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Syriaca down?
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Brian UL

Locale: New England
Syriaca down? on 10/12/2011 00:44:19 MDT Print View

Has any one heard of this? Syriaca clusters are the "down" from the common Milkweed plant. I was struck by this comment from renowned plant authority Sam Thayer

"Milkweed has served humans in many ways. During World War II, American schoolchildren collected milkweed floss to fill life preservers for the armed forces. This same floss is being used by a Nebraska company called Ogallalla Down to stuff jackets, comforters, and pillows, and some people believe that it will become an important fiber crop in the future. It has an insulating effect surpassing that of goose down. Native Americans employed the stalk fibers for making string and rope."

Here is a you tube interview of Ogallalla Down Corp that makes syriaca down products:

William Zila
(Ultralightwillinn.m) - MLife

Locale: Albuquerque
Hmm on 10/12/2011 02:21:05 MDT Print View


Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Syriaca down? on 10/12/2011 02:23:36 MDT Print View


This insulation was first introduced in 1991 and was tested against goose down (80/20, aka 595 fill, was best available at the time) by an independent lab. I have a copy of their test report and it says in part, "...The 100% milkweed did not perform satisfactorily as a loose fill material. It was rated significantly rougher and lumpier than any other fill material, was significantly thinner (less lofty) than 100% down (although matched on a per unit weight basis), was the least compressible of the loose fill materials, and had the lowest insulation value of the loose fills. Furthermore, cleaning significantly affected the 100% milkweed fill; it became very matted and lumpy after cleaning, decreasing significantly in thickness, compressibility, and insulation value. The decreased thickness after cleaning corresponds with its considerable decrease in insulative value after cleaning. Therefore, we cannot recommend 100% milkweed as a loose fill material...."

The valid market for this material is to mix with down for lower cost mass market insulation. On the negative side, it will not make you pack lighter. On the plus side, it will not make your wallet lighter if you want to stuff your home pillow with the mix.

Edited by richard295 on 10/12/2011 02:36:04 MDT.

Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: Re: Syriaca down? on 10/12/2011 03:08:44 MDT Print View

Thanks, I guess that covers it.