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Down & feather group re-iterates proper classifications

New York – The American Down and Feather Council continues to wage its battle against the term “synthetic down.”

The council, a section of the Home Fashion Products Association, released a statement asserting: “Man-made materials cannot replicate the characteristics of down, as the term synthetic down suggests. Use of the term is an attempt to trade on the reputation of natural down products.”

The council noted that the International Association of Bedding and Furniture Labeling Officials (IABFLO) does not recognize “synthetic down.”

“The term ‘synthetic down’ is not, and will not be, approved for use by IABFLO. It does not describe what the material actually is, and so the consumer cannot make an informed decision,” said Joan Jordan, president of IABFLO and the supervisor of Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection’s Bedding and Product Safety Unit,

ADFC also objects to down alternative manufacturers using the terms “loft” and “fill power,” asserting these are descriptions applied to the natural properties of down.

The term “loft” refers to the fluffiness of down products, a result of individual fibers connecting to one another at a central point, giving down its three dimensional quality.

“Fill power,” a technical term that refers to the insulating ability of down products, is the measurement of the amount of volume – or space – taken up by one ounce of down, it is measured under laboratory conditions.

Stephen Palmer, American Down and Feather Council (ADFC) chairman, said, “Clear and accurate labeling of bedding benefits everyone. Retailers understand what they are selling and consumers know what to look for when purchasing down and feather bedding products, arbitrary and inaccurate labeling leads to confusion.”

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