The Second Ingredient: Tickings
As is true with linens, claims of high quality tickings, or the shell of the comforter, are often false or misleading. Tickings are a significant part of the cost of the down product. (See “Let’s do the Math” section under "Price as an indicator of quality".)
Thread Counts and More
The best tickings combine thread counts, down-proof qualities, strength, durability, and fine hand. It starts with an appropriate yarn size to ensure a dense weave, which is smaller than with other linens, and woven much more tightly. Then it’s finished with a process of applying tremendous heat and pressure which seals the fabric to make it down-proof, and give it a soft hand.
The result is a strong, durable product that will hold in the down and feather, support its stitching and construction, and withstand perspiration. And, it won’t be “noisy” or unduly ‘crinkle.' (A problem found with low quality down products.) A further benefit is that it will prevent allergens such as dust mites, dander and pollen from seeping in. Little known fact: allergy-sensitive consumers aren’t allergic to down; they’re allergic to the dust that’s inside a product if the down hasn't been washed thoroughly and/or the ticking isn’t down-proof.
The best made tickings for down and feather come from Germany, Austria, and Europe, and are woven in family owned mills with thread counts ranging from 262 to over 400. Like linens, where and how the product is woven matters most since all manufacturer’s cotton and thread counts aren’t created equal. (See Thread Counts and Quality Cotton: The Unvarnished Truth.) All of Bella Linea's down products have high quality, high thread count tickings that have been specially woven to ensure quality.
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