Frequently, we're asked: "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 or Egyptian cotton), the fabric finishing, and the filling components. In this blog, 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 being grown in the U.S., India, and China. Superfine cottons like Supima and 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. Note: that just because a cotton is Egyptian, that does not mean it is long-stapled.
Most down proof fabrics (90% or more) are woven in China, due to the high labor required in the milling process. The remainder of down proof woven fabrics are from India, South Korea, Japan, and Germany. 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, South Korea and Japan. We are huge fans of ultra light weight batiste cotton which is almost paper thin and has a unique crisp sound.
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, Japanese, or South Korean.
Once woven and finished, fabric goes to the assembly of the pieces. Most manufacturers ‘cut and sew'. 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, etc.). This assembled fabric is now ready for filling.
Natural fillings (down, feathers, etc.) come from two locations - China or Eastern Europe. Usually, this is where duck and goose meat is consumed, and the down or feathers become the byproduct of the poultry industry. Recently we have been sourcing North American down from select duck down farms in the USA and Canada (if available it would be called out on the items). The filling for most of our Downlite products is processed in the United States. This filling accounts for approximately 75% of all bedding we manufacture.
What bedding is made in the USA? 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.