Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Home made Cotton mattresses

Was having an interesting discussion with some friends the other day about mattresses and I remembered how, Back home, our mattresses used to be home made, believe it or not. The cotton from our cotton trees (in India cotton grows on trees, not bushes/shrubs) was harvested, we kids would sit to seperate the seeds from the fluff. It used to be great fun and then when we had enuff we made our own pillows by stuffing them with pure cotton into saris and bedsheets recycled as pillow cases.

The help would clean larger quantities of cotton which was then tightly packed to make mattresses. Professional guys came around to stitch the mattresses up and also to refresh them every year or so, when they would open out the mattress, refluff up the cotton and "air it" and then add more cotton to make it nice and firm again.

These cotton mattresses were ideal for the hot humid weather we have back home on the Indian coast. Come to think of it, I dont think spring matresses came to India until the late 70's or so.

It seems this still happens in the rural areas of Egypt and happens in parts of the city too.

I did one day come down to our ground floor in Mohandaseen, to find the whole lobby covered in a snowy substance. Thats right, there were a couple of guys refluffing cotton. I have taken a picture of it, but cant find it right now, will upload when I check my other system.

I was told that the person who makes mattresses in Egypt is called a munaggid .

You can buy fresh cotton, at the Khan. The guy is pretty easy to find. With your back to Bab Zuweila start walking towards the main street of the khan. You will see this beautiful sabeel on your right, the cotton guy is right opposite. I have a picture of him too.

I need to get our photos organised into one hard disk so they are easier to find. Will upload the pictures when I find them.

3 comments:

belle said...

Hi Kim, I've seen the guys restuffing mattresses and pillows on my busy street here in Misr el Gedida. They seem to be a mobile business, parking themselves out the front of apartment blocks and working there for the day. Also seen the same in Alex working with a couple of guys stitching duvets (they were doing it for a wedding gift) though in a much poorer area than my middle-class suburb.
Always enjoying the blog, Belle

Kim said...

Thanks Belle

matt said...

They seem to be a mobile business, parking themselves out the front of apartment blocks and working there for the day. Also seen the same in Alex working with a couple of guys stitching duvets (they were doing it for a wedding gift) though in a much poorer area than my middle-class suburb.

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