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FAQs Regarding the Updated GB Standard for Down Clothing

This interview with UL’s expert Simon Tse discusses the 2021 changes to the down clothing standard compared with the previous 2011 version.

Feather and down in a woman’s hand

October 28, 2021

Following UL’s webinar titled “Chinese Market: GB/T 14272-2021 Updates for Down Clothing,” Simon Tse, UL’s senior technical manager of softlines, answered frequently asked questions from retailers and brands regarding the new GB standard. This update will go into effect on April 1, 2022.


Q: Is the GB/T 14272-2021 standard applicable to a garment withlayers of down filling?

Simon Tse (ST): If the layered fillers are down/feather, this standard is still applicable.


Q: Only washing requirements are outlined in the GB/T 14272-2021 standard, such as colorfastness to soap washing/appearance after washing. If the permanent label of a down garment is marked “dry clean only,” how should we operate? Is the test for washing exempt?

ST: A down garment cannot be dry-cleaned, as the solvent may cause damage to the down filing and other components. The residual of the solvent on the garment is harmful to human health. The standard does not exempt the requirements related to washing or dictate how to test the washing. Therefore, even if the care label indicates dry cleaning, the washing requirements in the standard still must be tested.


Q: To test if something is down proof, how should you deal with a down garment with a fur collar that is not removable? Does the fur collar affect the result?

ST: The best practice is to remove the stitching threads and fur collar and then seal the fur collar’s stitch holes with glue to prevent any down from drilling out. If the fur collar is attached, the down may be trapped in the fur collar, causing difficulty with counting and affecting the test results. Additionally, fibers that fall off the fur collar may be mistaken for down or a feather penetrating the fabric, leading to different test results.


Q: Down garments worn by children and infants must comply with GB 31701, but GB 31701 states, “The filling of down/feather shall comply with the requirements of microbial technical indicators in GB/T 17685.” Do microbials need to be tested according to this standard?

ST: The microorganisms requirement in this standard and the new version of GB/T 17685 (2016 versus 2003) have been canceled. Therefore, the microorganism test is no longer required.


Q: When rabbit hair/polyester is mixed in with down filling, how should the product be categorized?   

ST: Rabbit hair or polyester mixed with down filling classifies as “residue.” If more than 1% of the mixture is rabbit hair and/or polyester, it is considered a “fail.”


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UL can conduct GB tests and assessments, from selection of raw materials to finished product inspections, to help ensure that you are in compliance with Chinese national standards.