Phase-Change Materials (PCMs)

Phase-Change Materials (PCMs) [caption id="attachment_521" align="aligncenter" width="277"] Ice Cubes (from Bed Times Magazine)[/caption] Consumers now occasionally see the terms “phase-change materials” or “PCM s” in descriptions of clothing or bedding.  Each season, more manufacturers use PCMs in their products, some even making them a selling point.  Even a casual reading tells us that phase-change materials have something to do with comfortable temperatures.  More exactly,...

Silk

Silk Many of us have heard of the Silk Road. The name conjures images of adventure, romance, luxury, wealth, conquest and intrigue.  It was the route from China to India, Persia, Egypt and Europe by which silk was carried to market.  In ancient times, China was known as the Land of Silk. That is where production of silk began some time before 3500 b.c. In fact, our word “silk” came from the Chinese word si.   China is still the major producer of silk, producing about 3⅓ times as much...

Bamboo

Bamboo Bamboo is the only kind of grass listed in tree identification guides. It is the largest and tallest grass, growing to tree-size, and it is woody.  Since ancient times in East Asia, bamboo has been an important building material. It has also been used for musical instruments, cooking and eating utensils, hats, mats, ship sails, and many other things, including fabrics.  At least 27 manufacturers reviewed on Beds.Org use bamboo, mostly in cover fabrics. Bamboo is touted as a...

Linen

What is linen? Linen is one of the oldest plant fibers used by humans for clothing and bedding.  Our word “linen” comes from linon, the Greek word for flax.  It is made from fibers in the inner bark of flax stalks.  These fibers are separated from the flax by a process called “retting.” In this process, micro-organisms or caustic agents eat away the softer parts.  When the retted flax is crushed and washed, the fibers alone are left. The cross-section of linen fibers is...

Wool

[caption id="attachment_471" align="aligncenter" width="640"] "Flock of sheep". Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.[/caption] Wool The simplest definition of wool is hair grown by sheep.  It now includes hair from several types of goats as well as llamas.  Wool is one of the oldest fibers used by humans, and sheep are among the earliest domesticated animals.  From the many breeds of sheep come many varieties of wool, offering many choices to mattress manufacturers and their...

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