Legal Standards for Down

Legal Standards for Down

Canadian Standards for Down labelled 95% down / 5% other

Down & Plumules 71.25% Minimum
28.75% Maximum
Waterfowl feathers
not more than 60 mm
28.75% Maximum
Waterfowl feather fibre less than 60 mm 5% Maximum
Waterfowl feather fibre and down fibre 24% Maximum
Residue (including landfowl) 5% Maximum

For the full table, please see this PDF.

There is no such thing as "100% down", "pure down", or "all down", and it is illegal to label or advertise a down filled item as such. The only legal description that can be used is "Down" providing it conforms to the composition requirements listed above. If described as a "Goose Down", then the 75% minimum down content must be a minimum of 90% of the described species: ie 90% goose down. The other 10% can be duck down.

Thus, a "Goose Down" could be:

  • Goose Down - 64.125%
  • Duck Down - 7.125%
  • Extraneous - 28.75%
  • Total Down - 71.25%

Occasionally you will come across labels such as "Prime Northern Goose Down" "AAA" etc. These are brand names, and are not indicators of quality. One very misleading name is "Siberian Goose Down". Geese don't live in Siberia. As quality rises with a given down, so does the purity. High quality goose downs will often be 90% pure or higher. Eiderdown is almost 100% pure, as it is hand sorted.

USA Standards for Down

Down & Plumules 75% Minimum
(total of components below)
25% Maximum
Damaged feathers 2% Maximum
Down Fibre 10% Maximum
Waterfowl feather fibre 10% Maximum
Land fowl feather & feather fibre 2% Maximum
Residue 2% Maximum

Labels must now state actual percentage of down content, so you will find on St Genève labels notations such as 90% Down Content underneath the statement that says "WHITE GOOSE DOWN".

All blends must be stated as to exact content. If the label says 50% down, it must have no less than 50% down.

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