Why Are Feathers Coming Out Of My Down Jacket?

You bought a fancy down jacket to keep yourself warm through the winter months, but now you’re noticing small feathers poking out from the fabric. What’s going on? Is your jacket defective? While shedding feathers can be annoying, it’s often a normal part of owning a down jacket.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: It’s normal for some feathers to escape through the fabric of a down jacket over time. This is due to compression of the down and washing of the jacket.

You can reduce feathers escaping by choosing a higher quality jacket and taking proper care of it.

What Causes Feathers to Come Out of Down Jackets?

Feathers coming out of a down jacket can be quite frustrating, especially if you’ve invested in a high-quality garment. Understanding the causes behind this issue can help you prevent further feather loss and prolong the life of your jacket.

Here are some common reasons why feathers may come out of down jackets:

Down Compression

One of the main reasons for feathers coming out of a down jacket is down compression. Over time, the down clusters inside the jacket can become compressed due to regular wear and tear or improper storage.

When the down clusters are compressed, they may push through the fabric, causing feathers to escape. This can be exacerbated by activities such as sitting or bending, which puts pressure on the jacket and further compresses the down.

Washing and Drying

Another factor that can cause feathers to come out of a down jacket is improper washing and drying. If you wash your jacket using harsh detergents or high heat, it can damage the delicate feathers and cause them to break or shed.

It is recommended to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for washing and drying your down jacket carefully. Using a gentle detergent specifically formulated for down products and opting for a low-heat or air-drying method can help minimize feather loss.

Poor Construction

Poor construction can also contribute to feathers coming out of a down jacket. If the stitching or seams of the jacket are of low quality or not properly reinforced, feathers may escape through the gaps.

Inspect your jacket for any visible signs of loose stitching or weak seams, as these can be potential areas where feathers may leak out. Investing in a well-constructed down jacket from a reputable brand can help reduce the likelihood of feather loss.

Remember, a certain amount of feather loss is normal in down jackets, especially during the initial break-in period. However, if you notice a significant amount of feathers coming out or if the feather loss continues even after taking preventive measures, it may be worth reaching out to the manufacturer for further assistance or considering professional repairs.

Choosing a High Quality Down Jacket

When it comes to staying warm in cold weather, a down jacket is a popular choice for many people. However, if you find feathers coming out of your down jacket, it can be frustrating and concerning. Understanding the factors that contribute to the quality of a down jacket can help you choose one that will not only keep you warm but also minimize feather loss.

Fill Power

One important factor to consider when choosing a high-quality down jacket is the fill power. Fill power refers to the quality and loftiness of the down insulation. A higher fill power indicates that the down clusters have more space to trap air, providing better insulation.

Jackets with a higher fill power are typically warmer and more lightweight. Look for jackets with a fill power of 600 or above for optimal warmth and durability.

Shell Fabric

The shell fabric of a down jacket plays a crucial role in its quality and performance. It should be lightweight, breathable, and durable. Common shell fabrics used in down jackets include nylon and polyester.

Nylon is known for its water-resistant properties, while polyester offers excellent durability. Consider the climate and activities you will be engaging in when choosing the right shell fabric for your down jacket.

Stitching and Baffles

The stitching and baffles of a down jacket can affect its overall quality and performance. Baffles are the compartments that keep the down insulation in place. They prevent the down from shifting and clumping, ensuring even distribution and maximum insulation.

Look for jackets with well-designed baffles and secure stitching to prevent feather leakage. Reinforced stitching and smaller baffles can help minimize feather loss and increase the longevity of your jacket.

It’s important to note that even high-quality down jackets may experience some feather loss, especially during the initial break-in period. However, if you notice excessive feather loss or if it continues over time, it may be a sign of poor quality or construction.

In such cases, it’s recommended to reach out to the manufacturer or retailer for assistance.

Remember, choosing a high-quality down jacket is crucial for both warmth and durability. By considering factors such as fill power, shell fabric, and stitching, you can find a jacket that will keep you cozy without losing feathers along the way.

Caring for Your Down Jacket

Down jackets are known for their warmth and comfort, making them a popular choice for cold weather. However, if you’ve noticed feathers coming out of your down jacket, it’s important to understand how to properly care for it to prevent further damage and maintain its quality.

Avoid Over Compression

One of the main reasons why feathers may be coming out of your down jacket is over compression. Down feathers are delicate and can easily be crushed, causing them to poke through the jacket’s fabric. To avoid this, it’s essential to properly store your jacket when not in use.

Avoid tightly packing it in a small bag or stuffing it into a cramped space. Instead, hang it up or store it in a breathable garment bag to allow the down to retain its loft and prevent damage.

Wash and Dry Properly

Regular cleaning of your down jacket is necessary to maintain its insulation and prevent odors. However, improper washing and drying techniques can cause feathers to escape. It’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for washing your down jacket.

Typically, this involves using a gentle detergent, washing on a delicate cycle with cold water, and avoiding the use of fabric softeners or bleach. When drying, use a low heat setting and add a few clean tennis balls or dryer balls to help fluff the down and prevent clumping.

Store Correctly When Not In Use

When you’re not wearing your down jacket, it’s important to store it correctly to minimize the risk of feathers coming out. Avoid storing your jacket in a damp or humid environment, as moisture can cause the down feathers to clump together. Instead, choose a cool, dry place for storage.

Additionally, consider using a breathable garment bag or a cotton pillowcase to protect the jacket from dust and potential damage.

Caring for your down jacket properly will not only prevent feathers from coming out but also extend its lifespan. By avoiding over compression, washing and drying it correctly, and storing it in the right conditions, you can enjoy the warmth and comfort of your down jacket for years to come.

What to Do About Escaping Feathers

Feathers coming out of a down jacket can be a common issue, especially if the jacket is well-worn or has not been properly cared for. The loss of feathers can be frustrating, as it not only affects the jacket’s appearance but also its insulation ability.

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to address this problem and prolong the life of your jacket.

Hand Pluck Feathers

If you notice feathers starting to escape from your down jacket, one option is to pluck them out by hand. This can be a tedious process, but it can help prevent further feathers from escaping and minimize the appearance of bare spots.

To do this, gently grasp the feather at its base and pull it out in the same direction it is pointing. Be careful not to pull too hard, as you don’t want to damage the jacket’s fabric or stitching.

Use Duct Tape

Another quick and easy fix for escaping feathers is to use duct tape. Simply cut a small piece of tape and carefully press it onto the area where the feathers are coming out. This will create a temporary barrier and prevent additional feathers from escaping.

However, keep in mind that this is not a long-term solution and may need to be repeated if more feathers start to come out.

Take to a Professional

If the problem persists or if you’re not comfortable attempting to fix it yourself, it may be best to take your down jacket to a professional. They have the expertise and tools to repair the jacket properly, ensuring that the feathers stay in place and the jacket functions as intended.

Look for a reputable outdoor gear repair shop or contact the manufacturer for guidance on where to take your jacket.

Remember, regular care and maintenance can help prevent feather loss in the first place. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for washing and drying your down jacket, and avoid exposing it to excessive heat or harsh chemicals.

By taking proper care of your down jacket, you can enjoy its warmth and comfort for years to come.


Losing a few feathers from your down jacket over time is normal, but you can reduce shedding by choosing a quality made jacket and caring for it properly. Look for a high fill power down, durable outer fabric, and secure stitching when selecting your jacket.

Avoid over compressing it, wash gently and according to label instructions, and store the jacket correctly when not wearing it. With proper care and maintenance, your jacket will keep you cozy and contain feathers for many seasons.

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