Products Using Down Blends: 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.

Commercial feather

Commercial landfowl feather

"Commercial landfowl feather" refers to plumage that conforms to the following composition requirements:

Landfowl feathers, landfowl feather fibre, down and down fibre
At least 95%
Residue
Not more than 5%
  • "Plumage" means the outer covering of birds.
  • "Landfowl plumage" means the plumage of chickens, turkeys or other landfowl.
  • "Feather" refers to the 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" 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.
  • "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.

Commercial waterfowl feather

"Commercial waterfowl feather" refers to plumage that conforms to the following composition requirements:

Waterfowl feathers, waterfowl feather fibre, down and down fibre:
At least 95%
Residue (including landfowl feather and landfowl feather fibre):
Not more than 5%
  • "Plumage" means the outer covering of birds.
  • "Waterfowl plumage" means the plumage of ducks, geese, swans or other waterfowl.
  • "Feather" refers to the 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" 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.
  • "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.
  • "Landfowl plumage" means the plumage of chickens, turkeys or other landfowl.
  • "Residue" means quill pith, feather fragments, trash and foreign matter.

"Double tolerance" on blends

The term "down blend" may refer to a blend of different species of down (i.e. duck and goose), to a blend of down and feathers or to a blend of down and polyester or some other fibre.

In order to avoid a double tolerance, (one general tolerance for blends and one tolerance for the composition of the down and/or feather) the 5% tolerance for blends under the Textile Labelling Act does not apply to blends of commercial down and/or feather. (See Example A)

The 5% tolerance does apply however, to blends of commercial down and any other fibre except feather, for example, a blend of commercial down and  polyester. See example B, below.

Example A
An acceptable fibre content disclosure for a 50% down and 50% waterfowl feather-filled nylon ski jacket would be:

Outer shell/Extérieur:
100% nylon/nylon
Fill/Remplissage:
50% down/duvet
50% waterfowl feathers/plumes d'oiseaux aquatiques

The fill for a product so labelled must conform to the following composition requirements:

Down and plumules
At least 37.5%
Residue
Not more than 5%
Remainder
47.5% consisting entirely of any one, or a combination of the following, providing the total is equal to or greater than 47.5%:
Waterfowl feathers not longer than 60 mm when present
Not more than 62.5%
Waterfowl feathers longer than 60 mm when present
Not more than 50%
Waterfowl feather fibre and down fibre, when present
Not more than 60%

No additional tolerance is allowable on a blend of down and feathers.

Example B
An acceptable fibre content disclosure for a 50% down and 50% polyester-filled nylon ski jacket, would be as follows:

Outer Shell/Ext&eacuterieur:
100% nylon/nylon
Fill/Remplissage:
50% down/duvet
50% polyester/polyester

The fill for a product so labelled must conform to the following composition requirements:

Polyester
45 to 55%
Down and plumules
32.5 to 42.5%
Waterfowl feathers no longer than 60 mm
Not more than 17.5%
Waterfowl feather fibre and down fibre
Not more than 15%
Residue
Not more than 2.5%

In this example an additional tolerance of plus or minus 5% is allowed and has been incorporated.


Products using crushed feathers

Crushed feathers are feathers which have been processed by a curling, crushing or chopping machine which has changed the original form of the feather without removing the quill. Crushed feathers do not come under the definition for residue.

Return to Products Using Crushed Feathers


Stated bird of origin

Whenever a statement as to the bird of origin of down or feathers 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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