Mattress update: Lacing

A Victorian rocking chair. Notice the gathers on the backrest of the chair. Those are tufts. Image from eBay.

After stuffing the mattress, you need to lace and tuft it. In a mattress, tufting compresses the stuffing to give it a specific feel (for wool, springier and firmer). It also helps hold the stuffing in place. If a wool mattress isn’t tufted, then as you sleep on it, the wool will tend to shift to the edges of the mattress, leaving you in a ditch. And you need to lace before you tuft.

Mattress pre-lacing.
Laced mattress.

You lace a mattress by sticking a giant needle (mine is 10″ long) from top to bottom through the mattress, then back from bottom to top about 1 cm from the first needle hole. You do this at every point where you want a tuft, using a continuous piece of string. I wanted my final tufts to be 6″ apart.

To make it easier to lace the mattress, I raised the mattress a couple feet off the ground by supporting it on chairs. Actual mattress makers have slatted tables to make it easier to reach the needle from the bottom of the mattress.

This is the general idea behind lacing. However, I’ve read from other sources that you should start lacing at the highest point of the mattress. Doing this helps even out the stuffing.

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