Feather products: truths and myths

The use of feathers in bed linen has become more popular in the last few years. However, with the increasing popularity comes along many doubts that are given as myths. And because of that, we'll show you more about myths and truths about feathers.

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What's the truth about allergies to feather bed linen?

Contrary to popular belief, real allergies to feathers and downs are not very common. They exist - because you can develop allergies to almost everything - but it's less common than what it was believed until recently.

Many doctors advice that to those that are predisposed to allergies to replace any bed linen made of feathers for others that may use synthetic padding.

However, based on the new scientific studies, this myth related to alleged negative properties found in feathers bed linen has had to be revised and even completely reverted!

The allergists in The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center support the idea that "side to side" tests from different types of pillows, show that the so called "antiallergic" pillows can cause more allergic reactions than feather pillows.

Studies show that porous materials used in some synthetic pillows in reality may retain more mould and mites than the dust from feather pillows.

(Source: The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center).

Other studies in the allergies field* show that down and feathers are not - contrary to popular belief according to myths - the cause of allergies, instead it being domestic mites and dust, which can be found on any surface, independently of the padding or what it's made of.

The people at home that are allergic to dust don't have to prive from the pleasure of owning feather bed linen and down, because the allergens of the domestic dust can't find an ideal world to develop in feather bed linen!

According with The American Feather and Down Council, the down and feathers posses hypoallergenic qualities that tend to inhibit the proliferation of the dust mites. These being the true cause of asthma and allergies, debunking another feather myth.

Between the reasons why downs and feathers are considered a healthy option for allergic people are:

  • All the feathers and down we use are sterilezed and throughly cleaned before being used for the fabrication of a pillow or quilt.
  • The mites are fed through dead skin cells that humans spill by the hundreds of thousands of people each day.
  • The feathers and down absorb the humidity of the water in the down and feather and they push it away (the feathers don't catch the humidity). Therefore, the environment doesn't meet the water necessities of the dust mites.
  • It's breathable, which allows humidity to evaporate.
  • Pillows and feather quilts are made with a high density fabric and thick seams to prevent feathers falling off. This construction builds a barrier for the dust mites.
  • The feathers and down are natural products, while other synthetic paddings are derivative of oil and go through a series of chemical processes.
  • Clothing made of feather and down are water washable, where you may errase saliva stains or sweat build up.

Therefore, there are no scientific nor practical reasons to guide people allergic to dust mites to not use feather bed linen. That idea it's just a myth about feathers.

In the rare cases were a real allergy exist towards feather clothing, it must be ruled out that this the result of the use of badly washed and processed feather. The feather goes in the processing plant with every type of pathogenic elements: grease, feces, blood, bird's parasites.

That's why it's so important in who you trust with the feather processing before confection.

If this has been ruled out and a real allergy towards feathers has been confirmed, you shouldn't give up to the pleasure of sleeping so good so soon.

It happens that in the slight cases this allergy has been actually detected, it's come from a protein inside the "vein" of the feather.

Therefore, the solution it's to try with pure down bed linen, which wouldn't contain any relevant quantity of this protein.

There are many myths related to feathers that are taken for a fact.

It's always important to be informed to know which are the products with the best quality, specially when it comes to your wellbeing.

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*Sources: "Gutachten zur Einschätzung der Relevanz der Bettfedern - (queratina) Allergie" opinión de expertos sobre la evaluación de la pertinencia de la alergia queratina), Prof. Dr. med. Hofmann, Director del Instituto de Pediatría del Hospital de la Universidad de Frankfurt am Main.

*"Polvo de alérgenos de los ácaros domésticos en almohadas", la opinión de expertos del Grupo de Investigación del Asma Wellington, Wellington Facultad de Medicina de Nueva Zelanda. "Untersuchungen zur Ökologische Hausstaubmilbenallergie" (Estudios ecológicos de la alergia a los ácaros del polvo doméstico), el Prof. Dr. Dr. H. W. Jürgens, Instituto de Antropología de la Universidad de Kiel.

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