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About Eiderdown

The Eider Duck & Their Sanctuary

Eiderdown, or eider down, comes from the Common Eider Duck, a large migratory sea duck. Eiderdown is exceptionally soft and has insulating properties superior to any other down.

The common eider duck ranges along the northern coasts of eastern Siberia, Europe and North America. The eiderdown used in our duvets and pillows comes from Canada, in special sanctuaries located on islands in the St. Lawrence Estuary, where the eider ducks can safely rest and nest during their annual migration.

image of a male and female eider duck
The Male and Female Eider Duck

These sanctuaries are closely managed and cared for by the Société Duvetnor Ltée (a non-profit organization founded by Jean Bédard), in cooperation with the Canadian Wildlife Service. Many other birds that live and nest on these islands also benefit from the work of this group, along with the Eider Duck.

The Eider Duck, and the profits from the eider down harvest, is the vehicle through which this sanctuary is able to continue its work. Some of the islands are open to the public and Eco-tourism and education is another important aspect of Devetnor's mission.

image of an eider duck nest
An Eider Duck Nest

The Harvest

The female eider duck will pluck the down from her breast and line her nest and cover the eggs with the down to keep her eggs warm and cozy as they incubate. As the eggs near the end of the incubation period the down is gathered from the nests by a devoted team of wildlife biologists and volunteer assistants. Great care is taken to minimize any disturbance to the eider duck during this process, and while the birds are nesting their human guardians help protect them from predators, both human and wild. This relationship between wild eider duck and guardian has existed for generations and helps insure the continued existence of a beautiful rare bird and a valuable resource.

image of an eider down cluster
Eiderdown Clusters

From Their Nest, To Yours

True Eiderdown is the only down that has absolutely no feathers or rigid quills. It is extremely soft, elastic and resistant to repeated compression. This means that your eiderdown duvet or pillow will never lose it's comforting warmth and fluffy loft. It's durability is unequaled by any other down. Eiderdown, with its softness and unique "cling" (also known as cohesion) is exceptionally well suited to use in bedding, with a seemingly amazing ability to regulate temperature, keeping you warm when it's cold, and cooler when it's warm.

The Eider Down used in our comforters (or duvets) and pillows is the finest available, anywhere in the world. It tests at approximately 700 fill power. Yet, due to the "hooks" in the eiderdown cluster it has a phenomenal density and cling and insulates at an amazing 1000+ fill power. If you were to hold a small amount in the palm of your hand you would feel no weight, just a soft growing warmth.

Eider down is extremely rare, which helps account for its costliness. It is also the softest, lightest and warmest down in the world, which helps account for its demand. Our eiderdown is highly prized for its quality, purity and cleanliness.

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