What Bedding Is Made In The USA?
Frequently, we will be asked this: “What bedding is made in the USA?” from customers wanting to only buy American made bedding. The answer is tricky, because most fabrics are woven in China. While some higher-end fabrics are woven in Germany or Western Europe. Just like buying a car, your bedding typically contains a collaboration of ‘parts’ from across the globe. The elements all come together: the origination of the yarn material (such as Supima cotton vs. Egyptian cotton vs. or plain cotton) the fabric finishing, and the filling components. In this blog entry, we will try to cover each of the elements that result in the finished piece of filled down bedding.
It’s all about the Yarn
The predominant material used in bedding is cotton. Cotton is grown across the globe, with the majority of it being grown in the U.S., India, China, etc. Superfine cottons like Supima, Egyptian, are grown in unique locations. Notably, Supima is long-staple (meaning having relatively long fibers) American-grown cotton, and Egyptian cotton is grown in Egypt. Please note that just because a cotton is Egyptian, that does not mean it is long-stapled.
Most fabrics (90% or more) are woven in China, as there the very involved milling process is achieved more economically. The remainder of woven fabrics are from Portugal, Italy, Germany, etc. When cotton is first woven, it has a rough texture like muslin. This unfinished woven cloth is called “greige” cloth or “greige” goods. Most fabrics woven in China are greige cloth. The appearance of this cloth is off color and speckled – it’s more organic looking. While most greige goods are usually finished in China, a small percentage are finished abroad in Germany, Japan, and etc.
The finishing process involves mechanical and chemical treatments to improve the feel and/or performance of the cloth. The finest feeling fabric in the world tends to be German or Japanese goods (Korean too).
Once woven and finished, fabric goes next to the assembly of the pieces. Most manufacturers ‘cut and sew,’ as this process is called. This step is handled in the finishing country (if finished in China – it is cut and sewn there; if finished in Germany - it is finished there or a nearby country, such as Ukraine for example). This assembled fabric is now ready for filling – whether down ,or a down alternative.
Natural fillings (down, feathers, etc.) come from two locations – China or Eastern Europe. Usually, this is where the fowl meat is consumed, and the down or feathers become the byproduct of the poultry industry. The filling for most of our DOWNLITE products is processed in the United States. This filling accounts for approximately 75% or so of all bedding we manufacture.
In Summary, filled bedding is an international group effort; a collaboration of materials from several countries. We often have consumers partial to an all-American products - but the reality is ‘American-made’ still involves combined materials from around the globe. When the underlying concern consumers prefer are products not made from China - to best meet this desire, we recommend several of our European down comforters. These are made with fabrics finished in Germany. And the hand and feel of the fabric is quite amazing – our best comforter features a batiste cotton fabric filled with 800-fill-power Canadian white goose down.
Some of our retailers insist on only the finest fabrics for their bedding collections, such as the ‘Flair Down Pillow‘ series we specifically make for Bloomingdales private label collection.
More helpful related articles:
Winter Bedding Care Tips
How Do I Prepare My Down Comforter for Spring Storage?