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About Eiderdown

Eiderdown, or eider down, comes from the Common Eider Duck, a large migratory sea duck. The common eider duck ranges along the northern coasts of eastern Siberia, Europe and North America.  Approximately 85-90% of the worlds eiderdown comes from Iceland, 10-15% comes from Canada. This down is exceptionally soft and has insulating properties superior to goose down, wool, cotton or synthetic fills.

 

Since most of the worlds Eiderdown comes from Iceland, many people assume that Icelandic Eiderdown is "the best".  This assumption, to put it quite simply, is erroneous.  The Common Eider Duck (the source of eiderdown) is the same duck, with the same down, whether it is nesting in Iceland or Canada. 

 

Some people may assume that Icelandic eiderdown is better because Iceland is colder.  Again, untrue.  The average winter temperatures in the St. Lawrence Estuary, where our eiderdown is collected, are colder than the average winter temperatures in Iceland.  So, if cold tempuratures are a factor in eiderdown quality, our Canadian eiderdown could be considered superior to Icelandic eiderdown. 

 

I should note that cold tempuratures have not been correlated to the quality of eiderdown.  It's just that the Eider Duck prefers to nest in colder climates around the world.  Still, everything considered, our beloved Canadian Eider Duck produces some of the worlds best eiderdown.  With all due respect to our Icelandic friends. :)

 

The eiderdown used in our comforters and pillows comes from a unique sanctuary located on islands in the St. Lawrence Estuary in Canada. These sanctuary islands provide a relatively safe place for the eider ducks to rest and nest during their annual migration.

 

image of a male eiderduck, 2 females and 4 fluffy ducklings
A Male Eider Duck, 2 Females and 4 Fluffy Ducklings

 

These sanctuaries are closely managed and cared for by the Société Duvetnor Ltée (a non-profit organization), 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 intrinsic qualities of eiderdown; it's softness and extraordinary insulating ability, make it very valuable. If there were not an organization such as Duvetnor in Canada, or the farmers in Iceland that also create sanctuaries for the eider duck, these birds would likely be facing extinction.  Fortunately, these sanctuaries do exist. Profits from the sustainable harvest of eiderdown allows Duvetnor to continue its valuable work in helping to assure the continued existence of the eider duck.

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 some of the down is gathered from the nests by a devoted team of Duvetnor staff 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 Cluster

 

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 not lose it's comforting warmth and fluffy loft (provided that it is reasonablly cared for). 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 its amazing ability to adjust to temperature; keeping you warm when it's cold, and cooler when it's warm.  Our Eider Down is the finest available, anywhere in the world. It tests at approximately 700 fill power for loft. Yet, due to the its phenomenal density and cling it insulates at an amazing 1000+ fill power.

Image of an eiderdown duvet
A Plumeria Bay® Eiderdown Duvet

If you were to hold a small amount of eiderdown in the palm of your hand you would feel no weight, just a soft growing warmth. Eiderdown 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 (minimum 99% pure) and cleanliness.

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