What Are You Sleeping on?
The Ingredients List for Mattress Recipes
What are you sleeping on? A few of the readers of this article may sleep in a sleeping bag or on folded blankets or quilts on a sleeping mat or an air mattress, especially if they are camping at the time and using a smart phone or tablet. Most of us, however, sleep on beds of one sort or another, also including sofas, futons, semi sleepers, and built-in beds.
The most common configuration for a bed in North America is a...
Aloe Vera: The Succulent Ingredient
Aloe is a succulent plant which grows naturally in desert and semi-desert areas. Used for thousands of years as the source of medicinal and cosmetic products, this plant has been so widely cultivated that identifying its place of origin is a matter of educated guessing. It is also known by other Latin names, but the official one is Aloe vera.
The three most active substances in Aloe vera are derived from hydroxyanthrone. Collectively they are called...
The Stuff of Early and Modern
With just a slip in pronunciation, "sleeping on air" becomes "sleeping on hair," and is not taken as a joke, because even today horsehair is the stuff (or stuffing) of several luxury mattresses. These include some of the most expensive mattresses in the world, made by high-class names such as ES Kluft and Aireloom, Hypnos, WJ Southard, Hastens, and others. Besides filling, horsehair is also used in the covers or quilting of a...
[caption id="attachment_834" align="aligncenter" width="539"] Italian Silk Damask, 14th Century[/caption]
Damask is not a fiber, but a style of weaving, named for Damascus, Syria, where silk and linen were woven in this manner in the early Middle Ages. In damask weaving, patterns are created by longer warp threads on top (satin) for the foreground, and longer woof threads (sateen) for the background. This pattern is reversible, meaning the the negative image appears on the back...
[caption id="attachment_823" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Cashmere Goat, Spring Gate Farm[/caption]
Cashmere is also known as cashmere wool, though it is not really wool (like that shorn from sheep), but a type of goat hair. It is considered a luxury fabric, more expensive than wool. Whether woven or knit, it is a fine fabric which becomes softer with use. Commonly used in shawls, sweaters, scarves and hats, cashmere is also used by some manufacturers in the covers of select...
[caption id="attachment_565" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Polyester Fiber (Wikipedia Commons [PD]), from photo by Edward Dowlman, taken at Strathclyde University[/caption]
Polyester, sometimes just called “poly,” is a long-chain polymer. According to the Federal Trade Commission, a polymer has to be at least 85% esters to be classified as polyester. There are several kinds of polyester, but the kind abbreviated PET is made into fabrics. PET is also the substance of...
By Wesley Vaughn
[caption id="attachment_270" align="aligncenter" width="480"] Cover of WJ Southard Archetype mattress[/caption]
Ever since the transition from woven sleeping mats, mattresses have been covered. Whether filled with sawdust, straw, or feathers, a cover—also called ticking—defined the shapes and dimensions of the earliest mattresses. The role of the cover was to hold the loose materials in place.
The first cover materials were whatever was available where the mattresses...