To prevent the bedding from friction the wire mattress should be covered. For this purpose Hessian (sold at 7 3/4d. per yard, double width) is the best material. Felt is not advisable, not being porous; brown paper bored with holes is a cheap substitute, but very apt to be torn.
The tick should be covered with holland or calico, a loose case tied with tapes is the most satisfactory. If this is too expensive, wide strips of either of the above materials should be tacked over the edges of the mattress to keep them clean.
Are made both with round or square ends. They are often filled with millpuff, which is a product of the cotton plant, and of which there are different qualities, varying from 1 1/2d. to 5d. per lb. Comfortable small single-bed bolsters usually cost from 4/- to 5/-.
The tick should be covered with a calico cover, to preserve it in case of accident, and also to prevent the stripe of the tick showing through the outside bolster case.
Bolster cases are a much more comfortable arrangement than simply having the under sheet rolled round the bolster.
These are usually made of down or feathers, the latter being cheaper and more general.
DOWN is stripped from feathers, mostly goose; but the best quality is procured from the Eider duck, a native of Iceland. Such pillows cost from 16/- to 20/- each.
The cost of the size for small single beds usually runs about 4/9 to 5/-. All feathers must be chemically treated to destroy the animal matter adhering to them. If this is neglected the smell soon becomes unpleasant. Feather beds and pillows after being long in use become matted together, and for this reason they must be daily well shaken.
Occasionally the tick should be emptied and the feathers picked apart. Before putting feathers in new or washed tick, the inside (unless it is of superlatively good quality) should be prepared by rubbing it very thoroughly all over with a lump of beeswax or yellow soap, giving special attention to the seams; if this is omitted the sharp points of the feathers will work through. If the pillow is new, slip the feathers in with the bag and shake gently out; if the tick only is new, sew the opening in the new tick to the old one, and so take the feathers from one to the other without any flying about the room.
Pillows should also have a cover for the aforementioned reason.
Linen pillow-slips are cooler and more restful than cotton; they should be so made that they button without gaping, buttons being a neater method than tapes. By the use of tubular cotton (4 3/4d. to 9 3/4d. per yard) much labour is saved.
The end of the pillow, where the inner cover is fastened, should be put first into the outer pillow-slip to avoid having both fastenings at the same end.
Pillow shams are much used at present; they should be removed by night.