Little Rock, AR (PRWEB) March 25, 2008
Williams Loft, a luxury bedding and mattress company, researches 12 Chinese down comforter manufacturers and reveals low quality without lab testing of final product. Though high quality down bedding can be obtained from Chinese manufacturers, a strict product testing procedure must be in place to guarantee results. Williams Loft down comforters can be purchased online at http://www.myluxurymattress.com/down-comforters.html
The evaluation consisted of sending pricing requests to 12 manufacturers, in two different forms. The first pricing request stated specific quality requirements. Down comforter fabric requirements included:
- Thread count
- 100% downproof before and after wash
- No calendering (no starch finish)
- Long fiber cotton, 80s
- Single ply yarns
- Worsted yarn
- Sateen weave, single pick
- Soft and smooth texture
- Low shrink after wash
- Consistant feel before/after wash and with use over time
- No pilling after wash and use
- Finish: singed, mercerized
Down comforter filling requirements included:
- Fill weight
- Fill power
- Percentage down vs. feather fill
- Hypoallergenic: oxygen # less than 4.8, turbidity greater than 500mg
Down comforter construction requirements included:
- Double stiched, self-piping edges
- Box or baffle construction
After a period of 6 weeks, a second pricing request was sent to the same 12 manufacturers stating the above quality requirements. In addition, the manufacturers were alerted that a three part inspection process would be put into action by the International Down and Feather Bureau (IDFL). Samples of products would be tested before production, during production, and after production. All tests must pass before approval of final payment on sales contract.
The results from the two pricing requests show that prices were higher when Williams Loft required third party testing. 10 of 12 manufacturers raised prices after the second request. On average, Chinese manufacturers increased pricing 20% when told a 3 part inspection process was required. Williams Loft president, Will Robertson, reacts "It's surprising, but not unexpected. We know that very fine products can come from China; we just need to have a system in place to guarantee quality."
Williams Loft initiated the in house study to learn why other down products on the market seemed not to meet stated specifications. Will Robertson says, "Many down comforters being sold in stores and online state high specifications on their labeling, but they just don't feel or act as good as they claim." He adds, "What we've learned is that US down bedding importers, without strict product testing procedures, have no proof of product quality.
A down bedding manufacturer's sales representative in China, who works with Williams Loft, described three types of Chinese suppliers:
1. Golden Suppliers - don't bargain with pricing, high quality, only produce their own brand name products.
2. Royal Suppliers - do all private label manufacturing, using customer's brand name. Will produce any quality required.
3. Black Horse Suppliers - always quote the lowest price possible, do private labeling manufacturing, capable of high quality but provide lower unless tested.
According to the Williams Loft in house study, 2 manufacturers were Royal suppliers. Their price was the same in both the first and second price request. 10 were Black Horse suppliers, raising their prices on average 20% when notified of a testing procedure. None of the Golden suppliers were queried. The test assumes that higher pricing given in the second quote means that the suppliers intended on providing lower quality product before they learned that testing would be enforced.
Williams Loft down comforters are submitted to 3rd party testing by the International Down and Feather Bureau http://williamsloft.com/down-comforters-testing/. With a strict testing procedure in place, Williams Loft confidently labels its down comforters with accurate specifications including: size, down distribution, thread count, downproofness, fill power, down cluster percentage, machine washable, and hypoallergenic.
About Williams Loft
Williams Loft is a privately held company located in Little Rock, Arkansas. Founded in 2004, Williams Loft designs and produces: down comforters, down alternative comforters, silk comforters, and the Trellis bedding set. Williams Loft down comforters can be purchased online at http://www.myluxurymattress.com/down-comforters.html
Will Robertson, President