Choosing Between Natural and Synthetic Down Coats
The cost of rearing ducks and geese for faux plucking has increased beyond manageable levels. So, faux coat manufacturers must look for alternative materials and stop depending on animals for fur. In addition, the environmentalists are up in arms against unregulated fur plucking, which is subjecting the birds and other animals to cruelty. Therefore, coat manufacturers are under pressure to seek alternative materials which they can use in manufacturing coats.
Faux down which is also referred to as alternative down, is synthetic insulation made from polyester. The fiber is ranged in different sizes and shapes to simulate down. If properly stimulated, it makes the coat warmer, just as when animal or birds’ fur is used.
Is Faux Better Than Down Fur?
Alternative down appears more or less the same as the real down. It is also soft and can come in many colors. The problem with alternative down is that when you wash it regularly, it reduces its thermal performance.
Nevertheless, many brands have opted for alternative down because it is cheaper and does not raise environmental concerns. Also, down from animals may be unethically treated, which reduces its quality. So, when used in coats, it is unlikely to guarantee the warmth to protect you against the winter cold.
Thus, alternative down is a result of thoroughbred research and combines the best of natural and artificial down to give it the cleanliness and integrity the manufacturers need to enhance your winter jacket's warmth and appearance. Also, alternative down is warm and soft to the body.
When you fill a jacket with insulating material, you give it the extra layer to insulate and keep the body warm during the cold season. Such jackets are more sophisticated and come in varying insulation levels to give you a wide range to select from. Read on and learn more about downs.
Typically, there are two types of downs, synthetic and natural down. Natural down is light and warmer compared to alternative down. However, it may not provide appropriate insulation when wet. However, this is not the case when synthetic insulators maintain their insulating power even when the conditions become damp.
Natural down comes from birds such as geese and ducks. It can also be extracted from animals like foxes and sables. The feathers protect the birds from extreme coldness and keep them warm even when the temperatures fall to their lowest levels. The fluffy feathers are light and will trap air and help to stop heat loss.
Note that both synthetic and down insulations do not generate heat, but they conserve it to help maintain the body temperature. They trap air and make it difficult for the body to lose heat to the outside environment. The synthetic down is manufactured with the need to trap and retain heat in mind. So, when stuffed in jackets, they provide an insulating layer that makes them warmer and good for wearing during winter.
But to get the right amount of warmth, the down fill must be correct. Down fill refers to the amount of down used in the final product. A coat with a higher fill is better and likely to provide more warmth than one with less. A greater volume of fill traps more air and will enhance the warmth of your jacket. It also makes the coat lighter and more compressible.
On the other hand, synthetic insulation is made of polyester and other elements but engineered to mimic the lofty tendrils of natural down. It maintains its insulating power even when the conditions change. Also, it is easier to wash and wear.
Choosing Between Natural Or Synthetic Insulation
The decision to choose between synthetic and natural down insulation depends on the conditions you find yourself in. When the condition gets colder, and you are likely to engage in expeditions and adventure, you may find coats filled with natural down effective.
But if the condition is likely to get colder and damp, picking synthetic insulation will give you better results. Also, synthetic insulation is versatile and can keep you warm in varying conditions. It can be used in cold and wet solutions as well. The coats feature an outer layer that is ideal for people who feel extremely cold during winter.
The fine layer of fluffy feathers is used to make an insulation layer in the jacket. These are jackets with feathers from waterfowls, ducks or geese. Such feathers may be sourced from the food industry to avoid the cruel plucking practice.
Natural down may be preferred because it is soft and retains more feathers. Using feathers gives the jacket more warmth, but such jackets may not handle moisture effectively. Wearing the jackets may require that you throw over some top. Luckily, advancement in technology has led to the discovery of hydrophobic down, which is treated and capable of handling moisture better. But it would help if you still avoided the jacket when it is raining.
On the other hand, synthetic jackets are made of synthetic material, a lab-made down mimicking animal made down. It is popular among the people who detest products derived from animals. The synthetics mimic the warming effect of down to help achieve higher levels of breathability.
Synthetic insulation allows for quick heat circulation, but it loses heat faster than the natural down jacket. So, this jacket is suitable when the body is still producing its heat.
Therefore, whether to buy a synthetic or natural down jacket is determined by how it handles moisture. Thus, buy a jacket filled with synthetic down if you use it in a wetter and moist environment. Also, your budget may determine the type of jacket you buy. If your budget is limited, the synthetic type will be good for you. However, if you have a bigger budget, go for the natural down-filled jacket.