Washing & Care
A little bit of care can go a long ways towards keeping your Feathered Friends products in good shape for years to come. Below are some best practices for cleaning and storing your down products, ensuring that you get the most enjoyment and longest life out of your garment, sleeping bag, or bedding.
Important - Do Not Dry Clean
Dry cleaning strips down of its natural, protective oils, clogs the pores of technical fabrics and will void your warranty. If you use a cleaning service, be certain that they are using cleaning methods appropriate for down and are not, in fact, dry cleaning your items.
- Rinse stains immediately. If possible, do not let stain dry before washing.
- Apply soap directly to heavily soiled or stained areas and soak for up to one hour.
- Use a specially formulated down cleaner such as Revivex Down Cleaner. Do not use bleach, bleach-alternatives or fabric softener.
- If using a machine, use the largest front-loading commercial washer you can find. Do not use top-loading washers with agitators; they will damage your garment or sleeping bag.
- Use the normal, warm water cycle, with a warm water rinse.
- Tip: Turn garments and sleeping bags inside out prior to washing. Water will escape through the lining material more easily than it will through the water resistant or waterproof shell material during the spin cycle.
- Tip: You may need to saturate pillows and manually squeeze the air out before beginning a machine wash.
- Run through a complete second cycle without soap to ensure that the soap residue is completely rinsed out.
- Carefully wring as much water as possible out of the item before attempting to lift it. Although we use a durable tricot baffling material, the down in your garment, sleeping bag, or comforter will be heavy when wet, making it easier to tear the baffles inside the item if it is not handled carefully.
DryingThe drying process for large items like comforters and sleeping bags can typically take several hours. If you wish to reduce time in the dryer, you can partially air dry the item by laying it flat in the sun before finishing in the dryer.
- Carefully carry down products from the underside while they are saturated with water.
- To partially air dry, lay the item flat for a maximum of one day. Air dry only in warm, dry weather. Even if air drying, always finish in a dryer.
- Use an extra-large front-loading dryer, set to low-medium heat. Low heat is best for sleeping and and garments but cotton bedding can take medium heat. A too-small dryer risks damaging larger products like comforters and sleeping bags. If in doubt, please dry your item at a laundromat with an extra large dryer.
- During the drying process, it is important to periodically go through the item and manually break up the clumps of down that have formed during the wash process.
- To avoid mildew, make sure your items are completely dry before storing them. Check small down chambers to ensure no wet clumps exist. Be prepared to dry large items for several hours.
- Do not overfill the dryer so much that the item cannot tumble, which can cause the fabric to melt. Dryer sizes vary, but when in doubt, dry large items in separate loads.
**If you prefer to have your down item washed professionally, we recommend Rainy Pass Repair for cleaning and repairing. Alternatively, give the instructions above to your local cleaners to ensure correct care. The key parts to highlight are to use specialized down cleaner, don't dry too hot, and dry for long enough to clear all clumps. Feathered Friends no longer offers cleaning services.**
For simple cuts or holes in fabric, we recommend Tenacious Tape and/or Seam Grip. We no longer perform non-warranty repairs in house but recommend Rainy Pass Repair for professional repair.
The Durable Water Repellant (DWR) finish that is used on all of our technical fabrics will need to be replenished from time to time. If you notice that water is no longer beading up on the surface of your garment or sleeping bag, wash the item and then dry it on medium heat for 30-45 minutes to re-activate the DWR finish. If this doesn’t work, you will need to apply a DWR replenishing treatment such as ReviveX Spray-On Water Repellant. Follow the DWR manufacturers’ directions.
Store your Feathered Friends products uncompressed, either lightly stuffed in a large, breathable bag or hung in a dry location. All Feathered Friends sleeping bags come with a large, cotton storage sack specifically made for long term storage. To discourage the growth of mildew, make sure your items are completely dry before storing them.
Shifting the Down Fill in Your Sleeping BagSome Feathered Friends sleeping bags are constructed with continuous baffles—fabric tubes—that hold the down in place and wrap completely around the bag. This design allows you to shift the down to the top or bottom of your sleeping bag, effectively raising or lowering its temperature rating, according to the season, changing conditions and your personal preferences. For example: if you are using a thick, down insulated sleeping pad, you may want to shift all of the down to the top of the bag, where it can loft fully, to extend the comfort rating. Alternatively, in warm summer temperatures, you may choose to shift some of the down to the bottom of the bag so you don’t overheat during the night.
- Begin by unzipping your bag completely and laying it out flat.
- Next, hold the edge of the bag and give it a few firm shakes. The down will slide in the baffles and end up on side of the bag opposite you.
- To return the bag to its normal configuration, simply reverse the process.
- The inevitable, uneven shifting of the fill that occurs during normal use can also be corrected with the above method.