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Re Bag of Feathers

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  • Risk
    Hi Ray, Great looking project. I just finished a quilt made from the Hungry Huey s Quilt kit from Thru-Hiker. A couple things I learned that might be useful
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 27, 2003
      Hi Ray,

      Great looking project. I just finished a quilt made from the Hungry
      Huey's Quilt kit from Thru-Hiker. A couple things I learned that
      might be useful in the future:

      - A great way to move the feathers:

      I dumped an ounce (That is about a square foot) of feathers in an
      18x18x18 inch box at a time. I took a cardboard tube from a roll of
      paper towels and taped some noseeum cloth over one end with some duct
      tape. I got my vacuum cleaner out and held the tube so the bug net
      was against the end of the vacuum cleaner hose. With the vacuum on, I
      was able to use my other (right) hand to stuff feathers into the open
      end of the tube. After a few feathers get against the noseeum, there
      is not a lot of suction, but enough to make it much easier to get the
      down off the hand.
      After the tube was about half full, I turned the vacuum off and took
      the tube to the bag I was filling. I turned the tube around so the
      bug net was toward me. I put my mouth up to the tube and blew the
      feathers into the quilt. (I wrapped a little of the cloth of the
      quilt around the end of the paper tube and held it with my hand.)

      After trying two other ways to move feathers, this way ended up much
      faster. I believe it would also work for moving the feathers from an
      old sleeping bag into another.

      - The quilt project has baffles sewn into it. These baffles might
      help your bag of feathers to be more evenly distributed in a further
      version. For details on how to sew the baffles see step four here:


      - Finally, you may want to consider another cloth like 1.1 oz DWR
      ripstop. It is likely water repellent enough for the underquilt
      purpose, packs better, and MOST important: When the down gets wet,
      the down can be dried through the cloth.

      I look forward to our correspondence this winter on warmth projects.
      Have fun.


      Ray Garlington wrote:

      > I did some work on the "bag of feathers" insulation and thought these
      > observations might help people thinking of making one. I did not
      > test it yet, because the temperatures were not low enough where I was
      > in upstate NY. (Just down to 50F at night)
      > Here is what I did: Cut a piece of sil-nylon about 5'x5', folded it
      > in half and sewed the remaining perimeter except for the last 9" or
      > so. I sewed each edge, then folded it over and sewed it again
      > creating a double sewed seam. I then opened an old army mummy bag,
      > section by section, and transferred all the feathers into the sil-
      > nylon bag. (By the way, this appears to be about twice as many
      > feathers as needed to make a good pad.) I then temporarily closed
      > the opening by tying an overhand knot in the fabric.
      > Problems:
      > 1. When you open the mummy bag to extract the feathers, they will
      > fly everywhere. I tried using a spray bottle of water, which tamed
      > them a little, but then they stuck to my fingers. In the end, I just
      > worked outside on a porch on a calm day and settled for a little loss
      > and a cleanup job.
      > 2. Sil-nylon has zero porosity. When you go to stuff this bag, it
      > takes a long time to force the air out through the seams. I need to
      > make a valve of some sort, or put in a section of some very
      > breathable fabric.
      > 3. not cold enough to test
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