. . . when I restuff feather pillows.
I love a good feather pillow to sleep on. I gave up on pillows with synthetic fiber fill years ago. Probably a good fifteen years ago. I had lived with your standard non-feather pillow all my life up until that point, but had fond memories of the feather pillow I slept with as a child when staying overnight with my grandparents. When my bed pillow again got to the lumpy can't-beat-it-into-a-comfortable-shape state of being, I sprang for a feather pillow to replace it. ("Sprang" because feather pillows are not nearly as affordable as the standard kind of pillow).
I loved it. I could punch it and fluff it and make it exactly the firmness I wanted; even firmer in one spot than another. If I wanted more under the back of my head than the front when sleeping on my side, so be it. I could just reshape my pillow with a few pushes and pulls. If I wanted a whole lot more fill under my neck than usual, well, I could rearrange my pillow to suit for a night or two, until I desired to go back to my normal pillow structure.
After a number of years, though, feather pillows do get worn down and 'flat', similar to how the synthetic pillows wear to the point of lumpiness. And then it would be time to purchase a new one.
BUT, unlike synthetic filled pillows, the 'old' feather pillow still has usefulness. It can be saved to bolster it's replacement once the replacement starts to get worn and lacking in fluff.
For nearly a year now, my pillow has been on the downhill slide into flatness. I've known that sooner or later I would need to restuff it. But there just never seemed to be a good time to do that with K3 and Toad just about always being around when I'm home. Opening the seams on a couple of feather pillows just did not sound like a good idea in the presence of small children. I mean, can you imagine the temptation to pull out and play with all those feathers?!? It would be like having ducks exploding everywhere (minus the guts, of course). Feather confetti! This Grandma ain't that brave.
So, now that they are moved out, I took my 'spare feathers' old feather pillow from it's storage spot. I took my and DH's feather pillows from our bedroom--since I was changing sheets yesterday anyway, seemed like a perfect time to restuff our pillows. I got my seam ripper, a needle and thread from the sewing room.
Then I sat down on the couch in the living room and proceeded to carefully open about 6" of seam on each pillow. Just enough to be able to get my hand with a fistful of feathers through.
Carefully, I transferred feathers, a handful at a time, from the 'spare' pillow into my pillow and DH's pillow. I would stick my hand in the spare pillow, grab a handful of fluff, carefully shake to remove loose feathers, then withdraw my hand and immediately stuff it through the opening of the pillow I was trying to make more plump. Once each pillow was refilled to the firmness I desired, I stitched shut the seams that I had previously opened.
Despite my attempts to keep the feathers contained, I ended up with a whole lot of feathers on my lap, on the floor, on the couch, in my hair, on the cat, even fine little feather particles six and eight feet across the room.
What a mess! I swept up (I thought) most of it, but looking around today and spotting fine little fuzzes stuck to the couch still, and little feather particles dusting the floor, I think I'm going to have to bring the shop vac in from the garage. This job calls for some major suction!
But, from one old pillow (actually, only about 2/3 of the old pillow) I have taken two pillows back to a comfortable amount of stuffing rather than having to go out and buy two brand new pillows (the only option when 'standard' kind of pillow goes flat ). That probably gives me another three or four years before I have to outlay money for new feather pillows. I'd say that's worth having to clean up a small mess.