Down jackets are well-known for their full fit and the width they can add to even the slenderest people. While the fluffy thickness of a down jacket is designed to stop cold and wind from infiltrating clothing and hitting the skin during the cold months of winter, the excess puff is often too much for even the most robust outdoors enthusiast. A few techniques can help cut down on the excess volume in a down jacket, without taking away from the warming effect of the filling.
Wash the down jacket in the wash machine on the gentle cycle using gentle, fragrance-free detergent.
Rinse the down jacket twice in the wash machine to ensure that all of the detergent has been removed.
Place the down jacket in the dryer with a couple of new tennis balls. Dry the jacket on a low heat setting until it is completely dry. This process might take a couple of hours but the down fibers should be thoroughly dry when you pull it from the dryer.
Place the down jacket in a vacuum sealed storage back made for clothes. Make sure the garment is laying face up with no extra wrinkles and folds, if possible.
Close the bag and use a vacuum to suck out the excess air in the bag until the jacket sits completely flat in the storage bag.
Leave the jacket in the storage bag for a few weeks to allow the fibers to compress. A jacket can be stored in one of these bags for up to five or six weeks but should be aired out after that before being put back into storage.
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Sarah Vrba has been a writer and editor since 2006. She has contributed to "Seed," "AND Magazine," Care2 Causes and "202 Magazine," among other outlets, focusing on fashion, pop culture, style and identity. Vrba holds an M.A. in history with an emphasis on gender and fashion in the 19th century.