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Down feathers and duvets “Made in Poland”

Down feathers and duvets are a highly valued Polish export hit in the world.

Winter weather, frost and snow are associated, especially in the evening, with a cup of hot tea and a warm duvet. However, not everyone knows that Polish down, feathers and down duvets are a highly valued around the world and a big export hit.

A Brief History of Polish Feathering

It is believed that the goose was domesticated about 3-4 thousand years ago. Backyard farms of geese and ducks in Poland were described as early as the 10th century, and feathers from these birds were used for decorative purposes, writing, plumes, but above all as a filling for warm coats and pillows. The winters were so cold that the Baltic Sea was sometimes covered with ice. In the 17th century, garments filled with feathers were present at the royal court in Warsaw. In sources from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries one can find records about the collection of valuable quilt feathers in the Polish countryside, about the first primitive feather cleaning devices and about craftsmen specializing in the production of quilts.

Development of Polish feathering

It was only after World War II that the Polish feathering industry began to invest in machines that sorted, laundered and jerked which was late compared to  Western Europe. The raw material was obtained from small, very fragmented farms conducting breeding on a micro scale, and the purchase of feathers was carried out by traders – intermediaries .

It was only after the fall of communism that a truly dynamic period of development of Polish feathering took place. The existing plants were modernized and new ones were built. They are equipped with many modern machines, sorting rooms and laundries. Investments were made in refining and homogenizing equipment for feathers. Polish production currently offers washed, snow-white and ready-to-fill down.

What down and feathers are best

Feathers from burrowing poultry are now not used on an industrial scale. Polish production is mainly based on two grades:

– feathers and down from  the Biała Kołudzka goose, a variety crossed and fed with oats, which is a valuable source of micronutrients;

– feathers and down from the Polish Pekin white duck, from which the amount of raw material has increased as much as 10 times in the last fifteen years.

One of the determinants of feather quality is its elasticity measured CUIN (cuin inches), which indicates the buoyancy of the down. The higher its buoyancy, the higher the quality. The Polish white goose has 700 CUIN in class A1.

The largest farms are located in the least urbanized, clean, ecological regions, e.g. in Kuyavia, Wielkopolska, Masuria and Pomerania. Polish producers are very well organized, both in contract breeding, waterfowl slaughter, and feather purchase and processing. They meet all international standards, traceability and certification, offering their customers perfectly snow-white feathers and goose down. The products are free of bacteria, odours and allergens.

The export of Polish feathers and down

For years, these products  been popular among foreign contractors at a fairly even level of sales value of about USD 65-67 million per year. 2022 was a very successful year, in which the Polish feather industry increased its export by more than 15%, reaching a value of USD 79.02 million.

The largest recipients of Polish feathers and down were: Germany (USD 27.01 million), Spain (USD 10.03 million), Italy (USD 9.56 million) and Japan (USD 8.56 million).

In January-October 2023, exports amounted to $62.2 million. The highest growth rate in imports of Polish feathers and down was recorded by China (USD 10.37 million), which a year earlier bought the products from our domestic producers for USD 1.65 million.

Export of Polish feather duvets and pillows

The year 2021 was the best year for the Polish feather duvet and pillow sector. We exported these products for almost PLN 167.260 million. The largest recipients of Polish these products were Germany (67.59 million), France (12.56 million) and the Czech Republic (10.1 million).

Polish duvets are highly sought after on foreign markets. They are characterized by the best parameters. And the best ones are those where the filling consisting of at least 90% down of the Polish white goose and breeding , class A1. Such a mixture allows makes it possible to achieve a very low weight. For example, such a 200/200 cm duvet weighs only about 1.2 kilograms.

Polish  producers of feather and down products offer the highest comfort and warmth at a sensible price, ensuring the end user has sweet dreams.

Source: GUS, fepp

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