Every sector has its own technical terms and definitions.

One task of the CEN (Comité Européen de Normalisation - European Committee for Standardization) was to establish a definition standard, the EN 1885. This determines the sector's 'technical terms'.

Here are some extracts of the most important definitions in EN 1885:


DownPlumage that forms the undercoating of waterfowl, consisting of clusters of light, fluffy filaments growing from one weakly discernible down core but without any quill shaft or vane.

Goose down   Eiderdown: collected from the nests of Eider ducks.


Horny integument of fowl. It has a shorter and softer barb than a contour feather and, unlike down feathers, a well-developed quill.

Goose feather   Duck feather

Landfowl feather
(e.g. hen or turkey feather)

New feather
A feather that has not yet been used as filling material after harvesting from the animal.

Finished feather
A feather that has been processed, including washing, drying and all hygienic treatments.

Reprocessed feather
A feather that has already been used as filling material and has been re-washed, re-dried and subjected to all hygienic processes again.

The EN 1885 standard of June 1998, which contains more definitions on the subject of 'down and feathers', can be obtained from:

Beuth Verlag
Burggrafenstraße 6
10772 Berlin


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