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  1. #1
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    Thrift Store Down

    I have seen some down comforters at my local thrift stores and thought about a diy down UQ, but I have no idea on how to recover, clean, and then store the down.
    Any advise from you diy mavericks would be much appreciated.
    Hammocking, car camping, backpacking, kayaking, and mountain biking. Getting in touch with nature is getting expensive. Good thing I can DIY!

  2. #2
    Kapang!'s Avatar
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    I just tried recovering it from a down bag. My short answer: Don't. It's messy, you need all the right stuff (large mesh bag, large shop vac, no wind), even then, time consuming. And, now that you'e got it in a big bag, how do you transfer it cleanly in to new baffles?
    I Just gave up on it, today. There are tiny feathers all over my garage. Some will probably stay long after I'm gone.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Pipsissewa's Avatar
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    I wouldn't give up on the idea if you're a hard-core DIYer. Many people here (Fronkey comes to mind) have developed techniques for managing down with little or no mess. I personally like to do all my down transfers with the down WET. Easy peasy (except for measuring). For that, I measured 1 oz. of dry down, wet it to see how big it was (tiny!) and then made similarly-sized piles for each baffle. Good luck!!!




    Edit: HERE's Fronkey's video on how he does it.
    "Pips"
    Mountains have a dreamy way
    Of folding up a noisy day
    In quiet covers, cool and gray.

    ---Leigh Buckner Hanes

    Surely, God could have made a better way to sleep.

    Surely, God never did.

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys. I was wondering about cleaning it too, as thrift store down seems kind of iffy to me(bed bugs/mites?). First thing I do with any thing from the thrift store is clean it. How do you clean down at home. I know it can be dry cleaned.
    Hey Pips your wet method sounds great do you put your uq in the dryer to dry the down, or hang to dry?
    Hammocking, car camping, backpacking, kayaking, and mountain biking. Getting in touch with nature is getting expensive. Good thing I can DIY!

  5. #5
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Never dry clean down! The chemicals strip the oils and ruin it. If you clean it after you harvest it you will regret it!!! There has been much posted on cleaning down. Use a high quality _soap_ like Ivory flakes or a specialty down cleanser. Never a detergent. Be prepared for long hours at the dryer. This is going to take a while. IMO thrift store down is not worth the effort and time.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

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  6. #6
    'that' guy Chenvre's Avatar
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    Wash your down items in the washer, dry in the dryer.

    They don't usually need special pampering, and you are not concerned with the fabric shell on your thrift store down score, however, buying and using some down detergent instead of regular will help refresh the down better and help with bringing back the loft. You can find down cleaner in lots of places, I found mine at an outdoor shop that sold down bags.

    If you don't use down detergent, don't use too much regular detergent! A little bit will do.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Grinder's Avatar
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    plus, cheap down commonly has a large percent of feathers.

    This doesn't affect insulation, but reduces compressibility.
    grinder

  8. #8
    Member tansey's Avatar
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    i was thinkin of the down comforters last night and I think I would clamp it all around the hanging hammock with someone on a diagonal lying in it. using those squeeze wood clamps, adjusting as needed to accommodate all positions and see what I come up with. I was thinking of then marking it and cutting it carefully, taping w/stiky back cloth tape then sowing, no down transfer allowing a little extra for fasteners/fastening etc
    just theory but I will try it one day.
    could bypass the tape and just sow then cut of the unneeded side of the seam.
    I would just sun/air the quilt instead of washing.
    best of luck!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Pipsissewa's Avatar
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    Just my two cents on all of the above:

    You may find extremely high quality down at the thrift store. So often, I find better quality stuff second hand than I can afford to buy first hand. I mean, I have all the gear I could possibly need. I can't justify $200 for another down sleeping bag to cut up. But $20? Mr. Pips says, "Go for it!"

    I shop by brand: Eddie Bauer, The North Face, LL Bean, Helly Hansen, etc. And READ LABELS. They'll tell you the percentage of down and feathers in the content. The higher the down, the better (warmer, more compressible).

    Also, I agree with washing and drying down in the machines. Be sure to dry on LOW, add some tennis balls to break up the clumps, and dry THOROUGHLY. Otherwise, mold may develop. That's why line-drying is not recommended. It must be drop-dead dry. Yes, I dry my projects after I sew them shut. Seems to work for me.

    Finally, Tansey: You've got an interesting idea there. The reason most folks usually harvest down from garments or throws (even some pillows!) is that they want to make their quilts from very light-weight fabric. Most fabric throws are made of is too heavy (for backpacking).

    I also suggest that you mark your throw, THEN SEW FIRST, then cut. That way, your down will stay contained. Cover your raw cut edges with binding tape sewn on. Best of luck to all!
    Last edited by Pipsissewa; 08-18-2012 at 09:29.
    "Pips"
    Mountains have a dreamy way
    Of folding up a noisy day
    In quiet covers, cool and gray.

    ---Leigh Buckner Hanes

    Surely, God could have made a better way to sleep.

    Surely, God never did.

  10. #10
    Member
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    Thanks guys. I might just wait until I find a nice down sleeping bag I can cut up. But, my diy gears are spinning.
    Last edited by Burning_Daylight; 08-18-2012 at 22:16. Reason: can't spell
    Hammocking, car camping, backpacking, kayaking, and mountain biking. Getting in touch with nature is getting expensive. Good thing I can DIY!

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