DOWN: The Lowdown

Excerpt from - Lifestyles - The Province - Monday October 6, 1997
All you need to know when it comes to buying a nice, cosy quilt
By Kerry Moore Staff Reporter

Down time is shorthand for time to relax and de-stress. And down, the soft fluffy stuff inside down comforters, is the ideal down-time material. It's soft and warm and luxurious and makes a truly state-of-the-art bed covering.

Jay Foody, owner of Western Feather and Down in Port Moody and manufacturer of Novadown quilts, says both goose and duck down are used in comforters. Since down is a byproduct of the poultry industry and more ducks are eaten than geese, goose down is more expensive.

Also, says Foody, the plumules (the dandelion shape of down) are a little larger is geese and hold more air for better insulation. Unless goose down is specified by a retailer, duck down is used.


WEIGHT: Although quilts range is size from crib to king, the most popular model is queen. For the West Coast, a standard queen of 38 ounces should be all you need, says Foody. For Prince George, 40 ounces is probably better. "A little bit makes a big difference," Foody says. If there are two in a bed and one sleeps hot and one cold, a compromise may be necessary.

THREAD COUNT: Thread count refers to the density of the weave of the quilt covering. As long as the ticking is down-proof --over 230-- you're in safe territory.

CONSTRUCTION: Down moves around in a quilt. It drifts to the sides which hang over the edges of beds and works its way towards the feet assisted by a sleeper's tossing and turning. Consequently, the price is higher for quilts constructed to keep down in the "sleep zone."

If there are walls or baffles inside the quilt to give down "lofting" space, you'll pay more again. If the quilt is just "sewn through" (and not baffled) you'll pay less. The latter method may lead to cold spots because there is less down in the sewn-through area.

FILL POWER: Some stores mention it, others don't. It indicates the loft or space-filling capacity of the down. The best winter-plucked goose down will loft to 750 cubic inches an ounce.