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Message Board > Home Dec. Sewing > Feather/Down Pillows - 'Home Made' ( Moderated by Sharon1952)

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Feather/Down Pillows - 'Home Made'
Does anyone make their own pillows?
Patchoulie
Patchoulie
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Date: 6/14/11 2:03 AM

As I was growing up, our pillows were 'homemade' from Grandma. She made me a really nice 'sturdy' one (I guess proper lingo would be that I like a 'firm' pillow?). She used just the normal ticking you can buy at the fabric store for the covers. I have NO idea where one would even think of finding the feathers/down though, there must be a supplier somewhere though? Anyway, I am SO addicted, and as most of my pillows have gone away over the years, I find it impossible to replace them with the same quality, and it's just depressing.
Does anyone do this, and if so, where do you get your feathers/down, and is there a secret to filling the covers with the feathers/down (to not make a HUGE mess), and do you just guess at how much to add to each pillow?

Invisigal
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In reply to Patchoulie


Date: 6/14/11 7:53 AM

I grew up with feather pillows and even some feather mattresses. My mother gave me many home-made feather pillows which I have used over the years. I am sure either she or her mother made them. They were made indifferent sizes with different types of ticking. A couple of months ago I decided that since I have had allergy problems and they were decades old, that I would get rid of the feathers. I emptied them into a big bag and discarded them in the woods. I have not attempted to find replacement feathers and probably won't because of the allergies, but I did wash the ticking and plan to refill them with something. I hope you're able to find a source for feathers!

mhk
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Date: 6/14/11 8:51 AM

Hmmm... instead of starting from scratch, how about looking for some (new or used) down products, and taking them apart to stuff your pillow?

We had a goose down comforter, but it was very understuffed. I opened the top, pushed the down around into a smaller area, then cut off enough of the fabric to size it down from a queen size to a nice fluffy twin size.

It was very messy, and I tried to keep the down contained by the fabric (ie don't take it out completely!) Also, the fabric has to be very tightly woven to keep the down/feathers in.

Oh yes, if there is a "secret", it might be to do this slowly and patiently. If you move too fast, it flies everywhere! Push it in, shake it down, push some more.... Pick out any huge, hard feathers while you are at it.

I think two or three purchased down pillows would make one firm one. Or the contents of one down comforter would make a firm pillow.

Personally, I would buy used, and wash the pillow/comforter/jacket/whatever a couple of times before using. You can soak the used articles in the bathtub.

eta: hmmm, about the posting below, I know I washed my comforter at home at least once or twice. Yes, it is tricky to get it to dry. I don't remember how I dried it -- probably on the air fluff setting on the dryer, with some tennis balls added. And again, you do need the tightly woven fabric, and maybe even a tightly woven pillow case around that.


-- Edited on 6/14/11 9:01 AM --
-- Edited on 6/14/11 9:07 AM --

gramma b
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Date: 6/14/11 8:53 AM

Feathers are hard/expensive to clean, if you've checked with a dry cleaner. (They will never dry out at home.)
You also need them inside another cover, if you've noticed how they migrate out of old bed pillows.

I would stick with loose poly fillings or forms. Even our $$ couch came with just poly-stuffed pillows and I removed 1/3 of it because they were so hard hubby couldn't "scrunch" them for watching TV.

I have seen combo feather/poly inserts at fabric stores, but I also re-cover cheaper ready-made pillows when pillow forms aren't on sale. I get many of my inserts at Kohl's when they are 1/2 price.

thirteenstitches
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In reply to Patchoulie


Date: 6/14/11 10:00 AM

I also like a 'sturdy' pillow and have made my own. I used 4 old pillows to make two new ones. First I washed them in my home washing machine and dried them in my dryer ( They WILL dry, it will take several hours but they WILL dry ) then made new cases for them out of pillow ticking. EASY! The one thing I would recomend is, if you can, do the transforming of down outside and wear a mask. I did this job in my dining room and what a mess!!! Also I inhailed plenty of down, tickles like crazy in your nose, not to even mention it getting caught in your eyelashes
Good luck,
13---'s

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Miss Fairchild
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In reply to Patchoulie


Date: 6/14/11 7:53 PM

I could never get a down pillow firm enough for me, so I bought two and stuffed them into one. How I did this was I cut open one end on each pillow, making sure it was closed until I could get it into place. I shoved the feathers down to the closed end, which left some fabric on the other end. Then I pinned the pillow shut, right where the feathers stopped; on both pillows; this left one end of each pillow rather flat. Then I used safety pins to pin the pillows to each other on the opened end, and then taped over the safety pins.

When I unpinned the pins down by the feathers, it looked like a huge pillow, but the feathers from one dumped into the feathers from the other without too much of a mess; I also used a trash bag surrounding the pillow. When the second pillow was full to my liking, I again pinned it closed, removed the other pillow, then stitched the full pillow closed with my machine and removed all the pins.

As to washing, I've always washed my down pillows and comforters; cold water, gentle wash, and gentle dry--it's what dry cleaners do when you send these things in for cleaning (my sister works in a laundry--that's how I know this)

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BeeBeeSew
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Subject: Feather/Down Pillows - Home Made Date: 6/15/11 8:08 AM

You can check army surplus stores and thrift stores for down sleeping bags. One bag will make a couple of firmer pillows.

l.denise
l.denise
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Date: 6/15/11 8:35 AM

I have always made our family pillows, since I was in high school. I am now 54 yrs of age and still make all four of my children's families pillows. We all want pillows we can "scrunch up" and I was taught in home-ec to use shredded foam. This was easily bought in the market back then (Wal-mart carried it), but, hard to find now. It had an "oily" residue that came out on the fabric of the pillow after several yrs. of use. Anyway, a few yrs. ago I found, at Wal-mart, "Cluster Stuff". We love the pillows made from this. Wal-mart no longer carries it, but, there was a phone # on the bag and I can order it a case at a time. It is a "Morning Glory" product. Washes easily and I usually line dry my pillows, though I have used the dyer too.

Doctor Sister

Doctor Sister  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/15/11 9:40 AM

I remember making down pillows and 'ticks' as a teenager with my aunt. We got our down from the actual geese (and also from some chickens) that she raised and we ate. Then later, mom and I turned the 'ticks' (big featherbeds) into pillows. It is messy. We used a water bottle and sprayed lightly whenever we opened the old covers. But we also did it outside when there wasn't wind. I used those pillows for years, recovering them every couple of years. Eventually even feathers break down. I've gotten rid of all them now but the other day I saw fabric with "feather proof" on it at SR Harris. It took me back.
Sis
-- Edited on 6/15/11 9:41 AM --

Kay Y
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Subject: Feather/Down Pillows - Home Made Date: 6/15/11 1:04 PM

I made a duvet stuffed with a mixture of goose down and feathers, if memory serves, in 1979. It is still in regular use (!). I bought the feathers from a Hutterite colony in Saskatchewan where I was living at the time. I had asked around at a farmers market and got pointed in the right direction.

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