What is eiderdown? All of us at Aiko Luxury Linens wax poetic when it comes to pure Icelandic eiderdown. There is nothing more luxurious and exclusive (yes, we know it's pricey!) than a soft, warm and lightweight down comforter for chilly winter nights or cool spring/fall evenings. Eiderdown conforms to body temperature so that you are never too cold or too warm.The eider duck lives near the Arctic circle, but comes to the shorelines of Iceland, Canada and Finland to nest in May/June. The female eider duck plucks down from it's breast to line the nest. Once the eggs are in the nest, the precious eider duck down is hand collected. The eider down is then replaced with hay that keeps the eggs warm. In certain cases, the farmer waits until the nest is abandoned to collect the eiderdown.
Only 15-20 grams of eiderdown (eider down) can be collected from each nest. An eiderdown comforter with 1 kg. of down may contain eiderdown from the raw material of over 60 nests.
No harm is done, neither to the bird nor it's eggs. Eider down harvesting is environmentally friendly.
The individual eiderdown plumule has tiny hooks so that each cluster holds on to the next, which prevents the down from shifting. These hooks have micro filaments that trap the tiniest pockets of air.
Insulation comes not from the eiderdown, but from the air which is trapped in the pockets. The air in eider down is warmed by the sleeper and retains warmth better than any other kind of down. Our Swiss eiderdown comforter (duvet) insulates at approximately 850-900 fill power and weighs almost nothing.
What is the benefit to you? Eiderdown regulates temperature and moisture better than any other material. Eiderdown duvets let extra body heat and moisture though which allows the user to sleep comfortably warm and dry. It is also extremely light, so you are warm without weight.
Eiderdown comforters, if well maintained (always use a duvet cover), have a lifespan of at least 20 years. So although the initial purchase price may seem steep, it is an excellent investment for 20 years of calm, restful sleep.
For the curious, here is how eiderdown is processed:
a) down is hand harvested from the nest
b) down is heated for 4-6 hours at 100 degrees C (to kill any microbes)
c) down is cleaned by machine to separate down from egg shells and organic debris
d) down is cleaned again in 300 gram portions and rinsed approximately 12 times (it takes up to 80 gallons of water to wash 1 kg. of eiderdown)
e) cleaned again by hand to remove any remaining feathers
About 70% of the world's eider down comes from Iceland which has a history of harvesting that is about 1000 years old. Canada produces about 17%, and very small quantities come from Russia and Finland (used mainly for local consumption).
Most eiderdown consumers are from Japan and German speaking Europe (Germany and Switzerland)where quality is of supreme importance and where an appreciation for this luxury product exists.
Buyer beware if the cost of your eiderdown comforter is too cheap. The raw material by itself is expensive due to it's rarity, labor intensive processing and desirability. If the deal is too good to be true, then it's probable that wild eiderdown has been mixed with domestic brown duck down.
Always buy from a reputable store.
To make your purchase return to Comforters and Pillows.
Or go to Fischbacher Eiderdown Comforters.