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The Surprising History of Goose Down Duvets

by Mitchell Chitiz

Many retailers stock Goose Down duvets in their physical and online stores and many customers love to curl up in them at night. But, what is the history behind this beloved bedding item? Below, we look into where duvets came from, in particular Goose Down duvets, and why they are considered as one of the most popular duvet and comforter options in the world. 


Diving into Duvets: Exploring its History and Origins

We all snuggle up under duvets and comforters each night when we go to bed. Yet, not many consumers know the origins of this bedding item. Why is it important to know about them? As a product that we use daily, understanding its origins is beneficial for recognizing how advanced the technologies used by bedding manufacturers are today. 

It is believed that the first use of a duvet or comforter originated in China around 3000 BC. However, it wasn’t until the early 18th century that this form of bedding (often referred to as a featherbed) began to become popular in European countries such as Germany, Sweden, and Norway. 

Around this time, it was common among households in North America and various other countries such as the United Kingdom to use multiple layers of linens, sheets, and blankets to keep warm at night. The iconic Hans Christen Anderson story of the ‘Princess and the Pea’ acts as a great visual of what going to bed was like in the 1700 and 1800s. 

The introduction of the duvet wasn’t an easy feat in every country, however. In the UK, a man called Sir Terence Conran began selling duvets in 1964 after a visit to Sweden but this was met with hesitation. Many British households were reluctant to get rid of the use of blankets and sheets. It wasn’t until housewives began to see the benefit of using a single bedding item for warmth that they took off. 

Today duvets and comforters filled with natural and synthetic fibres are used by households all over the world. This bedroom essential has certainly come a long way since its humble beginnings in China. Next, we’ll dive into the evolution of the Goose Down duvet.  


The Evolution of Goose Down Duvets and Comforters

Goose Down is by far one of the most superior fill types for duvets and comforters on the market today. The word duvet is derived from the French word meaning ‘Down’. However, the use of Goose Down for duvets that many customers have grown to love wasn’t the same as it is now. 

Originally, the larger feathers of geese and ducks were primarily used to fill the traditional duvet known as a feather tick. A feather tick was a bag made of cotton or linen that was closely woven, filled with Down feathers and then sewn shut. Since it was just a bag, there was no internal structure meaning that the duvets had to be reshaped every morning. 

As time went on, softer Down clusters were blended with feathers to provide extra warmth and comfort. With the introduction of the featherbed, these duvets used a broad channel construction style and the next evolution of the duvet, the Eiderdown duvet, was quilted even tighter. There were many iterations of the Goose Down duvet over the years until we reached the versions that are seen in-store today. 


Exploring Today’s Version of the Goose Down Duvet

While the origins of the Goose Down duvet allegedly began in China, the Goose Down fill that is used in duvets and comforters that retailers stock can be sourced from all over the world. However, there are three areas in particular that are noteworthy. 

  • Canadian Goose Down - Canada is one of the most popular sources of Goose Down, especially from the Hutterite communities of Alberta. Hutterite Goose Down is truly exquisite and produces lightweight, soft, and durable Down which is superior in quality and fill power to any other Down produced worldwide.
  • Hungarian Goose Down - One of the largest exports of Goose Down feathers is from Hungary. Typically, Down fill from Hungary is pure white in colour and offers excellent thermal ability. 
  • Chinese Goose Down - Over 70% of the world’s Goose Down supply comes from China. Many bedding manufacturers source duvet fill from Chinese suppliers and manufacture the product in Europe or North America. Buyers must exercise caution, however, as much of this Down can be lower quality and mixed with feathers. It’s important that bedding manufacturers only work with trusted, certified suppliers of quality Down.

From the traditional German featherbeds to the Hutterite Goose Down duvets enjoyed by many consumers today, it is clear to see that the evolution of the Down duvet is only getting better.  


Why Are Goose Down Duvets Considered a Superior Product? 

Customers understand the importance of investing in the products that they will be using daily. That’s why when a bedding item can offer premium quality and longevity, it becomes the more sensible purchase option. 

In comparison to other duvet alternatives such as Duck Down or feather, the Down clusters and feathers obtained from geese are considered to be of higher quality. They are known for offering a truly luxurious sleep experience, hypoallergenic properties, and are a great long-term investment. There is no denying that if a consumer can afford a high-quality Goose Down product that they will reap the benefits. 

When compared to feather products, it is clear which fill option wins out. Over time, duvets and comforters that are filled with feathers tend to become deformed. That’s because feathers tend to get stuck together and flatten out. Also, it is common for stiff feather quills to poke through and prod consumers as they sleep. 


Westex’s Collection of Goose Down Duvets

As Down duvet manufacturers, we take great pride in the quality of our Goose Down duvets. Westex has access to a limited supply of Canadian Hutterite Down and is also the first North American manufacturing company to offer Recycled Down comforters and pillows

Our Down duvet collection is sterilized, and processed in our Toronto facility before being shipped out to retail stores across North America and worldwide. 


Partner With a Canadian Bedding Manufacturer

Canadian-made bedding products have earned their place as one of the best in North America. If you are a retailer that is interested in expanding your duvet and pillow collection, or wants to work with a new manufacturer, get in touch with our team today. 

Westex is proudly committed to be an industry leader and supply only the highest quality products to customers all over the world.