feathers everywhere

Posted by: TurkeyBacon

feathers everywhere - 08/30/08 04:36 PM

I just finished (as in moments ago) my summer down sleeping bag that has been sitting on the sewing table for a few weeks. Unfortunately the camera is broken or else I would post pics. There are feather leaking everywhere from the bag. I realize part of the problem is my cheap down that was recovered from two duvet covers purchased at thrift stores. I've played with the down measuring it out and I know its not all tiny feathers. The material is 1.3 oz ripstop and was marketed at down proof.
Are the feathers leaking normal? Is it just the tiny feathers settling out of the good down? I worry what the wife will do to me when she returns to town.
In all honesty, the construction techinques were much simpler than I expected. The most frustrating part was measuring and transfering down. The down recovery worked, but it would be much simpler to buy down fresh. As long as you are acceptable of the lower quality (hence the summer bag, not three season bag) and have tons of patience then thrift store down is an option for the thrifty and broke.
I'll post some pictures when I get a camera.
Posted by: Tango61

Re: feathers everywhere - 08/30/08 08:36 PM

Quick, before the wife gets home. Grab the shop vac and put some netting over the nozzle and suck up all the down. Down? What down? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: TurkeyBacon

Re: feathers everywhere - 08/31/08 02:12 AM

There is not much I can do that scares my wife anymore...
Seriously though, is it normal for a new down bag to leak tiny feathers (its leaking tiny feathers, not down)? Or is my down that low quality? Or is my fabric not downproof?
Posted by: billk

Re: feathers everywhere - 09/01/08 10:52 PM

Good down doesn't contain many of those tiny feathers, but lesser quality down does. Since the feathers have sharp little points, they can work their way through the fabric whether it's "downproof" or not. You may just have to put up with it.
Posted by: KYratshooter

Re: feathers everywhere - 09/01/08 11:22 PM

Its a combination of the feathers and the fabric.

I have a "down" matress and I have seen the small feathers go through the cotton cover, a denim liner then a 100% wool army blanket and flannel sheet just to poke me in the small of the back in the middle of the night.
Posted by: Spock

Re: feathers everywhere - 09/02/08 10:15 AM

There's down and then there's down - and feathers are not down. But the feds permit a certain amount of feathers in products labelled "down" because of the difficulty of separating down from feathers. New technology has replaced hand separation so now we can have much higher-volume down than in the past - as well as fewer feathers. Unfortunately, the feds have gone to a volume testing procedure that inflates the volume. The old measure approximated performance under field conditions, the new one does not. So, 900 cu.in. is the new 800. And it is better to call it 750 for calculating how much to order to fill whatever shell you have made.

Here's one source for information on down.


They say:
"Down" is the undercoating of waterfowl (goose, duck or swan) and consists of light, fluffy filaments growing from a central quill point, thereby creating a three dimensional structure which traps air and gives down insulating ability. The properties of down which make it so popular are its light weight, compressibility, recovery power, resilience and breathability.

"Feathers" are the individual horny structures which form the outer body covering of birds and consist of a quill point, quill shaft, vanes and usually an aftershaft. Feathers share the same properties as down, however, since they are two-dimensional structures, they do not trap air as efficiently and are, therefore, generally not as good insulators. As a rule, waterfowl feathers are superior to landfowl feathers with respect to both filling power and resilience.

This site also explains what claims are permissible under current regulations.

Note that it is the feathers that are coming out. Just about any fabric is down-proof, but only tightly woven fabric will resist the needle-like quills of feathers.

Makers used to debate the virtue of feathers in a fill mix. The idea was that since feathers had stiff quills, they would help loft heavy shells. That is spurious, IMHO because down itself is extremely elastic and will do the job without any help. It is so elastic that it was once used as the core of golf balls. Dig it! Feathers are just extra weight that does little except reduce the compressibility of a garment and poke holes in the shell.
Posted by: TurkeyBacon

Re: feathers everywhere - 09/27/08 05:00 AM

Finally got some pics of the bag. I'm bound and determined to use it next weekend. May not be the smartest thing to do when the temps will drop to 45 degrees, but some fleece will help.
http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y23/tbd...merbag2_8_1.jpg http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y23/tbd...merbag1_7_1.jpg http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y23/tbd...merbag3_1_1.jpg
Posted by: Folkalist

Re: feathers everywhere - 09/27/08 07:19 AM

TB, that is swwwweeeeeet. Nice job. The wrench setting next to it worries me a bit, but to each their own. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: TurkeyBacon

Re: feathers everywhere - 09/27/08 08:44 AM

"The wrench setting next to it worries me a bit"
I had to read that three times before I could figure out what you were saying. The wrench goes with the panniers from my other post this morning. Mental note about taking pictures, nothing else needs to go in the picture...
Posted by: Rick

Re: feathers everywhere - 09/27/08 02:20 PM

Very nice TurkeyBacon. I aspire to your sewing skills.

Posted by: Folkalist

Re: feathers everywhere - 09/27/08 04:39 PM

Well, I figured what goes on in the privacy of your own sleeping bag . . . <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: TurkeyBacon

Re: feathers everywhere - 09/27/08 06:09 PM

Don't know the weight. We only have a crappy scale that tops out at one pound. I've been on a sewing streak recently... Two pairs of panniers and the sleeping bag. Its been fun. Now its time to use this stuff.
Thanks for the compliment.