A few years ago, I had my first glimpse behind the scenes of how comforters are manufactured. I actually thought it was fascinating. (I know, I know, I sound like a nerd.) But honestly, I was in awe of the process, probably because I just never really thought about it.
The majority of us probably don’t think about how the products we use every day are actually made. What steps are taken in production, in what order, and why?
Here’s a quick look at our production process:
1) First, the comforter shells are ordered. Did you know nearly all of the comforters at “big name” retailers are assembled in the US, but the shells are made overseas? The shells are actually empty when they leave the country of origin, and then filled here in the U.S. This is because shipping costs are calculated by the space needed in a container for goods. Therefore, it makes much more sense to ship them empty and fill them here.
2) Comforter shells arrive at port. The shells are unloaded from the ship, and sent to the manufacturer in Cincinnati, OH. There they are scheduled for final production. This includes filling, finishing and packaging the final product.
3) The shells are filled with down feathers, or down alternative fill. The comforter shells are laid out on a special table, and attached to a frame. The technician programs the machine to fill each baffle box with a pre-set amount of down feather fill, or down alternative fill. A small tube is inserted into the comforter, and the fill is blown into each individual “square”. The feathers are stored in a large silo, where they are fluffed before filling.
4) Comforter tags are added and seams are closed. Once the comforter is filled, any open seams are carefully sewn shut and any loose threads are removed. The law tags, care instructions. and Covermade® satin tags are sewn into the seams.
5) Packaging. Once filled, the comforters are folded and placed in their clear plastic polybags. A branded product insert specific to each comforter is placed inside the bag, depending on the comforter’s size and type of fill. A UPC label is printed for each comforter, and the product is then boxed and ready to be shipped.
What’s mind boggling, is that the processes outlined above takes anywhere from 90-120 days.
Yep. When you break it down, it’s about 45 days to produce the shells in China. Then, they spend about 30 days on the water, and ten days or so on a truck. Lastly, it takes a week or two to get the shells in the production queue and filled.
Needless to say, a lot of planning is involved in production.
I still like to watch the comforters being filled, even though I usually leave the plant with feathers on my clothes. 🙂