How To Fill Your Own Down Pillows

Filling your own pillow makes for a great project, especially with younger children or if you are picky about how stuffed you want your pillow to be. There is something to be said for sleeping on the same pillow that you made for yourself.

There are multiple choices with regards to materials to use to fill your pillows as well as choices on the material used as a cover for your pillow. The cover (or outer shell) of the pillow you need depends on the type of fill you are putting in. In this article we will discuss down-filled pillows.

Down filling is the highest quality fill type you can purchase today. Down has a unique 3-D structure which cannot be duplicated with synthetic fibers (even with today’s technology). Down, being a natural product comes from a few different animals, the most popular of which is goose down, considered to be the highest quality goose down available. Down is also naturally shed by the goose as it lives, so if you are an animal lover, you can look for down which is harvested from geese without touching the animals.

Down gives you a wonderful feeling of sleeping on a cloud, due to its natural loft and softness. In the same fashion as leather, high quality down is extremely durable and last a very long time, so if you can afford it, it often can be a very good investment. Choose where you buy the down carefully, as you may be getting substandard product.

Down pillows require a down-proof ticking cover. This usually means a minimum of 300 thread count and 100% cotton, with reinforced double stitching on the edge. The simplest way to make a cover is to purchase a high thread count pillow case (400 or higher is recommended) and carefully cut down the open end. Alternatively, you can go to your local fabric store and purchase the highest quality ticking they have. Next, you sew up the pillow to your desired size (twin is 20″ x 26″ and queen is 20″ x 30″) or bring it to your seamstress/tailor. Make sure to leave at least 10″ open on one end of the pillow (you will need to sew this up yourself after you stuff it). Also, make sure to double stitch the pillow shell, with a safety stitch 1″ from the edge. The stitching is very very important, since any weakness in the stitching will lead to down leaking from the pillow.

Down can be tricky to fill and should be done in a closed room, to minimize the mess that will be made. Being very light and fluffy, down filling can be quite challenging to stuff into your pillow. A funnel can be quite useful here to minimize waste, but it needs to have a large enough hole at the bottom to ensure that all the down flows through. Alternatively, you can stuff the pillow with small, careful handfuls.

Once the pillow shell is stuffed to your liking, take your pillow to your sewing machine. Carefully serge the pillow closed. Once done, re-serge it to give it a double stitch to ensure that your stitch will hold up over time.

Check back next year for an article on stuffing your pillow with synthetic materials, such as polyester stuffing.


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