How to Replace the Ticking On a Down Pillow

Written by camela bryan
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How to Replace the Ticking On a Down Pillow
Extreme conditions can cause the ticking on a pillow to wear out quickly. (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

The outside cover on a pillow is called the ticking. Ticking fabric has a very high thread count and a tight weave to prevent the feathers from poking through. Purchase actual ticking fabric or a sturdy fabric with a thread count above 300. The only difficult part of replacing a ticking is transferring the feathers. Down is difficult to work with because the feathers fly everywhere, but a few simple steps can make the process easier.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Large clear plastic bag
  • Ticking fabric
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread

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  1. 1

    Measure the length and width of the pillow from seam to seam. Add 1 inch to each of these measurements and cut two rectangles of fabric with these dimensions.

  2. 2

    Place the right sides of the rectangles together and stitch around all the edges with a straight stitch and a half-inch seam allowance. Leave an 8-inch opening in one end for stuffing.

  3. 3

    Sew a zigzag stitch in the seam allowance to finish the seam. Clip the corners and turn the ticking right-side out.

  4. 4

    Place the old pillow and the new ticking in the large plastic bag. Cut a hole in the old ticking and transfer the down from the old pillow to the new ticking.

  5. 5

    Remove the pillow and sew the opening closed. Pull the seam on each side of the opening to bring the edges of the opening together and machine-stitch close to the folds.

Tips and warnings

  • Cover the hose attachment on a vacuum cleaner with an old nylon stocking. Use it to remove the last of the feathers.
  • Turn off any fans and shut any windows before you open the old pillow to prevent a draft from scattering the feathers.

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