Down Feather with Foam Insert

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Down Feather with Foam Insert

Submitted by luv2sew on Sun, 2007-10-21 21:41

I saw the pictures of the Cushions with the Foam Insert and Down feather wrap. Did you stuff the feathers by hand - of so where do you buy them? I am in California.

Thank You.



Down filled cushion

I am working on upholstering an antique couch and noticed how you made the down cushion on your website.  I have read all the comments and questions that are posted, but was not able to view the video that you have on an older post.  Do you still have a link available to this video?  I am hoping to make a foam filled down cushion, but am looking for a few hints.  The video I was attempting to view was posted on October 26, 2007 about building and using the bazooka.
Thanks for your help!


Video: Using a Bazooka to fill feather cushions

Hi Becky.

Here is the video on using a Bazooka to fill down cushions. I hope that helps.



Bazooka video

Hi Stephen,
Thanks for the link to the video.  It has helped a lot to be able to see it.  I also have appreciated all the postings that went back and forth between you and Janice, from TX.  I would also consider myself a novice and I hope to complete a full sized cushion for my sister's antique couch.  I still have a number of things to try to figure out so I most likely will be asking questions in the future.  I have already spent a bit of time on your website and am very thankful that I happened upon it.  Thanks for the time you have taken to share your thoughts with us!


Last 2 cushions

Hello, Stephen. It's been a while since my last post. With just the 2 remaining sofa seat cushions to construct I took a longer-than-intended break from my project but am now back on track. I just finished the 2 cushions but need more feather/down before I can fill them. Now, remember I was worried whether I'd over-stuffed the first 2....well now I have the empty new shells I've done 'before' and 'after' weighings to calculate how much we actually blew into each of the first 2. Amazingly they each contain the same amount at 4lbs. Now that means there's approx 1/2 lb in each of the 8 baffled (1.5") sections (the cushions are 24x27 with a 2" foam core), which doesn't seem over-generous having read your postings on the topic. That said, I wonder whether this sounds about right to you? By the way, I'm considering replacing the medium foam insert with the soft variety for the softer, more comfy feel I prefer.
Regards, Janice


Last 2 Cushions

Hi Janice,

I don't know whether the amount of feathers is right or not. I'd say, just test it out and see how it feels.If you decide that you want to weight out the down for each pocket, that is one way to get the same in each. That's fine. As for replacing the inner foam insert, I'd recommend just doing one first and see how you like it.

Best Wishes.



Mission accomplished

Well, we did it.  Our tube was too long and at 1.5" a little too wide but it worked!  One of us controlled the feed end, the other the pillow. I made a 'sleeve' from a ziplock bag to help keep the velcro from getting too clogged with down as we filled each section.  I realized I'd made the cuts in the velcro too long, which made the job harder than it needed to be, but we filled all 4 seat cushions.  For results see my posting on the Pillow ticking covers page.  The Elkins/Winters bazooka below.


About the foam ... and the bazooka operation

Stephen, it looks from your bazooka video as if you selected a really soft foam insert. I think my new sofa seat cushions are about the same thickness as yours (1.5 inch baffles)with a pocket for 2" of foam. Should I choose a soft type, too, do you think?

Also, when you're filling the sections, do you just go by experience in knowing that you've blown pretty equal quantities into each? And, do you really fill each, I mean until you can't add any more? Or leave some space?
Regards, Janice
P.S. Does all that air just seep/pass out of the down ticking as you fill - or do you have to press it out?


The foam is a medium

The foam is a medium firmness, although you can use any firmness/softness that you like. Since the down doesn't have much body, the medium firm foam gives a little more body.

As the the amount of the down/feathers, some people weigh out the down to get equal amounts. When I fill it, I start filling the very back first and the continue filling as I back the bazooka out of the pocket. As far as how much to put in,  I go be "feel". I flatten out my hands and spread out my fingers and pat the outside of the pocket all over to see how it feels. Then I use that same method to compare the adjoining pockets. If you put too little down in the pocket, it feelshollow and doesn't give any support. If you put too much down in the pockets, it will be too firm and solid. The right amount will still be kind of loose and fluff, yet will give you some solid support. The nice thing about this type of construction and filling method is that if you don't get enough down in the pockets, you can always open up the cushion and add more. If for some reason you want or need to take some fill out, use the bazooka to take some out and put it into another bag. 

Yes, the ticking "breathes". During the filling all that air seeps out of the ticking so no reason to try to press it all out.

 Best Wishes,



Stuffing with feathers & the video clip

After watching the video clip I would like to have a go at making the bazooka filler. I understand the process but don't know what the 'machine' is. I have seen some paint sprayer motors on the market, do you think that would work (if I removed the paint sprayer)? I'm in the UK and have feather sofa seat cushions that are in desperate need of re-filling and until I saw your video clip I envisaged being covered in feathers!

Thank you.


Thank you so much for the

Thank you so much for the information, I really appreciate it. I haven't used an air compressor before and will be a complete novice, but eager to have a go. I've just looked and have seen some fairly similar ones here in the UK. I can always use the compressor later for some paint jobs - my son would have loved one for the jobs when restoring his beloved old mini car!
Thank you, again.


    Hi Jackie, My current


Hi Jackie,

My current air compressor is a vertical design similar to this one from Harbor Freight (click on picture to see details.) I use this type because it fits better into the small space that I currently have for it.

Because I use other air tools, I use an air compressor with a tank, and this is the type I'm used to. I'm not sure if you use a tankless aircompressor if you'd have enough air pressure to make the bazooka work properly. If you already have that type, go ahead and give it a try. If you don't have an air compressor, would you have other uses for it besides just using it on the bazooka?







In the past I've had one the looked similar to this one. (click on picture for details) Either type (and other types) work fine.








Measurements down cover and foam insert

I would like to try to make your down wrapped cushion with foam insert, like in the video. I have two questions. When you make the down ticking cover is it the finished size of the cushion? Related to this is the foam insert also cut to finished size?

I have some experience making tradtional foam cushions and I cut my foam about an inch larger than the finished size.

Thank you for sharing your knowledge.



Ticking Cover

Hi Alicia,
Glad to help.
I'd make the ticking cover just a little larger than what I'd cut the fabric cover. The fabric cover will compress the ticking cover a little. Making the ticking just a little larger than the fabric cover will help the cover be tight on the cushion.

The cutting size of the foam would depend upon how firm the foam is. If using a firm foam, I'd cut it about the finished size, but if using a soft foam, I might cut it a little larger, about the cutting size of the fabric.



Down cushions

I want to make a down cushion with the foam insert. How do you figure out how much down to get to fill the cushion?


How much down to get

A chair cushion 24" X 24" with a 4" boxing will take approximately 4-5 pounds per cushion.*


*Info take from the Hoch & Selby Supply catalog.


down feather with foam insert

I have a sofa with down back cushions that have lost their loft. I love the sofa and just want to restore the cushions to their original loft. Is this something I can do myself?



Restore the Fluffiness

Hi Heather,
There are many things that you can do yourself, if you are experienced at using a sewing machine.
When you say that your sofa has "down" back cushions, do you mean "real" down feathers, or a simulated/imitation down, which is often some type of polyester? Have you looked at the label on the cushion liner?
Now a note about "real" down. Down can be anything from 5% down/95% feathers to 50%/50% on up to 100% down (which is very expensive.)
If it is real down, then, if it won't fluff up, probably one of the simplest thing to do is to add some more feathers/down. Just buy a new down bed pillow and use those those feathers to add more to the sofa cushion(s). Be forewarned, when you start working with down/feathers, they fly all over the place. Be sure to work out someplace where it will be easy to clean up the feathers. If you watched the video on the above message, then you see one professional method of transferring the down.
After you are finished, take the pillow to the sewing machine and sew it shut.


Down Feather with Foam Insert

Here are three places in California I know working with poly-down envelops:

Pacific Coast Feather: 800-800-2874

Cushion's Work in San Francisco.

Good Luck


Down Feather with Foam Insert-addresses

Here are the addresses for the suppliers you gave:
Royal Pillow
2110 N.W. 23rd AVE.
Miami, Fl 33142
Phone: (305) 634-3415 9:00am - 4:00pm (Eastern)
Fax: (305) 635-7192
Toll free: (866)-Pillow1 (866- 745-5691)

Pacific Coast Feather
1 (888) 297-1778
1964 4th Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98134

Cushion Works
3320 - 18th Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Ph: 415-552-6220
Fax: 415-552-6250


Filling the down Cushion

Hi Pam,

To answer your question, I have a (home-made) bazooka filler that I use for filling down pillows/cushions. This video* shows the process. The down/feathers you should be able to get at most wholesale upholstery suppliers. I get mine from Hoch & Selby in Portland Oregon. (Phone 503-234-6476 or 1-800-659-9904)

*video is in Windows Media player format.



Down Cushion with Foam Insert

Thank you so much for sharing that with me - that was awesome, great job and wonderful idea for stuffing the down feathers.

Wishing you much success in the New Year!

Pam Lawrence
Slipcover Sensations