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Thread: Feather Eiderdown - Any ideas on how it is done?

  1. #1
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    Feather Eiderdown - Any ideas on how it is done?

    Hello All,
    I am brand new to the forum, what a great site you have, I am so excited I discovered it!
    I love feather eiderdowns - with all the decorative shaping - and while I have a vintage one, I would love to make my own! I have done so many searches on the internet and can't find the information anywhere on how to make them. Can anyone share their knowledge? Or is there a book that I can source?
    All I have gathered so far is that feathers are messy to work with !
    The bits I was not sure about is how to ensure evenness of feathers, whether specific fabric needed to be used, I don't have a clue! If anyone has any advice, I would really appreciate it! I don't want to have to take my vintage eiderdown apart just to learn from it...
    I would appreciate any of your help.
    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Hi from Germany!Okay - this is what I know about eiderdown featherbeds: the feathers come from eiderdown ducks (Norway), and are the feathers that the ducks use in their nests. The feathers are harvested - about half stay in the nest to keep the eggs warm. That makes the feathers very expensive. You would also need a special, very densly woven cotton fabric to keep the feathers from poking through. I have never heard of anyone who attempted to make her own eiderdown featherbed! If I were you I would look for a specialty shop that makes featherbeds - and look in Europe, we still have featherbeds on our beds! And we quilters use quilts too.
    Let me know if I can help you with more information!
    Greetings from sunny Tyrol!
    UFM

  3. #3
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    Hello Tirolgirl!
    Thank you so much for coming back to me ! I didn't know that an eiderdown was also called a 'featherbed'! That could help me with my searches! I thought this was a good site to start a discussion on, as the top (and reverse) has quilting patterns on it.
    I live in the UK, but it is interesting to know that people in Germany also have eiderdowns!
    I think that some eiderdowns have a mix of other down to help keep the cost a little lower... Do you know any companies that manufacture eiderdowns? I saw one - englisheiderdowns.co.uk but they don't provide any detail on how to make one for yourself ! I might have to take my eiderdown apart but there is nothing like experimentation.. !

  4. #4
    Super Member Murphy's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome to the board from Iowa.
    Desiderata (Max Ehrmann) - Walk placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

  5. #5
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Are you talking about a "quilt" or blanket that is stuffed with Eiderdown feathers? Or are you talking about a whole bed of feathers (Featherbed)? I got the impression you are talking about a quilt, or a blanket.

    A long time ago my mother introduced my brother to sewing by buying him a kit from a company named Frostline, the kit he got was to make a feather stuffed sleeping bag (not Eider, but other "down" feathers (the "down" feathers being the "inside" feathers which are shorter, lighter, fluffier and have a smaller quill)). For that, and down parka's as well, the first step was to sew "tubes" of fabric - then stuff the tubes with feathers. He had bags of feathers that he would insert the whole bag, then use a ruler to flip the opening the of the bag - empty the feathers and pull the bag out of the tube.

    If I were you, I would start this way, by making the horizontal tubes and stuffing them, then if you wanted to keep the down from moving within the horizontal tube - quilt vertical stitches over it after it's stuffed.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  6. #6
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    Hello All - what a friendly welcome! Hello Iowa !
    DogHouseMom - yes - I mean a quilt/blanket stuffed with feathers! The tube idea does make sense. And I see what you mean about trying to push the bag in, rather than trying to stuff the feathers by hand. Have you ever heard of a book on this topic? I think I might be finding it hard to locate because it is mostly a vintage concept. Would you have any idea of the fabric I would use to keep the down in, to prevent the feathers from escaping through the fabric? Do you think I might need some kind of interliner?
    Thank you again for all your help and advice!

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    Senior Member Alex J's Avatar
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    Welcome from Connecticut

  8. #8
    Senior Member CarrieC's Avatar
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    If you go on this site http://www.cuddledown.com/category/featherbeds.do
    They have cut aways showing how they are constructed. Maybe that will help?
    We lived in Germany and Denmark for a long time. We own several down comforters and also feather beds. I've recently purchased from this site and am very happy with the quality.
    Carrie, Queen of the Seam Rippers!

  9. #9
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    We have a store that carries featherbeds and comforters made from eider down. The Company Store. They do have catalogs. I do know that they use downproof fabric to make these products. they also use some sort of machine to blow the down into the channels etc. I went thru ther factoy years ago.

    Good Luck

    suzy

  10. #10
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    Hello Connecticut!
    CarrieC - Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. Having checked the website link, it is not a featherbed that I would like to make (Phew, that keeps the search list down!) but something that is decorative, in a cute fabric, that I have stitched in interesting shapes. I think there must be another name for Eiderdown in the States? I use one at the foot of my bed, over my normal quilt. Kind of like a quilted blanket, but inbetween the quilting that you would do, there is feathers. I am beginning to think it is more niche than I originally believed!

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