The highest qualities of down in the world come from healthy, mature geese and ducks thriving in the cold climates of Europe and the Far East. Down, the undercoating of these waterfowl, traps warm air next to the skin, insulating against cold air and water. Composed of clusters with hundreds of tiny, soft filaments radiating from a tiny central core, commercial goose and duck down quality is determined by the sizes of the clusters. So with commercial grades of down, the larger the clusters, the better the down and the higher the fill power.
However, eiderdown breaks these rules.
Eiderdown is the most valuable down in the world, originating from the eider duck. The eider duck is a wild waterfowl that lives on the shorelines of the cold North Atlantic Ocean. Because of the harsh climate, the bird has developed a very dense and "sticky" down that clings to itself with interlocking clusters. The dense nature of the down allows for it to trap more air and provide more insulation than other down that would fill the same volume of space. The result is a thin comforter with a fantastic warmth to weight ratio, or a soft pillow with a unique spongy feel. Because of its interlocking structure, fill power is not a relevant measurement of eiderdown quality. Very elite qualities of goose down (for example, our 800 quality) will equal the warmth to weight ratio of eiderdown, but nothing can duplicate the natural sponginess of eiderdown.
Eiderdown is so light in weight, you could close your eyes as someone dropped a clump of it into the palm of your hand, and you would feel nothing but the warmth. Eiderdown comforters are of heirloom quality and for those who know the true value of its rarity.
Considered one of the rarest luxuries of the world, eiderdown is only found in the deserted nests of the wild Eider duck. The reason for the high cost of eiderdown is simply a matter of supply and demand. Eiderdown has a cachet with Europeans as being the best quality of down, and yet there are only about 2,000 kilos available in the world market each year. This is because the ducks pluck their own down in the breeding season to feather their nest and keep the eggs warm. Other down is a byproduct of domestic ducks and geese raised for meat, but eider ducks are protected from commercial harvesting so the only supply is the down from their abandoned nests. This is collected and picked clean by hand, and the supply is very limited, resulting in a very high cost.
Cuddledown considers eiderdown to be very special for the individual who wants the eiderdown cachet – that is why we offer a more reasonable alternative, our exclusive 800 fill power goose down that is truly the finest commercial grade of down available in the world market.