Canada Goose, a high-end brand offering a range of highly functional down-filled puffer coats, jackets and vests, cautions:
“When your down-filled parka requires cleaning, it is important that you take it to a reputable dry cleaner and that you do not machine wash it. Machine-washing your parka will void the warranty.”
Moncler, a luxury brand of down-filled outerwear, offers this advice:
“For proper care, instructions on the garment's internal label should be strictly followed... In case of large stains, we recommend to clean the item promptly to avoid the stain penetrating inside the garment materials. Before cleaning we recommend to cover accessories (e.g. zip pull tabs) to avoid possible damages to item fabric or to accessories during the cleaning process.”
At RAVE FabriCARE, we know fine garment care.
That's because RAVE FabriCARE is recognized as one of the nation's premier dry cleaners by non-compensated, independent, authoritative third parties.
More importantly, we know down.
And that's because our WHITE KNIGHT pillowCARE Division is America’s leading cleaner and refurbisher of substantially down and down/feather mix bed pillows. Every year, we clean, recondition, renovate, refurbish and refresh thousands of substantially down and down/feather mix bed pillows for clients located throughout the USA.
Whether it's Akris, Balmain, Burberry, Canada Goose, Dolce & Gabbana, Mackage, Moncler, MooRER, Moose Knuckles, Palm Angels, Stefano Ricci or similar high-end brand... whether it has fur trims, fur lining or both... whether it's mono- or multi-colored... or whether it's reversible or non-reversible, you can trust the down specialists at RAVE FabriCARE.
There are, of course, those who believe that all down-filled garments must be highly durable because they're "designed for outdoor use". That you can just toss them into a washer, tumble dry, and they'll come out “just fine.”
That might be “just fine” for your rough and tumble gear – such as camping, climbing, hiking and skiing puffers – from the likes of Columbia, Eddie Bauer, LL Bean, Patagonia, North Face or REI.
But even your rough and tumble puffers require proper care. Dirt and stains can compromise the waterproof and breathability properties of your puffers. To extend their look, functionality and life, we recommend that you carefully follow the cleaning instructions listed on their care labels.
By contrast, you might want to consider an alternative approach for your investment-grade, down-filled garments.
Machine washing these investment-grade puffers at home is not only time consuming but fraught with unknowns – possible yarn slippage on the outer fabric; singeing/scorching of synthetic outer fabrics; damage to metal zippers, zipper pulls and tie-ends; clumping of the down fill; musty smells emanating from the down fill, etc.
Just like any other expensive garment in your wardrobe, investment-grade down-filled garments require professional care – pre-treatment of all stains by a skilled technician, followed by wet cleaning (wet cleaning is not the same as "washing") and/or dry cleaning, and, most importantly, proper drying.
When it comes to dry cleaning your investment-grade, down-filled garments, it's critical to ensure that they're cared for by professionals who do not dry clean your down-filled garments in aggressive, environmentally hazardous, toxic dry cleaning solvents.
These solvents include chlorine-based solvents such as perchlorethylene or “perc (aka Dowper), hydrocarbon-based dry cleaning solvents such as synthetic petroleum (aka DF2000 or EcoSolv), and formaldehyde-based dry cleaning solvents such as formadehyde dibutyl acetal (aka K4 or Solvon).
Why do we say that? Here's a brief explanation:
The quality of the down in your down-filled garments is largely determined by the fill power or “loft” of the down. Fill power is defined as the degree to which the down will rise after it's been compressed and then released.
Fill power is, in turn, largely determined by the size of the down clusters in your puffer. There are tens of thousands of down clusters in a puffer (ironically, each piece of down is called a "down cluster".)
Each down cluster has, literally, thousands of very thin filaments radiating out in all directions from a center point (think: head of a pin).
Each of these filaments is coated with minute particles of oil.
The oil on the filaments gives the filaments their unique, star burst-like structure. And it's the unique structure of the filaments that gives down, amongst other things, it’s wonderful ability to puff up or “loft”.
When the filaments of the tens of thousands of down clusters in your puffer interlock, the down clusters trap air. When your body radiates heat, the air that's trapped by these down clusters heats up. Which is the only reason why your puffer feels warm against the outside cold.
This is the exact same principle why your high quality down comforter keeps you snuggly warm on a cold night.
Now, back to dry cleaning solvents.
What's the primary function of a dry cleaning solvent or fluid?
It’s to dissolve or emulsify greases and oils.
Fact is, water and detergents don’t come anywhere close to matching the oil and grease dissolving properties of all relatively aggressive dry cleaning solvents.
So let’s assume that you’ve decided to dry clean your puffer and that your dry cleaner's solvent of choice is one of the aggressive dry cleaning solvents referred to above.
What happens to the oil particles on the filaments of each down cluster?
The oil dissolves.
And what happens when the oil dissolves?
The down clusters loose their structure or “body” – their ability to loft – and your puffer looses it’s functional and monetary value.
In other words, you're paying the dry cleaner to -- consciously or unconsciously -- destroy one of the most valuable parts of your puffer – the down fill.
RAVE FabriCARE has the technical stain removal skills and down cleaning knowhow to safely restore your down coat, jacket and vest puffers to the very best technologically achievable condition.
At RAVE FabriCARE, we're down to care for your investment-grade, down-filled garments no matter where you live in the USA, Canada or selected other countries.