If you have ever seen a movie with a pillow fight in it, with feathers flying in every direction, you can't really appreciate the sheer mess this would create in your home. It's almost unimaginable. If the pillow is a fairly high quality one, the filling will have a lot of down in it, and the down is as light as air. It will get EVERYWHERE, and coat every surface it touches (including walls).
How do I know this? Well, today we re-stuffed a large feather pillow for our latest sofa project. IT WAS A MESS. Pierre hates doing feather pillows, and luckily we rarely need to do them. In most cases, you just need to make a new down-proof "extra" slipcover over the old pillow to help contain any leaks, but in the case of this particular pillow, the pillow had been poorly redone some time ago, and it was about 3" too short side-to-side.
Here was the new pillow casing (with baffles*) and the existing old pillow on the right, which had to have its feathery innards transferred to the new casing.
*Baffles are internal dividers which help to keep the pillow rectangular, and also help to keep the feathers evenly distributed inside. The old pillow (previously redone) did not have baffles.
This is a shot of me right after we had gotten all the feathers into the new casing. Note all the thousands of tiny little feathery bits floating in the air.
It got everywhere. In my eyebrows, eye lashes, hair, sweater, shoes, under tables, all over the floor, everywhere.
This was Pierre right after he sewed the pillow shut, and just before we started to clean up.
And ta-dah! There's the finished pillow sitting in the sofa. I'll be taking a set of photos of this sofa for the upholstery blog (http://lefebvreupholstery.blogspot.ca/) soon.
I really love how this sofa turned out. It would look awesome in my living room against my green walls. Sadly, it's not mine.
In closing, I still love feather pillows, despite having to deal with this nightmarish mess & cleanup.