Down comforter

hole in ice

My parents gave me a goosedown comforter for Christmas. With that atop my layers of blankets, they assure me, I’ll never be awoken by the cold again.

ice bubbles 2

The feathers — or parts of feathers — must be allowed to clump, it seems, but not too much. “Made up of light, fluffy filaments, the down clusters expand and intertwine to form air pockets” within cells of cotton cloth known as baffle boxes, says the description on the packaging.

curled leaf

Electric blankets have never appealed to me; I love the idea of maximizing the body’s own heat. I like to imagine that they were snow geese whose breast feathers will be keeping me warm, though I’m sure they weren’t.

UPDATE: Yep, it’s warm!

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave's writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the "share alike" provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

13 Comments


  1. I can vouch for goose down
    a goosedown comforter is
    part of a Lithuanian grrl’s dowry.
    I have one
    that my mother striped the spines from goose feathers
    to make
    (they ate the geese)
    my grandmother
    as a young girl in Lithuania
    was the village goose girl
    tending the gaggles on the hillsides . . .

    since my mother would have been 100 this year
    I figure the down in my comforter is about 75 years old
    and the comforter is thin as can be
    the down has lost all it’s loft
    but I haven;t the heart to discard it
    guess I’ll buy some down pillows
    and add some new stuffing

    but I can assure you
    you WILL BE WARM
    under yours
    when you get too hot
    just stick a leg out
    from under
    and you’ll cool down

    Reply

  2. Goosedown comforters are the best (and pillows, too). Grew up with them myself … I mean I always had one. Suzanne is absolutely right: if you are too hot under the comforter, just stick out a leg and all will equalize. At least in terms of temperature!

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  3. Even before the EMF scare, I was never too keen on sleeping under a plugged-in appliance….

    I like the ice photos — natural ice makes such cool (heh) patterns….

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  4. A Slick Answer

    Down comforters were all the rage
    When I was just a tad.
    It’s nice to see they have endured
    Mid polyester fad.

    The warmth and softness of the things
    Are really undeniable.
    They’ll last through many winters
    And they’re perfectly reliable.

    The ones with ‘satin’ covers though
    I very much deplore
    Cause you’ll wake up every morning
    With your ‘comfort’ on the floor.

    P.S. The photos are gorgeous!

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  5. My only question would be: why the blankets?

    (Unless it gets to about freezing inside your house?)

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  6. I say they were feathers of snow geese and swans, with a few bits of mating plumage from egrets. So they are, so they will stay. By hook, by crook, and by 3rd-day magic.

    Just this instant put up my “things I learned from editing Q-looney” post. And shall add more as I think of them.

    Reply

  7. suzanne – That sounds like quite a link to your past – to still be warmed at night by your mother’s own hands! Wow.

    maria – You’re right. I ended up extruding an arm last night.

    David Harmon – Thanks. Here’s a horizontal version of the ice closeup shot.

    Joan – Thanks for the light verse! I’m sure you’re right about the perils of satin covers. Fortunately, mine didn’t come with one.

    Pica – I don’t have the best circulation in the world – and yes, I do like to keep the house pretty cold at night.

    marlyat2 – I’d definitely buy pillows and comforters stuffed with down from snow geese and invasive mute swans. Damn things are a nuisance, albeit beautiful.

    I do appreciate your blogging about qarrtsiluni (except for the part about me being cantankerous, which was entirely baseless and absurd).

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  8. I find my down comforter too warm, but maybe I haven’t tried sticking limbs out into the cold. Partly I think it’s the duvet cover that traps more heat and doesn’t breathe enough, because when I just used a “naked” down comforter I don’t recall it being so warm. I gave up and use three layers of blankets, peeling and adding as needed (the princess and the pea’s got nothing on me). Stay warm!

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  9. Oh, I love my down comforter… though like leslee, i have to stick my feet out sometimes for comfort control. I also love your photos.

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  10. I married into a down-duvet-using family so I know of what you speak. Usually too warm for me though. Some stores sell different weights or warmths and I would have chosen a lighter one, but ‘he’ likes it warmer. It sure was toasty when the power and heat were off!

    But what I really want to say, Dave – I absolutely LOVE the top two photos !!

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  11. leslee – Yeah, I can see where a cover might be too much. The manufacturer recommends using one to extend the lifetime of the product, but I have this sneaking suspicion that the manufacturer also makes the covers…

    Jennifer and marja-leena – Thanks for the kind words about my photos. Believe it or not, this post wasn’t going to be about the comforter, but after staring at the top two photos (which I did just take yesterday) for some time, that’s what they reminded me of.

    One of the (few) benefits of being single, I guess, is that one never has to fight over blankets or thermostat!

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  12. We had to stop using our goose-down comforter because it simply provided too much warmth. I think I would have preferred the lighter-weight model, but ours was a gift and that was that. I like a cold night, window wide open and pile of blankets and quilts almost too heavy to pull up. Some people say we shouldn’t sleep with the window open in winter, but that cold air is so soporific, it’s hard to give it up.

    Beautiful photos, dave. No ice here in Santa Cruz, and yours is a lovely view.

    Reply

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