Products Labelled Down: Glossary

Commercial down

"Commercial down" refers to plumage whose composition meets the following requirements:

Down and plumules
At least 75%
Waterfowl feathers not longer than 60 mm.
Not more than 25%
Waterfowl feather fibre and down fibre
Not more that 20%
Residue (including landfowl feather and landfowl feather fibre)
Not more than 5%
  • "Plumage" means the outer covering of birds.
  • "Down" refers to the undercoating of waterfowl, including goose, duck or swan, consisting of light fluffy filaments (barbs) growing from a quill point but without a quill shaft.
  • "Plumule" means waterfowl plumage with underdeveloped soft and flaccid quill and with barbs indistinguishable from those of down.
  • "Waterfowl plumage" means the plumage of ducks, geese, swans or other waterfowl.
  • "Feather" refers to the individual external horny structure that forms the body covering of birds and consists of a quill point, quill shaft and vanes, with or without an aftershaft.
  • "Feather fibre" means feather barbs that have been completely separated from the quill shaft and any aftershaft and that are not joined or attached to each other.
  • "Down fibre" means detached barbs from down and plumules or from the basal end of a feather quill shaft that are indistinguishable from the barbs of down.
  • "Residue" means quill pith, feather fragments, trash and foreign matter.
  • "Landfowl plumage" means the plumage of chickens, turkeys or other landfowl.

Down

"Down" refers to the undercoating of waterfowl, including goose, duck or swan, consisting of light fluffy filaments (barbs) growing from a quill  point but without a quill shaft.

"Note: This product contains an amount of feathers not exceeding that allowable by law"

This statement is intended to alert the consumer to the fact that a product labelled "down-filled" has met a standard established by the regulations; that is, the filling meets the definition for "commercial down" and may contain some feathers.

"Commercial down" refers to plumage whose composition meets the following requirements:

Down and plumules
At least 75%
Waterfowl feathers not longer than 60 mm.
Not more than 25%
Waterfowl feather fibre and down fibre
Not more that 20%
Residue (including landfowl feather and landfowl feather fibre)
Not more than 5%

The statement should not be used on products labelled as a blend of down and feather.

Stated bird of origin

Whenever a statement as to the bird of origin of down is made, the plumage must be at least 90% from the stated bird. For example, if a label refers to "duck down", and the product contained is less than 90% duck plumage, it would be considered false and misleading. Further, if a label states "eider duck down", 90% of the plumage must be from the eider duck.

Words or figures suggesting 100%

It is clearly misleading to label products containing commercial down as 100%, pure or all down. In fact, tolerances are incorporated by definition in the Regulations, due to the practical commercial difficulty of obtaining "pure" down. Use of these words is therefore prohibited on these products. Only when down meets the generic definition (an unlikely situation) can the modifiers "100%", "pure" or "all" be used.

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