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Down,district (1991 pop. 57,050), 246 sq mi (637 sq km), SE Northern Ireland. The principal town is DownpatrickDownpatrick
, town (1991 pop. 8,245), Down dist., E Northern Ireland, at the southwest extremity of Strangford Lough. The town has linen mills and is a market for an area where oats and flax are grown and sheep are raised. Hunting is popular in the vicinity.
..... Click the link for more information. . The shoreline extends along the Irish Sea and is deeply indented by Strangford Lough. The undulating surface rises to the beautiful Mourne Mts. in the south. Chief rivers are the Lagan and the Bann. Agriculture is the most important activity, and the area is extensively cultivated (oats, barley, wheat, and hay). Market gardening is common in the north. Sheep and pigs are also raised. Manufactures include linen, cotton, rayon, clothing, agricultural machinery, and metals. The chief manufacturing towns are Downpatrick and Ballynahinch. Fishing is economically important; herring and whitefish constitute the main catch. Newcastle and Killyleagh are seaside resort towns.
a type of bird feather and the finest hairs in the coat of mammals; down improves an animal’s thermoregulation.
Down feathers have a greatly shortened shaft, with many long, soft individual barbs on which are set barbules lacking hamuli. In adult birds they are usually concealed beneath the contour feathers; however, in some birds, such as vultures, the down feathers protrude at the head and neck. A number of birds, for example, ratites and penguins, have no down feathers. Down is used as a filling for pillows and sleeping bags; it is also used to insulate garments. The white down of waterfowl, especially eiders, is highly valued.
The down of sheep, goats, camels, and rabbits and other fur-bearing animals is very soft. As a rule, the wavy fibers have no inner layer. An animal’s underfur, including the underfur of the winter pelage of fur-bearing animals, usually consists of down. The entire hairy covering of rabbits, fine-wooled sheep, and long-haired goat varieties is down. The downy fleece of sheep is 15-25 microns thick. It yields the finest and sturdiest woolen yarn and is used to make the best woolen fabrics. The downy fleece of goats is used mainly for shawls, and camel and rabbit down are used for knitted goods.
N. V. KOKSHAISKII