian Goose Down Duvet!
Just like Hungary, Poland has a long tradition of raising geese and exporting their premium down. Most harvesting of this luxurious down is done in the beautiful Masurian Lake District.
The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain. This area is renowned for the geese that provide superb quality down. The down has become popular and is now used by manufacturers all over the world.
The Western provinces of Canada are famous for their down. Just like those in the Pyrenees, Canadian geese produce excellent down. The country is also famous for its Hutterite down, which we find to be one of the finest varieties.
Greenland and Iceland
Eiderdown comes from Iceland and Greenland, the only areas where eider ducks nest. The eider duck provides us with the most exclusive and expensive down there is: eiderdown. Harvested from abandoned nests using traditional methods in isolated communities, eiderdown achieves its exclusiveness from its ethical harvesting and the excellent properties of the down itself.
Europe’s greatest wetland is located in Romania and is called the Romanian Danube Delta. This delta provides excellent habitat for geese. Huge populations supply a wealth of high quality white and grey goose down.
The Czech Republic has long been home to duck farms. Many of these produce high quality duck down for export.
Although the UK does not produce large quantities of down, the quality is among the highest in the industry. Down from the Scottish Highlands is especially popular.
What Really Matters
Here at Downduvet.co.uk, we understand exactly what makes for quality down duvets. We focus on what really matters: fill power (and of course impressive value for money).
You can find out more about fill power and choosing the right products tailored to with your preferences on our page about down fill power. If you have any questions about down quality, origins, or types, then get in touch with our customer service team at any time!