Things You'll Need:
- Seam ripper
- Dishpan or other large clean container
- Nylon mesh lingerie drying bags
- Disinfectant spray
- Pillow ticking or densely woven damask
- Bathroom scale
If you prefer not to use a steam ripper to open your pillow, you may simply cut the seam away with sharp scissors taking care to make a straight cut as close to the seam as possible. Your rejuvenated pillow will then be about an inch and a half shorter when you have completed the project.
- Be sure to clean the lint filter of your dryer after treating the feathers to remove and discard any stray feathers.
Feather pillows present a special laundering dilemma. While manufacturers' care instructions generally permit machine washing and drying, it can be difficult to thoroughly dry the feathers in a home dryer, which invites the growth of mold and mildew. What's more, washing feathers can sometimes cause them to curl and become brittle. A solution is to remove the feathers from the pillow to launder the outer cover and safely treat the feathers. You can then restuff the rejuvenated pillow, and put it back into service.
Open the seam of the pillow or pillows you want to clean using a seam ripper.
Remove the feathers from the pillow, and place them in a dishpan.
Launder or discard the pillow casing.
Spray the feathers lightly with a surface disinfectant spray. Rotate the feathers in the dishpan to make sure all feathers are treated in this way.
Stuff the feathers into nylon mesh lingerie bags, and place the bags in your clothes dryer.
Set the dryer to high heat, and mist the interior of the drum with water. Run for about a half hour at high heat misting the interior of the dryer with water occasionally. Do not directly mist the bags containing the feathers.
Restuffing the Pillow or Pillows
Iron your laundered pillow casings if necessary or use pillow-ticking or damask to sew a new one to the size you prefer.
Weigh the treated feathers on a food scale or on your bathroom scale by weighing yourself with and without a bundle of feathers. You will need between two and four lbs. to stuff a standard-size pillow, depending on how much loft you prefer. If you treated two pillows but do not have sufficient feathers to restuff both adequately, consider consolidating the feathers to make a single pillow.
Distribute the feather's evenly.
Close the side seam by turning the cut edges inward. Pin and sew a double line of stitching close to the edge of the folded material.
Lois Lawrence is an attorney and freelance writer living and working in Stonington, Conn. She has written on many subjects including travel, food, consumerism, relationships, insurance and law. Lawrence earned a Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1976, and a Juris Doctor degree from Boston University School of Law in 1979.