The most important part of any down product is the down itself. Many people market "premium down" but few know what it takes to create such a product.
Starting by sourcing the highest quality traceable raw material is the first part, but that's not the complete story. Even the finest raw material can be destroyed through improper processing. At ALLIED, we understand the synergy between raw material and processing to create the lightest, warmest, cleanest, most durable and sustainable ingredient for our partners— and the planet.
The way raw material is processed is one of the most important features of a premium quality down. As a natural by-product, it is important that the down is properly cleaned to remove any unwanted residue, contaminants, or other organic elements that could cause it to lose loft or create an unwanted reaction to the material.
ALLIED has a proprietary process that cleans the down in a way that provides industry leading cleanliness with recycled water and environmentally friendly detergents. Our processing takes longer for each lot of down, but allows us to provide our partners with a clean, sustainable, and high performing insulation.
Other suppliers may be able to cut costs by processing material faster, but using harsh chemicals, bleach, and hot dryers can easily strip the clusters of their essential oils or cause the down to become brittle. It may look good on the rack, but will not have the durability that down is known for.
An example of the importance of properly cleaned down is highlighted when looking at the "down allergy." Down allergies are very rare. While true down allergies DO exist, almost 99% of people who suffer a reaction to the use of down are reacting to down that has been improperly cleaned. As a natural product, down can be a breeding ground for dust mites and other allergens such as mold. We take great pride in providing a down that far exceeds all cleanliness tests for hypo-allergenic products.
As a natural material, it is not possible to achieve a 100% down cluster. As the material is processed, it's separated by exact specs and can contain fiber (those pieces of the down cluster that have broken off), micro feathers, residue, etc. Through manufacturing and handling, there is also a chance the down will break down slightly which is why ALLIED always exceeds the fill power so our partners' finished products retain better loft, durability, and warmth for many seasons to come.
Down is a bit like wine and whiskey in ?that blends are often created to achieve a very particular result. In some cases, it may be beneficial to have a lower down cluster percentage for a given fill power. This results in a larger cluster throughout the insulation which could provide greater loft and increased compressibility.
ALLIED works closely with our partners to provide an insulation that will perform synergistically with their design, textile, and manufacturing choices.
How you can properly care for your down product so it lasts a lifetime.
Machine wash on normal cycle with a mild detergent— (preferably down product specific)— in cold water, followed by an extra rinse cycle without detergent.
The primary element in the destruction of down products lies in improper drying. Drying too fast and too hot will make the down brittle, but not drying thoroughly will cause the potential build up of mold and bacteria which will destroy the loft. Tumble dry low until completely dry (may take several cycles). Add three clean tennis or dryer balls to the dryer to help re-fluff the down as it dries
Your down products should be stored in an area away from high humidity. The product should also be allowed to breath and stored uncompressed to retain the down's resiliency and high loft.
While we will always suggest washing your down products, if you must dry clean your product, make sure that the dry cleaner has experience with down products. Harsh chemicals sometimes used in the dry cleaning process will strip the essential oils from the down causing the insulation to be brittle and to lose much of it's loft.