perm filename MICHEL.NS[CMU,AIL] blob sn#334062 filedate 1978-02-17 generic text, type T, neo UTF8
n752  0534  16 Feb 78
BC-Down 2 takes 02-16
Attention: Feature, fashion editors
(c) 1978 Chicago Sun-Times
    If you now find you can't stand the coat you've been wearing for
the last few winter months and want something warmer, or want to
take advantage of sales, you may be looking at fluffy, puffy,
down-filled garments.
    Setting out to buy a down jacket or coat can be confusing. Many
things about these garments, including the down itself, are less
than obvious.
    It's not, for example, obvious how to clean down, and buyers
will be bombarded with unfamilar terms such as ''loft'' and
''baffing,'' which describe the characteristics of down garments.
    Down is the name given to the fuzzy stuff found at the base of
bird feathers. It is one of the best and lightest insulating
materials. In fact, mountaineers and the military were the first
to develop the type of down clothes found today in outdoor and
department stores.
    X X X
    But you don't have to climb mountains or ski or journey to the Arctic
to wear a down jacket. So if you're going to be bqying, here are
some tips about down.
    Ever fluff a feather-filled pillow? The qualify of fluffiness is
called loft. The higher the loft, the warmer the garment, since
the air trapped between the clumps of down is what keeps you warm.
    Squeeze an arm of a jacket to test for loft. You'll be able to feel
if there is an undue amount of quill, rigid fibers and feathers.
The jacket should feel very soft when you grab it.
    If the outer shell is not sewn through to the inner lining, the
jacket is baffled. Baffled jackets are warmer and more expensive.
Baffling is warmer because sewing through the material creates
cold spots.
    Look for outerwear filled with high-quality goose or duck down.
These birds spend winter in cold climates and their down is denser.
    Last year, a scandal developed in the down industry when a California
investigation revealed not enough down was put in products labeled
    Federal labeling regulations require that a garment must be at
least 80 per cent down and no more than 20 per cent feathers and
other material.
    It should be pointed out that since down does not keep you warm
when wet, a synthetic fiber may be better for someone who is
outside in wet weather.
    X X X
    There is an array of styles of down jackets to choose from.
Look for inside pockets, insulated hand-warmer pockets and a
down-filled collar. More fashionable garments may not have some of
these features.
    In addition, a two-way zipper is great for getting into pant 
pockets and for driving. As for the sleeves, there should be some
sort of adjustable windbreaker (such as snaps or elastic at cuffs)
to seal in or let out heat.
    X X X
    The exterior shell of the coat is as important as the down
inside. The lighter the outer shell, the more the down can loft.
Heavier shells are more durable and more water-repellent. While
all jackets are treated with a water-repellent finish, no down
jacket is waterproof, because air must be allowed to get in so
the stuffing can loft.
jj    more 02-16
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