Polyester

[caption id="attachment_565" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Polyester Fiber (Wikipedia Commons [PD]), from photo by Edward Dowlman, taken at Strathclyde University[/caption] Polyester Polyester, sometimes just called “poly,” is a long-chain polymer. According to the Federal Trade Commission, a polymer has to be at least 85% esters to be classified as polyester. There are several kinds of polyester, but the kind abbreviated PET is made into fabrics. PET is also the substance of...

Box Springs

Box Spring (from US-Mattress) Box Springs A box spring is a sturdy frame–usually wood–on which springs are mounted. The frame and springs are covered in cloth, usually with padding on the top and a base pad on the bottom. According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, the first known use of the term “box spring” was in 1865.[1] The term box spring is sometimes alternatively spelled box-spring. Making it one word, boxspring, is generally not acceptable. Traditionally, the...

European Wood Slats

European Wood Slats – In Europe, the preferred foundations have several closely spaced slats made from a springy wood, such as beech. The resiliency of the wood makes the wood slat foundation absorb shock, much like a box spring. The springiness of wood can be felt walking over a wooden floor as opposed to a concrete surface. Unlike the box spring, a wood slat foundation does not depend on metal, making it preferred by persons wary of the amplification of electromagnetic radiation...

Phase-Change Materials (PCMs)

Phase-Change Materials (PCMs) [caption id="attachment_521" align="aligncenter" width="277"] Ice Cubes (from BedTimes 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, PCMs are...

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 as...

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 irregular....

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...

Gel

[caption id="attachment_461" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Technogel's gel tower layer[/caption] Infusion of bedding foams with gel was first used in Europe, and is now widely used in the United States. Gel infusion was first introduced to modify the support properties of the foam. Later it was promoted as making memory foam cooler. What is gel? Gel can be called a semi-solid. It is both solid and fluid. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry defines it as this: ...

Polyurethane Foam

One of the common ingredients in mattresses and upholstered is polyurethane foam. In descriptions of mattresses, it is often called "poly foam." With differing densities, resiliency and other characteristics, it can be a base pad, support core, comfort layer, or quilting foam. It was used before the invention of memory foam, which itself was developed from polyurethane. Polyurethane (PU) foam is made by linking large molecules, usually isocyanates, to each other with modified oil molecules...

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