Polish down - its qualities
Goose down - why is it so special?
When looking at a winter jacket in a store, goose down is not the first thing that most of us will think about. Often we may not even be aware of how valuable it is. Without it, however, the quality of jackets, ski suits, duvets or outdoor sleeping bags would certainly not be so high. Why is down such a valuable commodity? What affects its quality? Why is the best down produced from Polish geese? I will try to answer these and other questions below.
By species I mean the poultry species from which the raw material is derived and then processed into down. The most popular "suppliers" of down are duck and goose. Although duck down is of good quality, it is definitely inferior to goose down on every level. Geese, due to their natural conditions, provide the best quality raw material, from which a very high quality down is made. However, looking globally, it is down from Polish white geese that is the quality leader on the world market. Therefore, when elaborating on its features, I will focus mainly on the qualities of goose down.
Naturally, the most important parameter that puts natural goose down in the first place among natural fillings is its thermal insulation. Goose down works even in the most extreme conditions on earth, such as winter expedition to the summit of K2. Anyway, here is what Himalayan climbers said about suits with goose down filling: "The Animex goose down products used during the expedition gave the highest level of comfort and protection against the cold. It’s a true wonder of nature" - Rafał Fronia, a Polish Himalayan climber.
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This is one of the key features of the down. Resilience affects lightness, compressibility and higher thermal insulation. The higher the resilience of down, the more efficiently it exploits its natural qualities. Resilience also translates into a very practical aspect of having down products, namely down sleeping bags, overalls or jackets are easier to pack or roll up, without losing their high parameters after expansion. Resilience is expressed in cubic inches, in short cu.in.
The higher the cu.in ratio, the better the quality and price of down.
An important factor that cannot be ignored in the present civilisation is the impact of down on the environment. In fact, natural down is completely biodegradable. This means nothing else than that even if this material is released into the environment, it poses no threat. Unlike artificial fillings, down filling is completely safe for the natural environment.
There are many myths stating that down causes allergies. Of course this is not true, because pure and professionally processed down is sterilised at temperatures above 120 degrees Celsius. In the process it is cleaned of all possible allergens and microorganisms. That is why it is so important to obtain down only from reliable suppliers. It is a guarantee that the product is 100% pure.
Country of origin
Of course, there are places on Earth that are favourable for the production of better down. The best climate to develop the best possible goose down is, of course, the temperate one. This is the case, for example, in Central Europe. It is also important to have access to green areas and clean water, which are abundant, for example, in Poland in the Masuria region.
Equally important are the traditions of breeding animals from which we obtain feathers for the production of down.
In Poland, goose breeding has been based from the very beginning on maintaining the purity of the species, the highest standards of breeding and care for animal welfare. All these elements are observed by national and international institutions. This makes Polish Down such a renowned product on the world market.