Aiming for the Highest Quality

Spanish Down Manufactured by Kawada Feather,
Supplied Exclusively for NANGA

Spanish Down Manufactured by Kawada Feather

Kawada Feather has been a dedicated supplier of down since NANGA launched as a brand specializing in down products. Founded in 1891, this down and feather manufacturer established its own down and feather testing standards at a time when global quality criteria for down had yet to be defined. For three decades, Kawada Feather has been supporting the quality of NANGA’s products, and even now, as we become one of the leading down brands in Japan, we continue our collaborative journey to elevate our products to the next level.
The duck down NANGA currently uses for its products is of exceptional quality and comes from Spain, sourced through a designated farmer that we contracted jointly with Kawada Feather. We import the raw down from waterfowls raised with consideration for both the environmental factors and the duration of which they are raised. The raw materials then undergo a washing and refining process using the advanced technologies acquired over the years in Kawada Feather’s domestic factory. Only after completing this extensive process is the down deemed suitable for filling our products.

Premium-Grade Cleanliness of Down

High-quality down must not only possess high loft in its raw state but also be thoroughly clean. It is only under these two conditions that down can fully exhibit its thermal and moisture-wicking capabilities. Raw down often contains impurities like dust and dander. However, Kawada Feather’s facilities, being one of the largest in Japan, can eliminate most of these impurities to bring out the functionality of the down feathers.
Before washing in water, the down is de-dusted to eliminate fine dust, oxidized fats and oils, sand, and other particles present on the raw feathers. The washing process is carried out in front-load washers that utilize super soft water and a specialized down detergent, after which the down is promptly dried at high temperatures of 140 - 150℃ (284 - 302℉). The final stages are the cooling, dustproofing, and sorting processes. Each machine used in these refining phases is exclusively designed by Kawada Feather, reflecting the company’s unique principles fostered throughout its century-long history.

Among their specialized technology, the most remarkable is the washing process where a complex water flow system is used to rub the down and feathers together, effectively removing various impurities without damaging the natural materials. The down goes through two washes and four rinses to achieve an exceptional cleanliness level with a turbidity rating of 2000mm. This rating far surpasses any levels of European standards and the industry-accepted specifications in the United States and Japan. That is why the down refined at Kawada Feather is clean and odorless, allowing users to appreciate the inherent qualities of down to its full potential.

Spanish Duck Down Raised with Careful Rearing Environment

In the current apparel industry, the most widely distributed down is the Peking variety produced in China. However, the duck down used in NANGA’s products is of the Mulard variety from Spain. Mulard feathers are renowned for their abundant barbs and long barbules, resulting in highly dense down feathers and large down clusters.
The designated duck farm, jointly contracted by Kawada Feather and NANGA, is located on the eastern side of the Pyrenees mountain range straddling the border of Spain and France. The climatic factors, such as the significant temperature disparities between day and night, make the birds particularly strong, contributing to their outstanding meat quality and exceptional down performance, which are byproducts of poultry processing. Another notable advantage for securing a stable supply is the farm’s location away from the flight routes of migratory birds, reducing the risk of viral infections among the waterfowls.

The waterfowls are raised free-range on extensive areas of land with state-of-the-art facilities and under exceptionally hygienic environments. Their maturation period is much longer than average, which is another secret to obtaining durable and superior-quality down. While the typical down resource, mainly those produced in China, is sourced from young birds raised for less than 40 days, our partnered farm grows the birds for longer periods exceeding 80 days, which represents only about 10% of the global down supply. This extended maturation results in the development of highly resilient and lofty down feathers.

Exceptional refining environment

In addition to the outstanding washing technology that is globally unmatched and the premium raw down and feathers obtained in Spain, what takes NANGA’s down to another level is the unique environment of the Ise Plains that is deal for down refinement.
Kawada Feather's processing factory is located in Meiwa-cho, Mie Prefecture. Here, they are able to draw super soft water boasting a hardness level of 3 – 5 mg/L from an underground source in Mt. Odaigahara, a region known for one of Japan’s highest precipitation levels. The processing factory utilizes this pristine water resource in abundance for their washing cycles. The super soft water closely resembles pure water, and its fine particles can permeate every structural cavity of the down to remove impurities. The exceptional reducing power (antioxidation capabilities) of this water can also repair damages to the down to restore its performance.

On the other hand, when the rain on the Odaigahara mountain range passes, dry winds sweep across the Ise Plains, creating an arid environment with very little rainfall throughout the year. A unique characteristic of down feathers is that they tend to open their barbs under dry conditions, and this climate facilitates a more efficient removal of impurities.

Kawada Feather Co., Ltd.
Kawada Feather Co., Ltd.

Established in 1891, Kawada Feather is a down and feather manufacturer that was the first in Japan to create down ski garments designed to be worn both on and off the slopes. The company sources high-quality down that have been carefully selected from domestic and international suppliers. These down and feathers are washed and refined in the processing factory in Japan and delivered with the assurance of their safety, quality, and cleanliness. In the course of spending over a century in constant engagement with down, Kawada Feather has established its own technologies and principles. Their outstanding craftsmanship has earned them the largest market share in Japan. Presently, the company is an active participant in the down recycling business in which down is repurposed as a renewable resource.