ASSOPIUMA, stimulated by the demands by major manufacturers of sofas and armchairs, companies deemed “historical” in the use of feather padding for the realization of artifacts padded, has studied in deep and continued a study sponsored by the European Feather and Down Association (Associazione Europea di Piuma e Piumino).
The common goal of ASSOPIUMA and these major companies is “zero feather loss” to meet the needs of the end consumer and eliminate any complaints.
Since we are talking about artifacts upholstered feather it also speaks of the question of “holding the feather” of the tissues lining .
The problem of loss of feathers from the tissue is therefore not a recent problem, and to a certain extent and within certain parameters to be considered “physiological”.
The fabric is a key component of the artifact down filled and has the task of balancing two variables significantly at odds with each other: this should allow the air to escape and at the same time prevent the escape of the padding.
Starting from this premise the European Association launched a study on the analysis of tissues Downproof entrusting this same study, at its workforce, the working group thicker operating as the Technical Committee. The latter consists of the technical managers of companies operating in the sector and consultants operating in textile testing laboratories or laboratories accredited (eg TNO, Honnestein, LGA, Belle Literie) .
In addition, within the Technical Committee have been set up two working groups in order to concentrate their studies one on the tissue study and the other to concentrate on the study of feathers.
Augustine Molina, president of Molina A. & C. SpA (member ASSOPIUMA), had the task and the opportunity to participate in both groups.
The primary goal of the study, was to develop a fabric leakproof feather starting from the many variables that cause or simply affect the problem of leakage .
In short we will try to review the work of each group.
The first working group, which was responsible for the technical study on tissues, addressed the German Textile Association. It has been asked to have access to knowledge of the parameters and technical characteristics of the tissues so that they can keep their feathers.
A study that was donet hrough the identification of some parameters (Gewebe parameter), which establishes density, in terms of the title of wires and bars, in warp and weft, the fabric should have in order to be eligible to hold the feathers.
It’s been filed with the European Community a draft standard PAS 1008 which contains the FORMULA of WALZ that, through the application of a mathematical function, determines the resistance of a fabric to the loss of feathers .
A step forward was made in the field of law as regards the methods of test to know, once again, if a fabric is suitable to contain the feathers : it was felt that it was no longer sufficient method of calculating the permeability to Air tissue , regulated by the UNI EN ISO 9237. It was therefore introduced a new rule , however, immediately approved, the UNI EN 12132/1 , which regulates the “trial by rubbing ” : a padded cushion in feather is subjected to stress cycles and at the end of the set of chafing occurs counting filaments leaked .
The second working group conducted a study on the evolution of feathers in the last 10-15 years , characterized primarily by greater market presence of immature plumage .
The main producers / suppliers of feather in the world are China and the countries of Eastern Europe; the latter were more an object of study for both geographical proximity and because there were historical events that have significantly changed the way of life in these countries.
With the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 there has been a significant change in the system of life in these countries. The progressive abandonment of agricultural activities in favor of industry and services, and a rapid evolution in the food distribution sector (shops and agricultural cooperatives give way to shops and hypermarkets) , has greatly influenced the parameters of the life of animals : geese and ducks reared for food purposes must have a standard size (such as to be contained in the trays that will be prepackaged), and their meat must have the minimum fat content in order to meet the changing demand of the consumer.
The last issue, certainly not in terms of importance is also given to a problem of costs for animal feeding : just think about that after 7 weeks of life for the animal development begins and the fattening period that calls for a greater quantity of food and consequently an increase in costs for the farmer.
And ‘interesting to think about how in a few years the European and international productions are aligning themselves : in 1990, in Europe, geese and ducks were considered mature after 10 weeks of life. Since 2002, the animals are ready for slaughter after just 6/7 weeks of life.
These, ultimately, are the reasons for what is termed “premature slaughter” which has strong consequences on the quality of the feathers: feathers derived from immature animals are softer and have a quill thin and very sharp, they are more fragile and less resistant.
The feathers “immature” and “unformed” easily expelled from the tissues compared with feathers from mature animals . Hence the need to develop a tissue, specific to the sector, increasing the number of wires and lines (density) and increasing the weight per square meter .
The tissue wanted by ASSOPIUMA has been studied and designed to obtain the maximum coverage factor , able to achieve and ensure the goal of “zero leakage”. Through the application of the Walz formula , which is based on the construction of the fabric in wires and bars , in warp and weft, is established a coverage factor (regardless of the type of finishing that the fabric is subsequently) .
With the results obtained Walz has created a table to classify the tissue, establishing in percentage terms than a fabric with coverage factor of around 80% is considered acceptable while a fabric with coverage factor around the 85% can be considered a good fabric .
If you think the item chosen by Assopiuma, has a coverage factor of 96.95% can be well understood as a major result has been achieved and also support that this is the highest score you can get in the field of weaving (this product , not surprisingly, has been working with special frames) .
With pleasure we can say today that the fabrics selected on the basis of the results achieved in this study, are already widely used by the member companies ASSOPIUMA with excellent results.