Although we usually refer to birds’ plumage as feather, it is actually formed by two completely different elements: the down and the feather.
Down – also known, as Duvet- is the soft fine plumage that covers the breast and lies beneath and between the contour feathers. It is formed by millions of free fine silky barbs facing all possible directions and ways, forming a beautiful fluffy mass. Therefore, due to the marvellous thermic-isolation features and lightness, down is the most suitable filling and stands out among any other material, whether it is natural or synthetic.
Feathers differ from down since they are formed by a long curved hollow shaft with vanes of barbs on either side orientated in one direction; compared to down, feather weighs more and feels rougher, apart from the fact that it offers poor thermic-isolation.
Good quality quilts should be filled with down, not feather.
It is important to know that the market also offers recovered and recycled down which formerly filled other items. This down has a remarkably low price and very poor quality, performing limited thermic-isolation and short life span.