Tips & Hints > Miscellaneous > Directions for Making Matresses

Directions for Making Matresses

If you have an old curled hair matress, you can make two, that will be equally useful as those that are composed of curled hair, by using cotton and hackled corn husks, in alternate layers with the hair. Some persons use a quantity of green corn, and save all the husks, and strip them with a fork, or hackle, and spread them on a garret floor to dry; they are nicer in this state than prepared from the dry husk; but if you have not sufficient, take the dry husks from corn that has been stripped off the top and blade in the field, and have it hackled as flax; for one matress, have as much as will fill two flour barrels tightly packed; sixteen pounds of refuse cotton, (such as is sometimes sold very low at the factories,) and half the hair of an old matress, (which should be well picked;) measure the bedstead you wish it for, and allow to each breadth of the ticking, a quarter of a yard in length over; for a small matress less should be allowed, and the same in width, (as it takes up in making;) cut the side strips as deep as you wish the matress, fit the corners, cut out a place for the foot posts, or fit each end square alike; after the bottom and sides are sewed together, run a tuck all round to save binding, sew the tick in a quilting frame, and stay it to the end pieces as a quilt; put a table under to support the weight, (which can be shifted as it is sewed;) first put a layer of hair, then cotton, then husks alternately, till it is done; be careful to let the hair be next the ticking; put some all round the sides and edges. When all is in, put on the top, and baste it down with strong thread; then with a chalk line strike across, to form squares to sew it by. Have a long needle prepared and polished smoothly, threaded with twine, or several strands of strong shoe thread; this should be well waxed, and long enough to go through and back again; have tufts, or two pieces of strong cloth prepared, to secure the stitches on both sides; one person should be under the frame, to pull the needle through and put it back; it should be tied tightly as possible; when you have done stitching, the matress should be sewed all round, taken out of the frame and the raw edges bound. They can be made of cotton and husks, without hair, or cotton alone. Those that have sheep can use the coarse wool, (and such as is not profitable for manufacturing,) with the husks, it is more elastic than cotton. Many persons are deprived of one of the greatest comforts in summer, and sleep on feathers, when a little care in preparing the materials, and putting them together would furnish your chambers with the most healthy and pleasant beds; a large cotton sheet should be kept on a matress, or a case made of unbleached muslin, this covering should be occasionally washed and starched. If you cannot get husks, straw will answer, or hay.


Print recipe/article only


Domestic Cookery, Useful Receipts, and Hints to Young Housekeepers.

comments powered by Disqus