Q1. What is a TOG Rating?
A. Tog ratings are really only used in the UK. The fabric of a typical man’s suit has a thermal resistance of around 0.1 m2K/W. This measurement was simplified for general use and people called it “one tog”.
The tog was invented by workers at the Shirley Institute, Manchester, in the 1940s. The name comes from the informal word “togs” for clothing. Tog values are used to measure the potential warmth of many products, not just duvets. Note that the tog rating does not necessarily relate directly to the thickness of the duvet. Different materials have different thermal resistance characteristics and different thicknesses will be required to achieve the same tog rating.
Most hotels would use a 10.5TOG duvet and this Tog Rating can be achieved by using various fillings. If pure Goose down is used the duvet is lighter as you require less filling to achieve the rating. If down & feather then more filling would be required and if just feathers then the duvet becomes very heavy indeed.
Q2. What is the best filling for a natural duvet?
A. The highest grade filling available is Eiderdown, this is taken from the nest of the Eider Duck (Mainly found in Iceland). It is extremely difficult to harvest but has incredible heat retention. To achieve a 10.5 TOG Rating you hardly require any filling if using Eiderdown. Due to the fact it is very rare, Eiderdown has become prohibitively expensive. Some eiderdown duvets are over $5,500.00.
The more common filling found in the U.K. is 100% Goose Down whether it be Siberian, Hungarian, or Icelandic. The truth about Goose Down is, regardless of where it comes from it is all the same. The down clusters from the plumage of the goose have a higher level of insulation and are much softer and smaller than feathers. This allows the duvet to remain light but still achieve a high Tog Rating.
Q3. What is Fill Power?
A. Fill power is a measure of the loft or “fluffiness” of a down product that is loosely related to the insulating value of the down. The higher the fill power the more insulating air pockets the down has and the better insulating ability. Fill power ranges from about 175 cm³/g (300 in³/oz) for feathers to around 900 cm/g for the highest quality down. Higher fill powers are associated with a larger percentage of down clusters and a larger average down cluster size.
Q4. Can I launder my duvet and pillow?
A. Whilst all duvet and pillow products have a wash label which says you can wash and dry the products, our recommendation is that you approach drying with great care. Whatever anybody tells you, laundering duvets and pillows is not straightforward. Washing them is the easy bit – it is the drying that is more difficult. This is complicated by the fact that there is no strict advice to follow – each manufacturer has slightly different ideas about temperatures and drying cycles.
What is a fact is that if a pillow or duvet has been through a spin cycle or is subjected to hot tumble drying, there will be a problem with the filling, both natural and synthetic. In our experience, if a duvet is going to be laundered, it needs to be removed constantly from the drying cycle and shaken vigorously. This action will help to separate the fibres or feathers as they lose moisture and help them to fluff up. How often this should be done, and for what duration, is both a guess and a minefield. Our recommendation is to take the advice of a specialist cleaner but if you are going to attempt it yourself, to be ultra-cautious and definitely shake the items several times during drying.
Q5. What does “Box Construction” mean?
A. A Box Construction describes the make up of a natural filled duvet. With box construction the duvet is hemmed into equally sized squares, each square is then filled with the down or feathers. This spreads the warmth across the entire duvet. Gone are the days when you wake up and all the filling is at the bottom of the duvet.
Q6. Are the geese bred for the down feathers only?
A. No, the birds are bred for food primarily. The down and feathers used are a by-product of the food industry. Similar to Wool and Leather.
Q7. What can I do if I am allergic to Down or Feathers?
A. There is still on-going study into this but it is believed that the dust mites actually cause any allergies attributed to sleeping under natural filled products. People who say they have an allergy to natural filled bedding have probably once slept in a bed with very low quality pillows and duvets, without a decent outer shell.
The presence of dust mites and the problems associated with them can be completely eradicated by using a high thread-count dust mite proof (sometimes referred to as NOMITE) outer shell and also using high grade, heat treated filling.
If you think you have an allergy to natural filled products it might we worth trying one of our pillows and/or duvets and seeing if it goes away!