Natural Upholstery vs. Conventional Upholstery Supplies

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You have a beautiful frame of a chair or couch that really needs some cushion, and you want to use chemical-free, eco-friendly supplies, but where do you start? Here is a list of substitutions from the standard petroleum based products.

Dacron Batting –> Wool Batting or Cotton Batting
Decking Fabric (to cover the springs) –> Organic Sateen Fabric
Poly Foam –> Organic Latex
Ticking Fabric (to cover the wool so that it doesn’t migrate through the decorative fabric) –> Organic Muslin or Organic Sateen Fabric
Thin Foam –> Wool Felt


That’s it. It is really that simple. For a DIY project, purchase your custom cut latex here and contact us to sew you an inner case of our organic fabrics and an outer case of your decorative fabric.

Similarities between Natural Latex and conventional foam

  • Five firmnesses available, use softer for the back cushions and firmer for the base
  • Firmer means denser which means more durable
  • Batting or a down jacket still can be wrapped around to add plumpness to cushion
  • If using on top of springs, use a ticking fabric between the springs and the latex so as to not tear it

Unique Tricks to Natural latex

  • Cut only with a blade, not a hot wire
  • Over time (15 years+), instead of softening, latex will harden as it dries out and eventually crumbles

What Sets Organic Latex apart from conventional poly foam

  • No flame retardants
  • Chemical-Free: The end product has only 5 ingredients with latex comprising of 96% of the finished product.
  • Long Life: 20 -30 year lifespan
  • Vegan: Tree Based not petroleum Based
  • Compostable: Just give it time
  • Sustainable: The Hevea brasiliensis trees are grown for 30 years before they stop producing enough latex and are harvested for their wood.
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Antimicrobial: In a closed testing environment, growing bacteria introduced to the latex were not able to survive.
  • Dust Mite Resistant: It is simply inhabitable.
  • Excellent Airflow: Compared to memory foam and all poly foams, latex allows more air movement and thus does not retain heat.

Own an Upholstery Business? Contact us for wholesale rates.

Baby Mattresses

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Since we have cut quite a few pieces of latex over the years for infant bassinets, playpens, crib mattresses, etc., I thought I would share a few tips we have learned along the way. If you have feedback on your particular brand’s frame and how our products work with it, let me know and I’ll add it to this post.

Keep in mind that we cut and sew to your dimensions. We can cut latex, sew puddle pads, sheets, tickings, receiving blankets, you name it. Contact us for a quote or see the latex calculator here.

TIP 1: Cut the latex 1″ larger and sew the ticking 1/2″-1″ larger.

Latex is very flexible. That translates to when we cut it to the exact inside dimensions of your crib, you may find that the ticking or even sheet will pull it a little bit smaller than we cut it. While the mattress will still be completely usable, of course, not having that extra 1/2″ of nothing between the side wall.

The softer the latex is, the more flexible it is. So even a 3″ soft will be constrained by the sheets and ticking.

Tip 2: Latex can be cut down to .5″ in a Hard D90 firmness only.

Again, latex is very flexible and the softer layers are too floppy to cut thinner. To note, the thinner the latex is, the softer it feels, so if you are wanting a firm, thin surface for your infant, a hard is a great way to achieve that feel.

Tip 3: Most parents want firm mattresses for their infants.

If your child is able to roll over, I encourage you to consider all the firmnesses we offer, from Soft to Hard as options. A 3″ soft adds significant comfort to those hard pack n’ play mattresses, but is not firm. Keep in mind that little bodies sink through only a little and a soft feels super squishy to us and only a little squishy to them.

Brands

  • Snoo Mattress: Cut hard latex to .75″.
  • Guava Lotus travel crib: The crib sides are much more flexible than a regular pack n play, so add an extra .5-1 inch on all sides of the latex pad for it to not have gaps between the mattress and the mesh walls.

Pillow Fill Comparison

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Have you been wondering what each of our natural pillow fills feels like? Whether they are used for bed pillows, couch pillows, pregnancy pillows, body pillows, support pillows, the feel will change based on how much you stuff your pillow. That is the beauty of zippers, they make everything customizable.

FullUnderfilled
Shredded Latex**BouncyFloppy
Kapok*FirmFluffy
Woolly BolasSoftClumpy
Wool Batting*PuffyThin
Millet HullsContouringHeavy

Create your own feel by mixing fill or by combining fills in our double pocket pillow case.

Bed sized pillow kits available here. Custom sized pillow cases available, just ask.

* Fill will compress over time, expect to add more fill once a year to restore it to its original loft
**Fill is certified GOTS organic.

Wool Puddle Pad vs. Waterproof Jersey Puddle Pad

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Organic Needle Punched Wool Puddle Pad Serged Edges

We sell two mattress protectors, a wool puddle pad and a waterproof jersey puddle pad. Both are certified organic. While both puddle pads work well against messes, they work differently and both have their pros and cons.

WOOL PUDDLE PAD

Organic Needle Punched Wool Puddle Pad Serged Edges

The wool puddle pad works because the wool fibers are so tightly felted together. Their physical mass as well as their ability to absorb the mess without leaving odors behind make the wool fibers quite unique. Some large spills may get through, but they will be few and far between. The absorption of the fibers is actually a neat trick, because not only does the wool dry quickly since the fibers are hollow and excellent at airflow, the wool also keeps the spill from spreading down the side of your mattress and everywhere else.

Another plus of the wool puddle pad is that it breaks the temperature regulating abilities of wool, one step closer to your body by being directly under your sheets.

The downside of the wool puddle pad is that over a few years, the fibers do start to pull away from each other in areas of high use and the pad will stretch. Of course, a stretching pad at first is nice, because then it covers the side of the mattress as well as the top. Since the fibers are felted and not woven, if washed, they need to be handwashed gently. Instructions are in the product.

WATERPROOF JERSEY PUDDLE PAD

Organic Waterproof Mattress Protector Puddle Pad

The waterproof jersey puddle pad works through its laminate layer. While it is slightly air permeable, liquids cannot pass through it. The water will bead up and run off. It is very easy to clean, as you can machine wash it. Since the fabric shrinks in the wash, we have prewashed it for you so that it will still fit your mattress after your washing.

The downside of the waterproof jersey pad is its unnatural component of the polyurethane layer. While it is a certified GOTS organic polyurethane, to the natural purists out there, the laminate layer is not natural at all.

I am so happy to have found you!

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Hi Deborah,

I just wanted to send you a note to tell you how happy I am with the way the topponcino (bassinet mattress!) turned out!  I am soooo happy with the finished product, and so excited to have my grandchild sleep on it.  It is exactly what we wanted, and everything is perfectly done. 

Thank you so much for the help you gave me in putting together something that fits our needs so precisely, and for accommodating my “rush” request.  It is evident that you not only produce quality products, but you are a person who genuinely cares about others. 

As I said in my very first email to you–and I mean it even more now–I am so happy to have found you!  I would feel confident recommending you to anyone with the highest standards! (And I definitely will!) 

I look forward to purchasing from you again.

With much appreciation, – L.M.

Help me Build my Cart

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QUESTION:

Could you help me build my cart? I would like REALLY firm interior, with only slightly softer on top…then the layers…..of whatever……..a padding etc? or PURE SUPER FIRM in ALL the interior, then the LAYERS of whatever padding on top?? 
with whichever casing……you suggest? perhaps the twill that you use in the video?? or the quilted?? HARD to figure it al out,….ha.ha
COULD YOU SUGGEST A BUILD FOR ME?……..so I can put them all in the cart?
and pillows…………I guess firm and one soft just to be on safe side
inner, outer cases…..all that is confusing
COULD YOU SUGGEST THE BUILD ITEMS TO PUT IN A CART, IF YOU WERE DOING THIS BUILD?
I’M TRYING TO DO THIS, BEING ELECTRICALLY SENSITIVE (gasping at the internet) AND STARING AT THOUSANDS IN A CART…..NOT MAKING GOOD PROGRESS…HA.HA IF YOU COULD WHIP OUT A BUILD, I’D LOVE IT!!!!!!

ANSWER:

A firm mattress is easily accomplished with either with extra firm or hard latex or wool flake/wool batting like this post and this picture.

A wool puddle pad would be a bit stiff to double as a blanket but it would be a good mattress protector. We do have a lovely wool blanket made from our small farm wool. Naturally our wool topper provides great comfort on top of a mattress and can take a mattress from very firm to firm support with pressure point relief.

Wool pillows and millet hull pillows are both great at being firm. New wool batting starts off soft, but does end up firm as it compresses over a few months. A soft wool pillow simply has less wool than a firm one. It could just easily be called a flat pillow or lighter pillow and the firm one could be a lofty or heavyweight. Either way, you can remove any batting you want from either pillow if it is too big. It is not necessary to use two pillow cases, like our kits offer, but it is convenient to not have to remove your fill from the inner case while you wash the outer case.

While you do get the best value for the 3″ and 6″ layers, you can pick a custom depth here

Latex Warranty Photo Instructions

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Body impressions can be caused by a failing piece of latex or by improper use. Multiple soft or medium layers used in a bed where someone sits all day for work as well as for sleep will bow predictably. If you are using your bed as a couch, expect the top layers to wear out. Couches are usually made of firm, extra firm and hard pieces of latex, so if your bed is soft or medium, the latex is not up for the job of supporting a sitter. You will get body impressions. Those sorts of impressions are not a warranty claim.

However if your latex layers are bowing from normal use, we can process a warranty claim for you. Sometimes bowing is caused by the bed frame or foundation and not by the sleeper. Even slat beds that flex too much or have slats that are too far apart have caused a mattress to seem like it’s failing.

Please send us pictures of the failing layers so we can verify your claim. To take pictures properly you’ll need a broom stick (just unscrew it from the head) or substitute, a camera, tape measure, and a clean bed sheet.

  1. On your foundation or level ground, where you have space the size of your mattress (living room, bedroom, kitchen or even garage) lay down a clean sheet.
  2. Unzip your mattress ticking.
  3. Remove one layer of foam and place it on the sheet.
  4. Next push the edge of the sheet close to the edge of the foam
  5. Place a broom stick across any visible depression. If the broom stick has a handle, be sure to hang the handle over the edge so it doesn’t exaggerate depressions.
  6. Take a picture measuring the gaps between the broom stick and the foam but at the same time show parts of the ground to show you are shooting the layer on a flat surface and not your bed frame.
  7. Do the same to each latex slab.
  8. Email the pictures of any depressions. We are looking to see if there are depressions along where your body rests exceed ½ in one layer or 1” in all three layers.

Photo Contest

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WIN a 3″ Organic Latex Slab

Twin XL, Twin, Crib
OR
$150 off any other sized piece of latex

Enter our Photo Contest
by July 25

  1. Take photos of you and your family assembling your mattress with our supplies.
  2. Email them to customerservice@diynaturalbedding.com
  3. Winners will be announced by July 30

Photos will be featured on the front page of our new website design!

Criteria

The photos we will most likely pick will have

  1. great lighting
  2. multiple people
  3. smiles
  4. action /appearance of motion

Note: While pictures of a finished mattress are welcome, we are most interested in pictures of the process.

What a great family photo! But not an action shot.


Assembling an Organic Latex Mattress - DIY Natural Bedding

Great lighting! But it’s me and I want you!


Assembling an Organic Latex Mattress - DIY Natural Bedding

Phew! That’s some action. LOL


Thanks much to four of my kiddos for helping me take some photos! and to one of them for letting me take his pictures off the wall so I could use his bed frame! We are that kind of family business – everyone helps out where they can.

Wool Toppers Q & A

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A customer asked: “I’m looking for wool with the following specs to meet flammability standards. Can you tell me if the wool in the wool topper meets these standards?

Consider

One of the most important criteria when selecting wool for a wool topper is its micron count. Too high a count or too coarse a fiber and you have stiff rug wool that is pokey inside the fabric. Too low a count and you have thin, slippery fibers that are fine enough for clothing. Also some breeds of sheep have very straight wool with no crimp in it. You want some crimp in the wool so the wool stays lofty.

Specification 1

High quality organic wool that comes from the back or high on the side of the animal (to minimize contact with the debris the live animal runs across in pasture), and come from a sheep fed an organic diet.

Answer 1

No, we do not separate the wool on the different parts of the sheep’s body. The machines take care of most of the vegetation so it is rare to see any. No, this year’s sheep are not necessarily fed an organic diet. Sheep are grazers and so are pastured all day with green growing grasses that are not harmed with chemicals. These sheep are milk producers and make some amazing cheeses. See Green Dirt Farm‘s page for more info. See also our post on natural vs. organic wool.

Specification 2

The natural lanolin and keratin in the wool must remain intact. This means washing must be minimized, and chemical washing (which can strip lanolin, especially), is right out.

Answer 2

To keep all of the lanolin means to keep all of the dirt and grime. To remove all of the lanolin means the wool must be sacrificed in order to harvest the lanolin. Naturally, the wool is washed. The only substance used in its processing is a surfactant, which breaks the surface tension of the water, allowing the oily lanolin to float away in the washing water. Unlike conventional wool, our wool processing contains none of the following chemicals:

  • NO bleach
  • NO acid bath
  • NO bonding
  • NO resin
  • NO carbonization
  • NO superwashing

Specification 3

High natural lanolin content combined with careful processing that makes wool an effective FR barrier. 

Answer 3

Wool is also an effective fire barrier when it is dense and matted. Reducing oxygen that a fire needs is part of its job too.

Specification 4

Wool that is carded or garneted and then “densified” by needle punching or quilting minimizes the air between the fibers while retaining comfortable loft. 

Answer 4

No, the wool in the topper is not felted or needle punched, our wool puddle pad is though. That would make a firm mat and not a lofty topper. It is also not quilted or it would be a ticking, not a topper. It is tufted. All batting is either garneted or carded, that is the process of laying fiber on top of each other to create a fluffy sheet.

Specification 5

Wool in a thickness of about 1.8 oz. per square foot, properly prepared, makes a highly trustworthy FR option.

Answer 5

True enough, that is the industry standard because it does pass the burn test. Wool also passes the burn test due to its high combustion point, 600 degrees, almost triple that of cotton’s burn point. If you want a fire barrier, you should be looking at our Quilted Ticking, then the wool wraps entirely around the mattress instead of just on top like a topper.

My back will thank me!

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The soft latex layer is very soft and I like it a lot! I’m very relieved actually not to have to sleep on just the board with my old futon mattress again tonight! I think my back will thank me, haha. Thank you for the wonderful latex layer! It’s wonderful even without another layer or the ticking vs my futon on the box spring 🙂 – F. B.

Free Tutorials

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First of all, we are all healthy and well here, so we are still running shop.

Second of all, thank you to all of you for your well wishes during this time of making history. You guys are so thoughtful and genuine. We wish you all much health and chances to relax into a new pace and and space to enjoy those near and close to you.

Most importantly, I’ve been pondering how DIY Natural Bedding can lighten the load of the season and offer something of value and I think I have an answer! I would like to share our creativity and let you make it yours!

I don’t know about you but I find that creativity doesn’t necessarily mean coming up with a brand new idea. For me, it may mean combining ideas or items into something personal. And these days with time to productively fill, we need to find ways to keep our hands busy, our bodies grounded and our hearts engaged. What better way than to work with natural components, creating something useful for your bed?!

I offer you all of our tutorials for FREE through May 15. This means that all the kits that provide the tutorial as your sewing instructions are discounted as well. They can all be found in their own section of DIY Tutorials and Kits or you can click on the links below.

All of the tutorials are downloadable PDFs with pictures, dimensions and step by step instructions.
All of the Kits include the tutorial plus supplies to make the item with.
Supplies without tutorials are available in the DIY Supplies section of the shop.

TUTORIALSKITS
Wool Topper Wool Topper
Millet Hull Weighted Blanket Millet Hull Weighted Blanket
Knit Ticking Knit Ticking
Expandable Knit Ticking Expandable Knit Ticking

If you create a project with our supplies and post to social media, please tag us! We would love to see your creation!

Very Comfortable

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I think it’s time to report the good news!  The 3rd slab of medium latex has done the trick for my achy body.  I, of course, put the firm on the bottom in the new ticking, and then both the medium (in the middle) and the soft latex, topped with wool batting (on the top) in the first 7” ticking I purchased.  I am so happy to report that I am now finally very comfortable. Thank you for all your patience and help!!! – K. L.

Co-Sewing Studio

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Makers, crafters, sewers, come share our sewing studio. Work in the company of other bright creators and bring your ideas to life in our sewing space.

STARTUPS: Are you starting your business and want to rent some sewing space?
DESIGNERS: Do you have the skills but need the equipment?
BIG PROJECTS: Do you have a big project and need space to spread out?

Then, rent our industrial sewing equipment and space. We have a spacious, clean sewing room with industrial machines and space to spread out that will make your sewing projects as easy as possible.

FEATURES

  • 30 foot cutting table with cutting mats
  • Space to store your own fabric and projects
  • Industrial sewing machines
  • Leather sewing machine
  • Industrial serger
  • Irons and oversized ironing table
  • Electric rotary cutter
  • Washer and Dryer
  • GOTS Organic sheeting sized fabrics for separate purchase

For more details, see more co-sewing studio information here.

Edge Model 10 Band Saw for Sale

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Do you know of anyone looking to buy a saw? This Edge Model 10 band saw can slit a King sized latex mattress in just one pass. It cuts cleanly and quickly and is a well-known brand. It is perfect for a small upholstery or bedding business. If it can cut the floppy latex, it most certainly can cut crisp poly foam.

A number of you have latex cut with this machine, those of you who stopped by my showrooom of a living room in Crystal, MN when it was there. Now the showroom has moved to our workroom in Brooklyn Park.

I thought this machine would help take the business a particular direction, but I think the direction we need to go will be without it.

This is a Buy it to Last machine, built circa 1975. It is in great upkept condition. They just don’t make teal machines anymore. 🙂

See its listing it here.

NEWness coming!

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Use coupon code “creativity brewing” until October 21 to get 5% off sitewide.

Good rest

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Greetings, Deborah. I just want to thank you for all your help getting me some good rest. I love my bed now and really like the beautiful quilted cover. You’re the best! I hope you and your beautiful family are having a wonderful summer! God sure did bless you! Stay cool 😉
Great blessings, P

DIY Mattress: Common Combinations

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While DIY combinations for your mattress are almost limitless, there are a few configurations of our products that are commonly combined. The pillows are deliberately matched with each combo to match the softness or firmness of the mattress. Here are some of common combinations:

FOR ADULTS:

(Soft Combo – generally for adults under 250 lbs.)

(Average Combo – generally for adults under 180 lbs.)

(Firm Combo – the most natural option, compares to an Extra Firm option without the topper, Firm with the topper)

(Extra Extra Firm Option – for those who like sleeping on the floor but want some cushion)

FOR CHILDREN:

(Starter Option that saves on the budget now and leaves room to grow later)

New Relationship with The Mattress Underground

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Almost eight years ago I started DIY Natural Bedding. We started off from scratch, no loans, no building, one 6″ slab of latex, and big ideas, so small that a Craigslist listing and the members of our Minneapolis Weston A. Price chapter accounted for the entire 22 sales made that year.  Somewhere that year, while working night and night on the website, I put the business on Facebook. Imagine my surprise when Onno (RIP) from The Mattress Underground called me, alerted me to his forum and affirmed my path into conscious and quality bedding supplies.

Throughout the years I have visited The Mattress Underground’s forum many times; sometimes to help answer questions and put in a good word for wool and latex, sometimes to get questions about other supplier’s products answered. All the times I visit, I am reminded of our shared goals: to provide education, to provide answers, to help, to show transparency, and to work with quality materials. I have found their interactions to be very positive and engaging and share a similar approach. You know I value a personal mattress shopping experience when I open up a room in my home to welcome you to and our Minneapolis showroom does the same. When you call or email, I have trained my crew to ask questions, to try to help you see options that might fit your goals, to provide extra information when it would be helpful, even you didn’t know to ask for it. Giving you a personal, positive and engaging research experience is important to me. Do let me know if you ever need more answers than we have given and we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction.

Because of these shared goals, I have decided to partner officially with The Mattress Underground. That means little to your experience on our site or really on their site if you bounce over there to broaden your search. It does mean a benefit for you though, but you’d have to check out our profile there to find out that benefit. 🙂

The Mattress Underground

Here is what The Mattress Underground says about DIY Natural Bedding:

“Thank you once again for your interest in becoming The Mattress Underground’s (TMU) trusted member, and particularly for your time, warmness, and for addressing all our questions. I have enjoyed our conversation, your honesty and what you stand for. We believe that DIY Natural Bedding (DIYNB) and TMU share similar values, ideals, and goals and we are very pleased and excited to welcome DIYNB in TMU community as one of TMU’s Trusted Members.

“Over an extended period we have reviewed and assessed the products that DIY Natural Bedding (DIYNB) provides and manufactures in terms of value/quality, and craftsmanship, we have determined that they meet the quality and durability guidelines here. We also believe that the information available on your website is accurate and factual and designed to help consumers make an informed purchasing decision, and that DIYNB provides excellent customer support.

A warm welcome to The Mattress Underground!”

Quality is not compromised

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Small Farm Wool Comforter

Thank you All Things Functional and Practical for your website review. I am glad you enjoy the wool comforter.

Here is a snippet from their review:
“The price of a wool comforter is steep but it is a worthwhile investment. After researching around, the price of the premade comforters offered from this site is extremely competitive. Meaning, it was one of the lower priced comforters. Being that is it on the “low” side, the quality is not compromised. I find that this comforter is very well made and I am very happy with it. The only thing I wish could do was try out both the tropical and regular weight to really know which one would be the best fit for the area I live in for the 2 extreme seasons, summer and winter.”

Read the full review at All Things Functional and Practical.

Extremely Crafty Women

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Thank you, Susie, for your mention on your blog. If I ever need a gluten-free, dairy-free, ancient grains baked good in the Twin Cities, I’m coming to you! Your knowledge of how to work with such foods and skills of presentation are through the roof.

Here is a snippet from her post:
“One thing I have noticed are videos and blogs that share information on how to make your own mattress. Very cool. I am all about doing things yourself and being self reliant. Unfortunately for me, I don’t have the skills to do it. I am sad to admit that I never learned how to use a sewing machine. Buttons and hand sewn hems I can do. Zippers and ticking are out of my reach. Fortunately I am surrounded by extremely crafty women, one of whom founded her own DIY Natural Bedding company. It’s pure genius. There are two showrooms where customers can see the materials, you order online, and everything comes directly to your home where you put the pieces together. You can opt to do some of the sewing yourself and save some cash, or you can get it all sewn and ready to go. For our kiddos we are opting for expandable ticking which will allow us to increase the amount of latex and wool as they increase in weight.”

Read the full article at her website: Yoga Pants and Bonbons.

Double Sided Dog Bed

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Is your dog this comfortable?

Per a customer’s request, we made a dual sided dog bed, one side filled with shredded latex and the other with kapok. While each side is plump, we made sure to fill it just under firm to give the dog some room to sink in peacefully. This size is perfect for a small dog, but we have made them as large as crib size for the larger dogs.

Our waterproof jersey would make a great fabric as well; this one is made from our twill. Since both kapok and shredded latex are washable as long as dried thoroughly, this dog bed will stay nice and bright.

Your descriptions are dead on!

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So after using each of the pillows, it seems that I hugely prefer the millet hull pillow and my spouse prefers the woolly bolas pillow.
Turns out the wool batting pillow is the only one neither of us preferred.  Possibly because we stuffed it fully with all the batting we got.  It was too firm.  I will experiment with it further, by gradually removing some of the batting to see if it can get more comfortable.
The descriptions you have on your site are dead on.  I love the millet hull because I can literally punch it and adjust the thickness as I roll around.  What is awesome is that it holds its shape until the next punch.
My spouse loves the woolly bolas because it is very soft and cuddly even when fully stuffed with the quantity you provided. – G.R.

Comfy Couch Cushions

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We knocked the couch project out this morning. It was so easy!

What a huge difference! (See before picture). The cushions are so comfy and the wool batting was fun to play with and form.

I actually ended up shredding up the extra fall off from the cushion cuts last night and made a little pillow to fit into my new pillow case! It was fun and therapeutic 🙂 I might have a new calling!  – N.G.