Goose down has long been a preferred insulator for outdoors types in search of maximum warmth. Aesthetically, though, bulky goose fluff wrapped in baffles can give pause to anyone not wanting to take on the Michelin Man look. This might change next year when Hi-Tec Sports ships a new type of down made to flaunt the fluff.
By adding dye to its down, the company can use the insulation as a fashion element in outerwear design. The first example, the women’s Timaru Down Hoodie, has a transparent shell fabric to reveal a rainbow of colored feathers inside.
Hi-Tec calls the dye treatment Color-Tec. Beyond just coloring the down, Hi-Tec notes that the treatment “also increases the loft of the down.” The company says Color-Tec does not affect the “requisite oils” needed for healthy, insulating down.
The initial colored down piece, a 700-fill variety, will be on display next month at the Outdoor Retailer trade show in Utah. It will not ship to stores until next summer, at which time the company plans to sell the Timaru Down Hoodie for $189.95.
—Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of www.gearjunkie.com.