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Our beginning

The down and feather industry can trace its roots back  hundreds of years and in countries the world over. Indigenous peoples of North America used them in sacred ceremonies and as early as 3,000 BC, a precursor of the featherbed was used in China.

As a natural fiber and a byproduct of the food industry, down and feathers have been traded internationally among producing, manufacturing and consuming countries for centuries. In fact, it was a global industry long before the term was commonly used.



Recognizing that this global network of trade partnerships was cumbersome in the post-World War II era of change and realignment, in 1952 a small group of feather merchants gathered in Paris with the intent of better organizing their industry by establishing basic standards, definitions, and rules of trade. To facilitate this effort, they established the International Committee of Arbitration for Feathers in 1953, which was re-founded in 1958 as the International Feather Bureau, and later renamed to its current name: The International Down and Feather Bureau.

A piece of history

Earliest record of a down duvet in China

A handmade duvet was recorded in “Bei Hu Lu”, written by Duan Gonglu, Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD).

The text translates: “In south of China, people use goose down and feather for duvets. The soft plumage is harvested and steamed before filled in fabric. Its softness is as good as cotton. The duvet makes the child sleep peacefully. ”

Feathers fly around the world

Growth of the Industry

Military Commissions Led the Way

  • The U.S. Army Air Force commissioned parkas for its pilots during World War II. The U.S. Army commissioned down sleeping bags as standard military equipment for soldiers during the Korean War.
  • In China, the uniform jackets made after the Cultural Revolution were comprised of down and feather.

Benefits of Down and Feather Expand Its Use

  • The first down jacket was patented in 1940 by Eddie Bauer who nearly died from hypothermia some years before on a winter fishing trip. In the 1950s and 1960s Eddie Bauer became THE brand for skiers and extreme mountaineering groups. 
  • In 1964 Sir Terence Conran introduces down and feather duvets to England from Scandinavian countries.
  • In the 1970s, the outdoor industry explodes around the world creating demand for parkas, mittens, hats, sleeping bags, tents.

The Fashion Industry Embraces

  • Throughout the 1970s, early adopters make down clothing trendy in cities.
  • In 1978, the first ladies’ down coat walks down the runway of the Bill Blass fashion show.
From tradition to science

Turning Point for the Down and Feather Industry

In 1978 an influential US retail group has been revealed of mislabeling almost all of their down products. A chain reaction within the industry regarding correct product labeling started. In its course, the traditional culture of the feather expert evolved into a culture that focused on science, combined with industry and product knowledge.

A modern association

IDFB today

IDFB has been and continues to be the global trade organization for the down and feather industry where all member countries have a voice and a seat at the table.

1954Garmisch, Germany
1957Gardone, Italy
1960Salzburg, Austria
1963Baden-Baden, Germany
1966Monte Carlo, France
1969Burgenstock, Switzerland
1972Venice, Italy
1973Frankfurt am Main, Germany
1974Bad Schachen, Germany
1975Prague, Czech Republic
1976Geneve, Switzerland
1977Cannes, France
1978Zurich, Switzerland
1979Lugano, Switzerland
1980Baden by Vienna, Austria
1981New York, USA
1982Frankfurt am Main, Germany
1983Monte Carlo, France
1984Budapest, Hungary
1985Scheveningen, Netherlands
1986Rome, Italy
1987Kyoto, Japan
1988Helsinki, Finland
1989Lucerne, Switzerland
1990Strasbourg, France
1991Prague, Czech Republic
1992Dallas, USA
1993Versailles, France
1994Vienna, Austria
1995Cascais, Portugal
1996Seattle, USA
1997Reykjavik, Iceland
1998Gdansk, Poland
1999Beijing, China
2000Las Vegas, USA
2001Prague, Czech Republic
2002Vancouver, Canada
2004Moscow, Russia
2005Kyoto, Japan
2006Park City, USA
2007Edinburgh, Scotland
2008Ischia, Italy
2009Cape Town, South Africa
2010Lijiang, China
2011Los Cabos, Mexico
2012Budapest, Hungary
2013Taipei, Taiwan
2014San Francisco, USA
2015Marseille, France
2016Sapporo, Japan
2017New Orleans, USA
2018Tallinn, Estonia
2019Lu'an, China
2020 & 2021Virtual Meetings
2022Toronto, Canada
2023Warsaw, Poland
2024Miami, USA