Down & Feather Test Information for Apparel (JACKETS, VESTS, etc.)

Down & feather apparel has some unique testing requirements. The following should be be considered for a quality assurance program on down jackets.

Normally, one test of a single jacket is not enough to determine the quality of a production lot. IDFB requires that multiple jackets be sampled and tested.

Composition of Filling

Content Analysis - This is the most important test. This gives the percentage of down vs. feathers, as well as other components. It is used to determine the label.

Specie - Specie should be tested, especially if the label is “GOOSE.”

Color Separation - If the shell fabric is white or pastel, white down is generally used. Grey down is used for dark fabrics. Some buyers specify maximum allowable grey in white.

Cleanliness of Filling

Oxygen - Oxygen determines amount of organic material on the surface of feathers and down. Oxygen should be 10 or less (4.8 or less if the material is labeled “hypoallergenic”).

Turbidity - General cleanliness, especially dust, is measured by turbidity. Turbidity should be 300mm or more (500 or more, if “superclean or hypoallergenic”)

Odor Test - Evaluation of product & packaging to determine origin of bad odors in jacket.
Fat & Oil, pH - Some countries require fat and oil content and pH for cleanliness evaluation.

EN Test - European microbiological analysis of filling material gives added cleanliness detail.

Fill Power (Lofting)

Tumble Dry - European fill power conditioning standard “Tumble Dry Conditioning method.”
Steam - Official IDFB world-wide fill power conditioning method.

Net Fill Weight

Total Net Fill - The total weight of the filling material is very important to performance.
Panel Detail - Net fill by panel will give separate weights for: hood, collar, each sleeve, left and right front panels, and back panel. (Important for uniform insulation.)

Downproofness of Fabric

Air Permeability - Air permeability describes breathability of the fabric & may indicate downproofness.
Downproofness - Physical tumbling of the fabric filled with down/feathers determines downproofness.

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