There are two sides to every story –
the inside and the outside.
Goose down. Feather blends. Thread count. Fill power. Baffles. Choosing comforters and pillows can be, well, a little baffling. But as with any decision, a little information goes a long way. Here are some simple definitions that will help you send your customers home with the right product.
What’s on the Inside
The soul of every comforter is what we call the “fill.” All Cloud Nine comforters and sleep pillows are filled with goose down or amazingly soft and down-like synthetics. Our decorator pillows and feather beds are filled with various blends of down, feathers and synthetic fibers. In every case our fills are of exceptional quality and purity.
Down: the insulating fluff found under the chest feathers of waterfowl. Soft, nearly weightless clusters radiate in all directions from a central point and interlock to trap air. It’s the air that keeps you warm.
Types of down: generally, the colder the climate and the longer the goose is allowed to mature, the larger and warmer the down clusters. We offer four different types of goose down to bring you the best mix of price points. Each of our down comforters and sleep pillows can be ordered in any of these four down types.
White Goose Down: 550 fill power
Hungarian Goose Down: 650 fill power
Polish Goose Down*: 750 fill power
Siberian Goose Down*: 800 fill power
Feathers: the outer plumage of waterfowl. Feather filaments radiate side-to-side from a tubular central quill for a flat, two-dimensional appearance, a firmer, springier texture and significantly less ability to trap air.
Fill weight: the ounces of fill in a comforter. This choice will depend on the size of the comforter, the style of construction, the fill power of the down, the preferred warmth and the desired look and price point. On our price/spec sheet we offer several recommendations that achieve appropriate balances of all these elements. Of course, you may request any fill weight you like.
Fill power: the standard that tells us the number of cubic inches filled by each ounce of down. The more space an ounce of down takes up (that is, the more air it entraps), the more warmth it offers per ounce.
Down and Feather Blends: a variety of blends for various purposes and budgets. Generally, the more down, the softer and fluffier the pillow; the more feathers, the firmer and springier the pillow.
Ideal for customers who may be allergic to down. These innovative new synthetics are more like down than ever before.
Nirvana: the highest quality synthetic fill available today. It closely simulates the softness, fluidity and loft of down because the fiber is formed in small individual clusters that can be blown into a tick.
Heavenly: similar to Nirvana but slightly batted (combed together), it can still be blown, like down, into a tick.
Natural and Synthetic Blends:
Our Feather Cloud™ blends offer the best of both worlds — the natural texture of feathers and down with the exceptional softness and resilience of the new synthetics.
Feather Cloud I™: 50% Heavenly synthetic fill; 50% our 10/90 blend of duck down/feathers.
Feather Cloud II™: 50% Heavenly synthetic fill; 50% our 25/75 blend of duck down/feathers.
What’s on the Outside
People often say, “it’s what’s inside that counts.” In the case of a comforter or pillow, the externals can be just as important. The quality of fabric and the engineering methods used to enclose a comforter or pillow can enhance or undermine its ability to loft, insulate, breathe and last.
Tick: the fabric sack that contains the fill of a comforter or pillow.
Ticking: the fabric the tick is made of. All Cloud Nine comforter and pillow ticks are made with down-proof natural fabrics of exceptional quality with a high thread count and luxurious hand.
Egyptian cotton: long-staple cotton fibers with exceptional strength and luster. Since it requires very fine, smoothly-spun threads to achieve a high thread count, Egyptian cotton is ideal for weaving ticking fabrics that are exceptionally lightweight, lustrous, down-proof and long-wearing.
Silk: a natural fiber known for its luster, strength and luxurious hand. We have blended silk with cotton for added comfort and elegance.
Thread count: the total number of threads per square inch. This includes both warp and weft threads. The higher the thread count, the more closely woven the fabric and the more down-proof the fabric. Cloud Nine uses fabrics with thread counts as high as 1020.
Weave: the pattern formed by the warp threads crossing the weft threads.
Plain weave: a simple flat weave that is smooth to the touch, with no special
Satin or sateen weave: a lustrous finish created by threads that float across the surface of the fabric.
Twill weave: a diagonal surface texture (like denim). Generally thicker and heavier than a plain weave, twill makes an ideal tick for feather fills.
Open-flow construction: lets you move the down around inside the tick,
adjusting the warmth for different parts of the body and different seasons.
(It’s a great advantage if one partner likes more warmth than another.)
Contained-flow construction: fully encloses each section to keep the down evenly distributed throughout the comforter.
Baffled construction: the tick has interior walls (baffles) that keep the
two layers of ticking lifted apart to allow for greater loft.
Stitched-through construction: two layers of ticking are stitched directly
together. Both baffled and stitched-through ticks can be
made in open-flow or contained-flow styles.
Cloud Nine Tick Styles:
Baffle Box: contained-flow baffled construction. Allows the highest
possible loft while keeping the down evenly distributed.
(See our Venetian and Super Nova comforters.)
Karo Step: open-flow stitched-through construction in a zigzag configuration.
Down moves freely within the tick, allowing easy adjustment of fill.
(See our Eclipse comforter.)
Baffle Channel: baffled construction that allows
end-to-end adjustment of fill.
(See our Snuggle Puff.)