What are the differences between all the downs?

Posted by Shane Grimwade on
What are the differences between all the downs?

Okay so you dont know which down to select. We have so many to choose from, which one is the best and why? Is Polish Goose down better than Hungarian Goose down. All common questions we get asked, so I will try to cover them all here.

Which down you select largely comes down to your budget. Basically the higher the fill power rating the more expensive the down costs. Below is a list of the downs we use, each mention the European fill power rating.

Number 1 down in the world: 95-98% Siberian Snow Goose Down

The best we have and recognised as the best in the world is the Altai Siberian Snow Goose down. It is the best due to the large clusters of down and the very high fill power of 900 the highest of any commercially available down recorded in the world. It also has a turbidity rating of 1000 so it is as clean as a down can ever get. Farmed from the Altai (Altay) Mountain region in Russia, in the Southern parts of the Siberian region. Large clusters retain warmth better so less filling is needed to create warmth, this makes a much lighter quilt. Supreme Quilts are the only company in Australia that has this filling. We only use this down with our German Batiste Egyptian cotton to create the best you can get

Number 2 down in the world: 95% Polish Goose Down

Next best is the Polish Goose down, it has a fill power of 850 which is also very high. To me it is a clean filling, by this I mean the down clusters are large and predominant. Visually it does not look too different to the Siberian Snow Goose down, so if you need to peg the budget back a bit, go with this one.

Number 3 down in the world: 95% Hungarian Mother Goose Down

One of our newest downs is the Hungarian Mother Goose down has a fill power of 800. Like the Polish Goose down it also has large down clusters. Our supplier Aro Artlander purchased a couple of farms in Hungary to ensure its supply of Hungarian Goose Down and to secure this high quality down.

Number 4 down in the world: 90% Muskovy Duck Down

You might find this surprising. The 4th best filling we have is the Muskovy Duck down. This filling has a really good fill power of 700. For a duck down this is as good as it gets. It is better than the Hungarian Goose down which people always automatically think is the best. According the the Feather Factory Hungarian Goose down is the best? Origin doesn't always guarantee quality. Muskovy duck down has been compared to that of the Eiderdown. Eiderdown is duck down which is a coloured/grey filling, its not white. The Muskovy duck down is also a coloured/grey filling, or more accurately its a half white filling. Half white is where half the downs are white and the other half are grey. The only difference between coloured/grey filling and white filling is just that, the colour, there is no other difference, other than price. The demand for half white filling is not as high as the demand for white filling, this means with Muskovy Duck down you get an excellent quality filling for a lower price. This filling is ideal if you are trying to keep to a budget but still gives you excellent quality. 

Number 5 down in the world: 90% Ukrainian Goose Down

Next on our list is the Ukrainian Goose down. It also has a fill power of 700 but in my opinion the Muskovy looks a little better. The down are more predominant in the Muskovy than the Ukrainian. As a Goose down it is at an excellent price and is still an excellent Goose down.

Number 6 down in the world: 90% Hungarian Goose Down

We then get to the Hungarian Goose down. This has a fill power of 650, this is still an excellent quality filling and is our most popular down, largely due to it historically being more commonly known.

Unfortunately due to the huge demand from China many of the farms and processing facilities in Hungary have been bought out by Chinese companies to fulfill their shortages. The Chinese like the sweeter meat so the birds don't live for long, this means the downs are given the chance to mature, the result is smaller down clusters. Hungarian is no longer considered the best in the world. The Feather Factory/Danish Eiderdowns is misguided on this and its misleading to suggest its the best. Probably because the don't get their downs direct from Europe.

So China imports the downs from the farms in Hungary into China, with smaller down clusters combined with blending a lower and cheaper grade duck down into it means any Hungarian Goose down imported from China will have a lower fill power. Occasionally companies in China ask if we are interested in their downs. We ask them to send a sample and ask for the fill power rating and the price. The fill power they tell us never matches the sample. When they say its a 650 fill power its more like 500, if they 800 its more like 600. The quality is much lower and usually has a bit of  a smell from it. Its not 100% down species, its usually 70% Goose and 30% duck. Its why we refuse to buy Chinese imported downs.

The great thing is the price of Chinese downs keeps increasing, its now at around AU$140-150 per kilo, this is around AU$30-40 more than the price we currently pay for Hungarian Goose down imported direct from Europe and is 100% species with larger more mature down clusters and no duck down blended in.

Out of the Muskovy Duck down, Ukrainian and Hungarian Goose down I would pick the Muskovy, its better quality and its cheaper.

Number 6 down in the world: 95% European Duck down

We have other European duck downs available, a 95% duck down 600 fill power 

Its a high down percentage with a very good fill power, the down clusters are on the smaller side. This down we will switch to a 95% duck down with a 650 fill power at around the middle of the year.

Other downs:

Other duck downs that we blend like the 85%, 50%, 30% (approx 360 fill power), 10% and at the low end of the quality scale 100% feather (approx 270 fill power). The fill power for each these start at 600 in the 90% duck down and scale down from there.

All of our downs are sourced from the best producing farms in Europe and Russia (Muskovy Duck down and Siberian Snow Goose down). All the fillings are a "green" auxiliary product, NO live plucking. Even the spring water used for washing is recycled which even extends as far as composting. All downs come with traceability and come with Veterinary Health Certificate. They all come from an IDFL, IDFB and EDFA certified Class 1 EN12934 Downpass DIN CERTCO Certified and Traumpass supplier. These certifications come with the strictest compliance standards, random inspections and guarantee the protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes concerning correct animal husbandry.

We are the only company in Australia that has this large range of downs to make our quilts, pillows and toppers all made right here in Adelaide Australia.

Pictured: Our 95% duck down compared to one of our competitors "Hungarian Goose down". The same amount of our European duck down is at least 4 times the volume of our competitors "Hungarian Goose down". This clearly shows the competitor is not using very good quality filling at all. The photo shows how the down lofted after being scrunched into a ball.

 


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