Fibre Briefing: Down

With quilted and padded outerwear now a firm fashion trend, there is a definite demand for down in apparel. Yet collecting the feathers raises animal welfare concerns that are prompting consumers and brands to seek higher standards and alternative products.

Known as nature’s best insulator, down is the soft layer of fluffy feathers that lie closest to the bellies of ducks and geese. A down feather is a three-dimensional quill-less cluster of tiny filaments that trap air and protect the birds f…