Protecting Your Mattress and Yourself
So you are buying or have just bought a new mattress. The sales person at the store, customer service rep on the phone, or the website selling the mattress recommends buying a mattress protector, too. "Why," you ask, "do I need a mattress protector?"
Good question. Why or why not? We don't like the idea. For one thing, it's one more thing to buy. For another thing, we may remember the uncomfortable plastic sheets our parents put on mattresses when we...
Silica and Sleep
A popular song recorded in 1954¹ begins with, "Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream." An old nursery rhyme says, "The Sandman's coming in his train of cars / With moonbeam windows and with wheels of stars."
Both of these verses are about the mythical Sandman of folklore in Northern Europe. The imaginary Sandman caused people to sleep, then sprinkled magical sand on them to bring good dreams. The "sand" in the stories refers to grainy particles most people have in...
Lyocell, better known by the brand name Tencel®, is a cellulosic fiber. This means that it is regenerated cellulose. Natural cellulose is dissolved from wood pulp and extruded into filaments which are spun into threads and yarns for textile production.
Tencel® is the brand name used for lyocell produced by Lenzig AG, an Austrian company. Lenzig bought American Enka, the company that first produced lyocell, and it is now the only large scale producer.
Is It Bamboo or Rayon?
A November 2015 Beds.org review found that most of the top-selling pillows on Amazon featured bamboo. However, on reading the descriptions for individual pillows, some said the covers of the pillows contained "bamboo rayon" (or viscose) or "Rayon from bamboo," while others just said "bamboo." So, what is the distinction? What is the difference between bamboo and rayon from bamboo? And are the ones labeled "bamboo" really rayon?
First, bamboo itself is a natural...
[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...