The process

The eiderdown process

From the eiders nest to yours

The Common Eider spends most of its life out on the open sea, in the ice-cold North Atlantic Ocean. It comes on land only to nest. At Hraun á Skaga we provide a safe sanctuary for the wild birds, and year after year, the eider returns voluntarily to nest along the shoreline by our family farm. Here the largest duck of the northern hemisphere can nest in peace, protected by its human hosts from numerous predators, such as the arctic fox or the raven. When the female eider has laid three to four eggs, her chest starts shedding the precious down, which allows her to transfer warmth to the eggs and insulate the nest.
The ethical way

A symbiosis between bird and man

Near the end of the nesting period, we carefully by hand collect the down from each nest and replace it with hay. The eider ducks are familiar with these visits and do not feel disturbed. In fact, they remain calm when we walk around the sanctuary. And when the young leave the nest, the remaining down is left behind for us as a final gift. If we would not collect it, the wind would take it never to be seen again.


Eiderdown collection is a truly ethical, sustainable and respectful practice, but also time consuming and labor intensive. Between 2000 and 3000 eiders nest in our sanctuary every year, where each nest usually contains between 10 and 20 grams of eiderdown, which we collect by hand over multiple weeks. All of us here at Hraun á Skaga work together in protecting the eiders and processing the down. Our partnership with this wild bird is a story that began more than a century ago, and one we hope will continue far into the future.
Keep it natural

The cleaning process

After having collected the down from the sanctuary, we start the cleaning process, which follows our traditional family protocol for obtaining clean high-quality eiderdown. During the whole eiderdown process, no chemical additives are ever used.


To eliminate germs, the down is heated for 4 days at temperatures between 120 and 130°C in a big oven we built ourselves. Next, a custom tumbling machine filters out the dirt, while a second machine removes nearly all feathers. Both machines are built in Iceland. Finally, we clean the eiderdown by hand, where we remove all remaining feathers and impurities, leaving only the most soft and pure eiderdown. In this final hand-cleaning step, it can take up to 10 hours to clean enough down to fill one duvet.
In the end

Authentic local craft gives birth to the Skaga Duvet

The Skaga Eiderdown Duvet is a handmade local product. It is important to us that all parts of our duvet are as local as possible. This obsession could be rooted in the old Icelandic mindset “we can do it ourselves”, as described by the Nobel laureate Halldór Laxness in his book “Independent People”. But we’ve also found that local production ensures the highest possible quality of work, proper working conditions for our collaborators, and is the most environmentally friendly.


What makes our duvet unique is that the casing is made from the finest down-proof GOTS certified Organic Cotton Batiste (purchased from a weaving mill in Austria that buys organic cotton from India, since cotton unfortunately does not grow in Iceland), and that the casings are handmade in a small sewing workshop in our nearby village Skagaströnd. Fjóla and Sólveig at the workshop have years of experience making high-quality garments to a loyal group of customers, artisans and a craft that has stood the test of time.
When the casing is ready we fill it with pure quality-controlled eiderdown from Hraun á Skaga. Each duvet is signed and sealed by the Icelandic National Eider Down Quality Control Agency, which certifies that the down is of Premium Class Quality and confirms the exact weight of the pure eiderdown that the duvet contains.


Finally the duvet is placed in our minimalist yet robust recycled cardboard packaging, ready to ship. All packaging and labelling are made in Iceland, in keeping with our values.


Our local production ensures that we can fully tailor the duvet to your wishes. This includes dimensions, number of channels, amount of down, and so forth. This may sound overwhelming, we know, but we have years of experience with customizing duvets for different climates and sleepers, so do not hesitate getting in touch for guidance! We would love to hear your ideas, wishes and suggestions.

Visit our Shop

You can take a look at our duvets by pressing the button below!
If you have any questions, we’d be more than happy to talk to you.
Email us on [email protected] or call (+354) 835 9600.