Feather pillows present a special laundering dilemma. While manufacturers' care instructions generally permit machine washing and drying, it can be difficult to thoroughly dry the feathers in a home dryer, which invites the growth of mold and mildew. What's more, washing feathers can sometimes cause them to curl and become brittle. A solution is to remove the feathers from the pillow to launder the outer cover and safely treat the feathers. You can then restuff the rejuvenated pillow, and put it back into service.
Open the seam of the pillow or pillows you want to clean using a seam ripper.
Remove the feathers from the pillow, and place them in a dishpan.
Launder or discard the pillow casing.
Spray the feathers lightly with a surface disinfectant spray. Rotate the feathers in the dishpan to make sure all feathers are treated in this way.
Stuff the feathers into nylon mesh lingerie bags, and place the bags in your clothes dryer.
Set the dryer to high heat, and mist the interior of the drum with water. Run for about a half hour at high heat misting the interior of the dryer with water occasionally. Do not directly mist the bags containing the feathers.
Restuffing the Pillow or Pillows
Iron your laundered pillow casings if necessary or use pillow-ticking or damask to sew a new one to the size you prefer.
Weigh the treated feathers on a food scale or on your bathroom scale by weighing yourself with and without a bundle of feathers. You will need between two and four lbs. to stuff a standard-size pillow, depending on how much loft you prefer. If you treated two pillows but do not have sufficient feathers to restuff both adequately, consider consolidating the feathers to make a single pillow.
Distribute the feather's evenly.
Close the side seam by turning the cut edges inward. Pin and sew a double line of stitching close to the edge of the folded material.