What Is Fill Power?

Posted by Supreme Quilts on
What Is Fill Power?

What is fill power? Fill power is a measure of the loft or "fluffiness" of a down product that is loosely related to the insulating value of the down. The higher the fill power the more air an ounce of the down can trap, and thus the more insulating ability an ounce of the down will have.

We use the recognised European method for calculating fill power, not the USA method. When fill power is calculated a cylinder is used, the European method uses a cylinder that is 289mm in diameter with a compression weight of 94 grams, the US uses a cylinder that is 241mm in diameter with a compression weight of 68 grams. The cylinders have 1 ounce of filling place in it and the compression placed on it creates the fill power.

The problem with these 2 different methods is where the US uses a skinnier cylinder with less weight compressing the filling. This will mean when the ounce of filling is put into the cylinder it will higher up the cylinder, less compression on it means it will also compress less. This basically gives a false  higher reading.

Many Chinese, USA and Canadian manufacturers use the misleading US method for calculating fill power so if someone tells you they have a fill power of 900+ it will be the US fill power rating. You can basically take off 100-150 to get the recognised European rating.

What is a Good Fill Power?

Most quilts sold in dept stores have a fill power around the 500-600, why only this amount? It usually because the down is a Chinese down. A fill power of 650 or better is more ideal. We have a number of downs with a fill power higher than 650, with the Polish Goose down at 800 and the best commercially available filling in the world the Siberian Snow Goose down at 850. We also have a very high quality duck down with a fill power of 700!

Is Hungarian Goose down the best and why?

No, Hungarian Goose down is not the best. Just because a filling originates from a particular country wont mean it automatically is good. You can have good or bad/average fillings from any country. The problem with Hungarian Goose down these days is the Chinese are buying most of the down. Due to this the down clusters are smaller than what they usually would be.  Young birds only produce small down clusters, older birds produce larger down clusters. The larger the down cluster the higher the fill power, this is why these days you wont find a high fill power Hungarian Goose down. Legally the Chinese can add 30% duck down to the blend and still get away calling it Goose down so this only further compromises the quality.

Which downs are the best we have?

The best down we have is the 95% Siberian Snow Goose down (its actually classified feather free under the European standards) at 850FP. The next best is the 95% Polish Goose down 800FP followed by the Muskovy Duck down 700FP, Ukrainian Goose down 700FP, Hungarian Goose down 650FP and the 95% European Duck down at 650FP.

All of our downs are European downs and are European Rated Class 1. Currently we know of no other place in Australia selling European Rated Class 1 fillings. All of our fillings meet the strict Australian standards and quarantine requirements. All of our fillings meet the even higher European standards.


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