/ DIY Down Clothing

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pec on 06 Jan 2013
I have an old down duvet jacket, unfortunately the stitching on the baffles has unthreaded over the years causing the down to migrate South so when I wear it I get a really hot stomach and forearms whilst my chest and shoulders shiver beneath 2 thin sheets of nylon. It also became embarrassingly filthy in a way that a true old school climbing bum could be really proud of.

As a consequence I haven't worn it for a few years and so with nothing to lose, I've decided to resurrect it.
I've unpicked some of the stitching and successfully sucked out all the down with a hoover. I've also washed the shell and intend to restitch it and put the down back in.

I'm quite handy with a sewing machine so I've no worries about that but I was wondering if anyone had any tips on getting the down back in without my house looking like a chicken coop after a fox got in.

I await your suggestions!
davegs - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to pec:

I just hope there are a set of pictures to go along with this.
Richard Wilson - on 06 Jan 2013
Get a really big cardboard box.

Or line a small room with plastic sheets & tape the joins / doors but do leave a window part way open.

Or do it in a cheap tent.
pec on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to pec:
I was thinking of doing it in the bathroom to minimise "fallout" but its actually how to get the down in I'm puzzling over. I'm guessing they blow it in with a hoover in reverse in the factory but mine only sucks!

Btw, is there something about this topic that appeals to 47 year old men in North Wales? Just wondering;-)
gethin_allen on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to pec:
I added some down to an old sleeping bag that was looking a bit limp. The best way I found to get the down in was to first sew together the shell leaving just a small slit opening in a seam. Then, make a roll of card ~1 inch diameter. Stuff the tube with down by putting the tube in the bag and keeping all the down in the bag. Once you have a full tube transfer the down to the garment and push the down out of the tube with a pen or other suitable plunger. This method also gives you a rough way of measuring the down for equal distribution around the garment.
Clothes pegs are useful to temporarily hold holes closed so you can get the stuffing right.
Hope that helps.
Gethin.
jkarran - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to pec:

Part of your hoover blows, you just need to figure out which bit then gaffer tape your down blowing thingymajig to it. Packing the down into a cardboard tube by hand then manually injecting it might prove more controllable.

jk
colina - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to pec:

re re-downing a knackered jacket.


youre not Scottish by any chance?
marsbar - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to pec: http://thru-hiker.com/projects/down_quilt.php

Might be of some help? Good luck.
captain paranoia - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to pec:

Re-sew the baffles first, and open up the zip seam to reveal the baffle tubes.

As suggested above: put a tent up in the house (solid walled inner tent). Install hoover in tent. Take off your clothes and take bag of down into tent and close the tent door. Use loo roll inner to measure and transfer down from bag of down to baffle tubes. Close and pin each baffle tube when filled. Repeat.

When all baffles are filled, you should have no down left. If you run out of down... oops... (you might weigh the bag of down, and work out how much you need to fill the baffles, and take accurate digital kitchen scales into tent to measure down).

Use hoover to clean up loose down from tent and yourself.

Come out of tent, dress, and sew up the baffles. Restore zip.
pec on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to pec:
Thanks for the ideas, funnily enough, this evening my wife gave me the tube from inside a roll of kitchen foil and said this might be of use.

I had thought I'd need to weigh out batches of down for each baffle (and pro rata it for the shorter ones) but doing it in tube fulls might be easier.
The only other idea I'd had was to dampen it with a spray gun to keep it under control and tumble dry it once its all sewed up but soggy down might be even more messy?
pec on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to colina:

> youre not Scottish by any chance? >

No but a Yorkshireman by birth if that explains it?
Anyway, it's all in keeping with the spirit of the age, austerity and all that:-)

captain paranoia - on 09 Jan 2013
In reply to pec:

Spraying down with water is likely to simply make it stick to you more efficiently... I think you'd have to truly soak it into a porridge to make it easier to handle. Then you'd need a good drier, just like if you'd washed it.

There are plenty of threads about making down gear on www.backpackinglight.com MYOG forum, with all sorts of cunning plans with hoovers, PVC plumbing, etc...
Timmd on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to pec:
> (In reply to colina)
>
> [...]
>
> No but a Yorkshireman by birth if that explains it?
> Anyway, it's all in keeping with the spirit of the age, austerity and all that:-)

It's ecological too. I think 30 years or so is ment to be the usable lifespan of down, but i'm not sure what that means in practice, ie whether it still works okay but loses some fill power.

I'd wear a face mask so you don't inhale any.
Timmd on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to pec:

http://www.mountaineering-designs.co.uk/

These people will re-down things if you find it doesn't work out. (:-))
pec on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to captain paranoia:
> (In reply to pec)

> There are plenty of threads about making down gear on www.backpackinglight.com MYOG forum, with all sorts of cunning plans with hoovers, PVC plumbing, etc... >

Brilliant, thanks for that pointer. Its not a very easy website to search but I found just what I was after and I'm well on my way to refilling it, what's more with hardly any spillage and no taking my clothes off in tents etc!

In case anyone's interested (or is mad enough to be searching the forums in future for how to do this) here's how it works.

You need some accurate kitchen scales which measure to the nearest gram and a hoover with a flexi hose and one length of detachable rigid tube (i.e. most hoovers). Empty the hoover so it sucks better.

Fix some fine mesh (mosquito net or tights etc) over the nozzle on the flexi tube with an elastic band back a few inches so you can get the tube over it. If the tube goes inside the nozzle you might have to put the mesh on the tube instead.
Start sucking down into the tube where it gets trapped by the mesh. It quickly loses suction but a little assistance with your finger helps get more in.
Turn off the hoover and separate the nozzle and tube. A plug of compressed down will be at the hoover end of the tube so separate them carefully and push the plug back up the tube a couple of inches with your finger.

Weigh the tube + down and subtract the weight of the empty tube. You can suck a bit more up or pull some out at this point to get the amount you need.

Insert the end of the tube into the baffle to be filled, push it well in away from the opening and hold the fabric tight around the tube to minimise loss. Blow hard down the tube and the down pops out a treat.
Fold over the end of the fabric and clip with a peg to stitch later.

Put the tube back on the flexi hose and begin by sucking up any spillages before filling the tube again. Hoover the area you're working in first so you only hoover up spilt down and not random filth.

Its a bit slow but does work really well and with remarkably little mess.




franksnb - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to pec: what about getting the down wet. it would make it easier to portion out. you would have to tease the down apart inside the finish garment as it dried.
nufkin - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to captain paranoia:
> (In reply to pec)
>
> As suggested above: put a tent up in the house (solid walled inner tent). Install hoover in tent. Take off your clothes and take bag of down into tent and close the tent door.

And hope nothing happens that will require a plausible explaination to the fire brigade of why you're sitting naked in a tent in your own house covered in feathers

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