Eiderdown is a premium, soft feather product harvested from the Common Eider Duck, a significant migratory sea duck found along the northern coasts of eastern Europe and North America. Eiderdown's unique insulating capabilities surpass goose down, wool, cotton, and even synthetic materials in warmth and softness.
Eiderdown is considered by many to be the pinnacle of down fillings, and there are several reasons why it's held in such high regard:
- Superior Insulation: Eiderdown has an incredibly high fill power, which measures the volume that a given amount of down will occupy. High fill power equates to better insulation with less weight. This means an eiderdown duvet can provide exceptional warmth without being heavy.
- Rare and Natural: Eiderdown is collected from the nests of the wild Eider duck, primarily in Iceland and Canada. The ducks naturally shed the down, which is then gathered by hand, ensuring no harm to the birds. This harvesting method makes it a sustainable and ethically sound choice but also contributes to its rarity and high cost.
- Softness: Eiderdown clusters are incredibly soft. They adapt seamlessly to the body, offering a luxurious and comfortable sleeping experience.
- Breathability: Eiderdown has excellent moisture-wicking properties, which means it can help regulate body temperature by drawing away moisture. This results in a duvet that keeps you warm without causing overheating.
- Durability: Eiderdown is resilient and can last decades if properly cared for. The durability, combined with its performance, makes it a long-term investment.
- Elasticity: Eiderdown has a natural elasticity allows it to regain volume even after being compressed. This means that with some fluffing, your duvet can feel as lofty as when it was new.
- Natural & Hypoallergenic: Given its natural origins and processing methods, eiderdown tends to be less likely to provoke allergies compared to some synthetic materials.
- Environmental Impact: Harvesting eiderdown doesn't harm the birds, and there's a symbiotic relationship between the Eider ducks and the collectors. In many places, the birds are protected, and their habitats are maintained by the collectors, ensuring the continuation of this natural cycle.
Eiderdown is one of the warmest, lightest, and most luxurious types of down, and there are several reasons for its high price:
- Source of Eiderdown: Eiderdown is the down feather of the eider duck, specifically the common eider. Unlike other down, eiderdown is not a byproduct of the meat industry. The eider duck is a protected species in many countries, and the down is hand-collected from the nests without harming the birds. Once the eider ducks leave their nests, the down is harvested, ensuring that the process is humane and sustainable.
- Labor-Intensive Collection: Because of the hand-collection method, it's a labor-intensive process. Collectors often work in challenging environments, such as remote islands, to gather the down, adding to its cost.
- Rarity: The quantity of eiderdown collected annually is significantly less than that of other down feathers, making it a rare commodity. Each duck only provides about 15-20 grams of down a year. To make one comforter, you would need the down from numerous nests.
- Unique Properties: Eiderdown has unique insulating properties. It has a higher fill power (a measure of the loft or "fluffiness" of down products), which means it offers superior warmth with less weight. Eiderdown also has a unique clinginess, which allows the individual plumes to stick together, reducing cold spots in duvets or jackets.
- Cleaning and Processing: Cleaning eiderdown is also a meticulous process to ensure that only the finest and purest down makes it into products. This process adds to the overall cost.
- Quality and Longevity: Products made from eiderdown tend to be of high quality and can last for decades with proper care. This longevity can justify the initial investment for some buyers.
In summary, the high price of eiderdown is a result of its rarity, the labor-intensive and sustainable collection process and its unique properties.
Yes it is!
The question of its ethical sourcing revolves around the method of collection and the impact on the eider duck populations.
- Natural Harvesting Process: Eiderdown is unique because the ducks naturally shed it. Female eiders line their nests with the down to keep their eggs warm. Once the ducklings leave the nest, collectors harvest the down without harming the birds. In many places, especially in Canada, this is a centuries-old tradition.
- Protection Measures: In regions like Canada, the eider ducks are protected, and harvesting eiderdowns can incentivize local people to ensure the well-being of the eider populations. The ducks are unafraid of humans and often nest nearby, allowing for an easier harvest.
- Limited Harvest: The supply is limited because eiderdown is naturally shed and harvested only once the ducklings leave the nest. This scarcity contributes to its high price.
- Certification: In some regions, eiderdown is certified to ensure it's genuinely and ethically sourced. For example, in Canada & Iceland, there's a certification process that verifies the purity and origin of the down.
Yes it is!
- Natural Dust Mite Repellent
Eiderdown is the soft, fine feathers of the eider duck, a large sea duck found in the colder regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The eider duck's feathers have a natural oil that repels dust mites, one of the most common allergens in bedding and clothing. This makes Eiderdown an excellent choice for those with dust mite allergies.
- Resistant to Bacteria and Fungi
The natural oil in Eiderdown also makes it resistant to bacteria and fungi, common triggers for allergies and asthma. This means that Eiderdown outerwear is less likely to harbour allergens, keeping you comfortable and healthy throughout winter.
- Hypoallergenic Filling
Many winter jackets and coats are filled with synthetic materials or down from other birds, which can trigger allergies in some people. Conversely, Eiderdown is a natural and hypoallergenic filling that is less likely to cause allergic reactions.
Yes it is!
Something hydrophobic "fears" or repels water, preventing it from interacting or mixing with it easily (water-repelling).
In nature, the hydrophobic properties of duck feathers leaves repel water, helping these organisms to stay dry or clean.
- Moisture Management: One challenge in colder environments is managing moisture. If moisture is trapped within clothing, it can lead to a rapid loss of body heat. Eiderdown's hydrophobic quality ensures that humidity is repelled, maintaining the insulating layer's effectiveness.
- Insulation: Eiderdown is used in our outerwear because of its unmatched insulation capabilities. Its ability to trap and retain warm air close to the body means that even a thin layer of eiderdown can provide significant warmth.
- Lightweight Warmth: Eiderdown provides warmth without adding significant weight, making it ideal for outdoor enthusiasts who require light yet warm gear.
While many believe Icelandic eiderdown to be the best due to Iceland being the primary source of global eiderdown, this notion needs to be more accurate. The Common Eider Duck, which produces eiderdown, remains consistent whether nesting in Iceland or Canada.
Some might think that because Iceland is colder, its eiderdown must be superior. However, this is different. The St. Lawrence Estuary in Canada, where we harvest our eiderdown, generally experiences colder winter temperatures than Iceland. So, if freezing temperatures were an indicator of eiderdown quality, Canadian eiderdown could arguably be seen as superior.
That said, cold temperatures haven't directly impacted eiderdown quality. The Eider Duck simply has a preference for colder nesting climates globally. Considering everything, the Canadian Eider Duck offers some of the world's finest eiderdown.
Our warm regards to our Icelandic counterparts.
Made to Order
Our artisans start preparing your order the moment you place it, so we can accommodate online order cancellations within 24 hours of placing the order. If your order contains an error or you need help, please contact us immediately.
We like to meet our customers specific needs and personalize our coats by adjusting our fit to your particular request; You just have to ask!
Please do not hesitate to contact us, and we will be happy to modify specific details to get your perfect fit. Among other things, we can produce intermediate sizes or shorten the length of coats and sleeves. We want you to feel emotionally attached to your coat, and when you know it's explicitly made for you, that adds to its uniqueness.
FIBERS & MATERIALS Of natural origin
We use high-quality materials to guarantee durability and long life. Natural fibres wear and tear differently than synthetics, and winter gear is submitted to harsh conditions - the natural canvas is not invincible.
CARE FOR YOUR OLMSTED Re-Wax
Waxed cotton coats cannot be dry cleaned but clean beautifully with a wet cloth.
Oily waxed cotton, such as our standard Silkwax used in The Eiderdown collection, can be reproofed after a few years to bring back shine and restore waterproofness if needed
All our linings are also water repellent and to be easily sponged clean. Airing every season and storage in a dry, cool place will allow your down-filled outerwear to last.
We remain responsible for our products long after purchase by offering repairs and upcycling options through our take-back program. Eiderdown, which is an expensive commodity, can be upcycled. All our outerwear are eligible to be repurchased by Olmsted Outerwear for 10% of their original value.
We offer first-class shipping worldwide. Our partners include DHL or UPS; we can also use another carrier.
Orders ship within 15-20 business days from the date of order.
Orders within Canada ship via UPS and typically arrive in 2-3 business days. When your order is shipped, you receive an email with your specific tracking number to follow your package until delivery. All our shipments are insured and covered by our guarantee.
International orders ship via UPS and typically arrive within 2-6 days. When your order is shipped, you receive an email with your specific tracking number to follow your package until delivery. All our shipments are insured and covered by our guarantee.
We cover all added import duties within Canada and the United States.
However, outside of Canada and the United States, local import duties and taxes might be added to international shipments upon reception. These costs are the responsibility of the receiver.
We will send you an email confirmation when you place your order, and another email once your order has shipped with a tracking code.
Olmsted Outerwear coats come with a two-year warranty.
We guarantee everything we make and stand by the craftsmanship of our goods. Complementary after-sales service is provided for production defects during the warranty period
Returns & Refunds
Our artisans put their best efforts in crafting products made just for you.
Olmsted offers free returns worldwide, a full refund to the original payment method for all items returned within 10 days. All items must be in new and unworn condition. All returns must be postmarked to Olmsted within 15 days of your receipt of the ordered items.
If you wish to return an item, please contact us within 10 days to arrange for your free return shipment.
It takes our customer service center 7-10 business days to receive and process your refund. We will send an e-mail once the returned item(s) have been received and your refund has been processed.
If you choose to use your own shipping method to send your return back, Olmsted is not responsible for lost packages. We recommend using a traceable shipping method to help prevent this.