Down – What’s the Fluff?
From fresh spring mornings to deep winter frosts, it’s a lovely time of year to get outside and experience nature. But first, we’ve all got to dig out our warmest winter jacket so we don’t freeze to death in the meantime. Down-filled jackets have become a top choice for those who spend their winters out and about in the not-so-forgiving British Winter.
The down feather was designed by Mother Nature herself to insulate birds and protect them against heat loss – and who are we to question nature? Down jackets provide fantastic insulation by trapping air (the best insulator) and keep you snug and cosy, even when it’s -20°C and you’re caught in a harsh wind.
What are the benefits?
Why should you buy a down filled jacket when you could just buy a cheaper, ordinary one? The first thing we have to mention is the oh-so-amazing comfort a down jacket will give you – it’s a game-changer. Secondly, it’ll keep you super warm, which we all know is a necessity in Britain at this time of the year. Whether you’re building a snowman or heading out on a hot date, down keeps you feeling great. Taking care of it doesn’t have to cost you the earth either, since the environmentally conscious brand Nikwax (who have won numerous awards for their eco creds) make great water based, PFC-free products for you to take care of your down gear, so your jacket lasts even longer.
Responsibly Sourced Down
Unfortunately, there’s a huge downside to the down jacket industry since a large proportion of the world’s supply of down feathers are actually plucked from live birds. Thankfully, the industry has wised up to this practise and it’s becoming an increasingly important subject. Many clothing brands that produce down products now need to ensure their down is responsibly sourced and display the RDS logo before they begin to lose customers. Fortunately, there are many companies that are already using responsibly sourced down.
Top Tips on Keeping Your Down in Tip Top Condition
Now that we’ve bought our beautiful new down jacket using only responsibly sourced down, caring for it is of utmost importance. If you’re using your down jacket outside frequently – and let’s face it, of course you are – you’ll need this warmth and comfort to last forever.
- When down gets wet it clumps together, leaving you cold, wet, and uncomfortable. Try using Nikwax Down Proof, optimised to protect against wet weather and improve the natural insulating properties of down. Safe and easy to use, apply in a washing machine treating both the outer fabric and the down fill.
- Any spare tennis balls lying around? Chuck a few in the tumble dryer. As weird as it sounds, it can actually fluff up materials such as blankets and jackets, perfect for restoring your lovely down jacket.
- Only pack your down jacket into its little bag if essential, as doing this will cause your down to clump together which reduces the air and insulation. Try to keep your jacket hung up to keep the down lofty.
Why Use Nikwax for Proofing Your Down?
Nikwax is the only outdoor company to manufacture an entire range of safe, water-based waterproofing products. Not only that, but they were the first outdoor company to use guaranteed PFC-free chemicals in their entire range. They’re consistently applying innovation to their products to minimise their environmental impact. More importantly, it works.