Mattress update!

I worked on my wool mattress last Saturday. I was just stuffing it (and worked all day!), but got barely halfway done. I can’t imagine making wool mattresses for a living…

It’s been taking up so much room on the floor. And the wool I’m using is really dirty, so there’s dirt and wool everywhere. The apartment is going to get a thorough cleaning once I’m completely done with the mattress. There’s even wool fluff under the sofa.

Despite all the work, I’m glad I didn’t buy a commercial wool mattress. Mine is almost certainly going to be higher quality than most of those available in the US. And now I know how to make a mattress!

I made the ticking (the fabric sack that holds the mattress stuffing together) in March. I bought the materials for the ticking from DIY Natural Bedding. They have great materials- organic US-grown and -milled cotton twill, sustainable wool, sustainable latex- and lots of inspiration!

The ticking is a rectangular prism. This one is meant for a twin XL mattress that’s 4″ thick (expandable to 6 or 7″).
I added handles to be fancy.
The ticking opens like a cigar box (not like a clamshell). Here it is opened up ready to be stuffed!

It took me a long time to gather and wash the wool for the stuffing. I could have bought new wool, but sustainable wool is pretty darn expensive and unsustainable wool is unsustainable. So I collected wool from Craigslist. There are a surprising number of people interested in spinning. A very nice person on Reddit even gave me wool from her own sheep!

But… as it turned out, I didn’t need to do any of that. Just a few months ago, someone was giving away a wool mattress for free on Craigslist (I paid $20 for home delivery). I repurposed the wool from that not-very-well made mattress. So now I have all that fancy wool left over for spinning, another craft I enjoy!

When you put wool in a mattress, you don’t actually “stuff” it- that would give you a very lumpy mattress. Instead, you are supposed to fluff the wool, then carefully layer it so that everything is even. To do this well takes a huuuuuge amount of time.

Maybe a third of the way done?
Done! At this point, the wool was 1.3-1.5 ft deep. For reference, I used 36 lb wool. You can calculate how much of different stuffings you need for custom cushion/mattress sizes using DIY Natural Bedding’s calculator.
Here it is all zipped up. Whew! You can tell it’s not really mattress-shaped at this point. Looks like anime is happening in the background.

I’ll let you know how the project progresses! Feel free to ask any questions about mattresses and mattress-making. I did a lot of research before starting this project!

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