Tuesday, August 19, 2008



Carlyle Hotel NYC - August 19th

Words, Images Judith Ecochard

With apologies to Shakespeare- a down pillow by any other name does not smell so sweet.

We found out why- courtesy of Scandia Down- the last remaining made in America down product company (Wisconsin), specializing in all things filled with the finest European down.

And that encompasses basics and frills like fun travel pillows, loungewear as daywear cozy jackets, last forever pillows, and plush duvets and coverlets.

WHY IT MATTERS: When 90% of down products on the market are stuffed with inferior duck down/feathers from China, it’s no wonder most experiences with down anything are decidedly negative. As we learned at this intimate tutorial, these cheaper fillers retain their scent despite a washing process (allergies, anybody), are inferior as insulation (less clusters), and break down easily.

THE GOOD NEWS: Scandia Down exclusively uses only the finest down sourced from mature European geese. Amazingly, products made from these premium, denser sources retain three times the heat of any synthetic on the market…making Scandia Down's down- the optimal filler for warmth. These appropriately priced items, like a Hermes Birkin bag- can be restored by the company (the sleeping pillows, for example-filled with more down for a firmer ‘experience’)-which IMHO makes these items a bargain of life long enjoyment.

And we love this as we spend more time in bed than hauling around the “It Bag.”

OUR PICKS: The handy compact 600 European fill travel pillow ($75) that cleverly unfolds to function as a pillow cover for Hotel pillows…and the larger travel puff pillow covered in a silky soft 450 sateen ticking ($175) that untied, morphs into a private duvet (instead of those nasty blue fleece airplane things)-make ideal gifts. We also appreciate the ease of cleaning…as the multi-functional pillows are machine washable (gentle cycle)… and can be dryer fluffed to perfection.

Plus, the cleverly constructed duvet- with separate filled compartment chambers – insures the down stays where it’s supposed to.

WE COVET: The covers…including the 500 thread count luxurious cotton percale sheets, coverlets and duvet covers in handsome pale shades (sea-blue, ivory, gold, leaf green, white) accented with stately embroidered and jacquard patterns. We cannot think of a better bedding solution to envelope the ultra (and divine) 850 Siberian Goose Down pillows (firm, medium, soft).

In time for the colder temps are a natural fiber basket weave, reversible creamy beige/heather hued Peruvian Alpaca throw ($350) and a wow inducing 12 ply Scottish Cashmere one, also in natural tones.

UP NEXT: Scandia Down’s feather beds with two stitched together compartments: the top layer (next to the body) filled with European Down … the lower compartment packed with European goose feathers for continued support.

Pet beds for lucky pampered pooches.

GREEN STORY: Scandia Down’s pillows are backed by warranty---and with proper care-can last for years…sparing our landfills. Plus, European farm sources for down produce for quality, not volume-and spares the land itself from overgrazing, soil depletion and waste of fresh water resources.

WE WISH: We had registered for Scandia Down Pillows and customized monogrammed sheet sets for our wedding instead of the never been used china.