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New Chief at Hohenstein Down and Feather Test Centre
Jul '12
Gertrud Kenngott handed over responsibility as manager of the Down and Feather Test Centre at the Hohenstein Institute in Bönnigheim to Alexandra Hlawatsch. But there is no question of "retirement" for Kenngott. Having more than 38 years' experience in the testing and assessment of bedding materials, she will continue to make this available to her successor and the team of 6 by working as a consultant.

The team's task is the quality testing of feather and down fillings according to their composition, animal species and contents. They also test the cleanliness and hygiene of the filling material and the impermeability of the cover for customers worldwide. The Down and Feather Test Centre is also integrated into European standards work and the work of international feather and bedding associations. It is recognised internationally through the European Down and Feather Association e.V. (EDFA) and the International Down and Feather Bureau (IDFB).

Since 1974 Kontrollgemeinschaft Traumpass e.V has had random tests carried out on selected bedding materials of its 21 members for the purposes of quality assurance. The successful alignment with the European Labelling Regulation DIN EN 12934 is the pre-requisite for the "Traumpass" Feather Seal.

Here experts from the Hohenstein Institute determine both the percentage share of feathers and downs in the fillings as well as the original animal species of the filling. The results are compared against details provided by the manufacturers by an independent lawyer. In the event of deviations, infringement of the quality assurances is punished on the label by the Kontrollgemeinschaft. This may lead to the withdrawal of the label. The tests which are still carried out meticulously by hand with tweezers are therefore an important component of a well-organised acquisition and test system of Kontrollgemeinschaft Federn-Siegel e.V.

Many German and foreign manufacturers of down jackets and sleeping bags also call upon the services of the Hohenstein Down and Feather Test Centre, to service the booming market with tested products. They also benefit from the additional test and services provided, for example in the area of physiological comfort.

In this way the Hohenstein laboratories can determine the individual wearing and/or sleeping comfort of a down jacket, a down cover or sleeping bag respectively and if requested they can be identified with the Hohenstein Quality Label. In combination with the data on the filling material, comprehensive quality statements for a product can be made which will help retailers provide well-qualified advice.

Hohenstein Institute

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