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Feathers are the plumage or outer growth, forming the contour and external covering of birds. Feathers are generally characterized as two-dimensional, with a hard quill shaft running from one end to the other with a series of fibres extending to each side. Feathers come in different sizes and shapes and include small flight feathers, larger flight feathers, and body feathers.

Consumers are best served when products are manufactured from smaller feathers, allowing them to trap more air and be less "crunchy." Small flight feathers and body feathers are perfect for this use. Body feathers are even better as their shaft tends to be curled giving them a spring which makes them suitable in pillow and featherbeds. Large flight feathers are sometimes used, but tend to be chopped first for use in lower quality products.

Canadian Down & Feather Company never uses chopped feathers and only uses body feathers no larger than 3-5 cm. Even though they may be slightly more expensive, these feathers are optimal for pillows, duvets, and featherbeds, over other types of feathers.