feather down

The common indicators for measuring the quality of down

There are six common indicators for measuring down quality: down content, fill power, cleanliness, oxygen consumption, residue rate, and off-color down.

Down content refers to the percentage of down clusters in the total weight of feather and down. Down clusters include plumules, immature down, similar down (hair-type down), and damaged down. Down content is an important indicator of down quality and is often used as a basis for pricing. The higher the down content, the better the loft and warmth of the down product.

Fill power is the most important indicator for measuring the warmth of down products internationally. It measures the amount of space that a certain amount of down occupies. The higher the fill power, the more air the down can trap, resulting in better warmth retention. Fill power is measured in cubic inches per 30 grams of down. It is closely related to down content.

Cleanliness is an important indicator of the raw material and washing quality of down. It is usually measured by the turbidity of the washing liquid, which is caused by the amount of insoluble or semi-soluble organic or inorganic particles in the washing liquid.

Oxygen consumption is the amount of oxygen consumed when a certain amount of reducible substances in the down are oxidized under certain conditions. It is generally expressed as mg of oxygen per 100g of down. The reducible substances in the down are more chemically active and can cause deterioration and a decrease in quality.

Residue rate is the proportion of residual fat in the down after washing, and is an indicator of the washing quality of the down. The current standard for residue rate testing is the Soxhlet extraction method.

Off-color down refers to black, gray, or other colored fibers in white down. It is a natural characteristic of mature geese and ducks and is not a sign of poor quality. Off-color down does not affect the loft and warmth of down products. Manufacturers often try to minimize the amount of off-color down in their products, but it is difficult and costly to sort it out manually.

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