I just stuffed my first DIY underquilt with down and stitched it shut. I happily placed it on the floor and proceeded to slap it around a little to distribute the down. All was happy in the world and I was pretty pleased with myself......
I flipped it over to check the other side. There were small tufts of down poking through everywhere. I'm not talking feather quills poking through or some escaping from the stitching lines. I'm talking like down fur on the fabric.
First off, let me say the situation is entirely my doing and I accept full responsibility for getting myself into this jamb.
I am hoping some of the more experienced folks here can help me choose the lesser of the many evil choices I must make to fix this. I am embarrassed but I've learned a lot by studying up here and a bunch by making mistakes, so here it goes. Next time I am going to make a small down pillow with any new material I buy just to see if it is down proof. Wish I did that this time.
I bought the fabric at an outlet center for a great price. The trade off is that nothing is labeled. Everything is on bolts, stacked on top of each other on home-depot style industrial shelving. $3 a yard. Goof number 1.
Both layers are ripstop nylon. The outer blue layer is very shiny on the inside and is fairly light. The inner grey layer is heavier and much softer but it is not shiny on one side. I chose it because I thought it might be more comfortable against my skin if I should use this for a quilt, and I was going to use the remainder to make TQs.
I designed the UQ using the differential underquilt calculator from a HF user and I sewed it using noseeum baffles. It is not a sewn through quilt. Here are the dimensions:
Length of Quilt, inches (L) 60
Width of Quilt, inches (W) 43
Baffle Height, inches (Hb) 2.5
Maximum Chamber Height, inches (Hc) 3
Number of Baffle Chambers 10 (1 oz. down in each)
Down Fill Rating 750
% Down Overstuff 0%
The quilt now weights 24 oz. I've not attached grosgrain or suspension yet.
The outside shell fabric is larger in width to allow for it to conform to the hammock better. The actual space allowed by the mesh between the outer and inner shells turned out to be 2 inches once they were sewn in. The calculator called for roughly 1 ounce of down per chamber. I had 10 chambers, so there is 10 oz of down in this.
The outer shell material (so far...groan) IS downproof but the inner layer is really leaking the down. I used a Kmart pillow and was very pleased with the quality of the down for the price. Almost no feathers. Are you getting the cheepskate vibe here?
This thing is warm as could be and I love it but I think it will cause a mess over time and will lose it's insulating properties fairly quickly. I'm hoping to save it.
I've stopped at this stage in hopes that someone can help me figure out a workable solution. I have not added the grosgrain side channels or the nylon gathered end channels yet.
Potential answers to the problem-
1. Open it up, remove and save the down, then remove the grey fabric and use only the blue fabric. Resew and restuff.
-----thoughts---- this will be a pain and will be very messy and time consuming but it is the best -right- answer.
2. Cut another piece of blue fabric and sew it over the leaky grey fabric. This will prevent down loss but I will have to stitch along the baffle dividers, thereby making this a sewn through quilt and losing some insulating value.
-----thoughts---- this is a compromise -patch- solution and will avoid the mess but it will make the quilt heavier.
3. Leave well enough alone, finish it, and use it until it doesn't work well anymore.
4. (y'all add your ideas here)
Things to think about as you ponder my dilemma.
I am not a serious hiker or an ultralighter. I am mostly confined to car camping or campsites with electricity (due to having to use a CPAP machine). I am reasonably competent with the sewing machine although I am learning more each time I do a project.
So what are your thoughts oh great suspended ones? I'm really kicking myself in the butt over this.