Feather pillows to feather beds

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Question 1: I have bought a several feather pillows at auction lately, with the thought in mind of constructing a feather batt, feather bed, feather comforter - whatever you want to call it. I usually get these for a dollar or so. Some of them smell musty - like they've been in the closet too long. I've hung them on the clothesline a time or two, but didn't notice any major improvement. I'm wondering if it might be mostly the old ticking??? I've also tossed them in the dryer with softener sheets - again, minimal improvement. Should I just go ahead and stitch up my new tick, dump in the feathers and hope for the best? Any suggestions?

Question 2 - I plan to use standard pillow ticking fabric for the tick. Most of the down comforters I've seen in the catalogs are stitched into squares, so that the down won't shift. Do I need to do this with feathers? I seem to recall that all the old feather beds I've seen were just all one big sack. Seems to me that stitching and stuffing squares would be a big pain in the rear, plus leave cold strips. Maybe use buttons and tie it like you might a comforter?? What do you all think?

Thanks for any input.

-- Polly (tigger@moultrie.com), May 27, 2000


try "febreeze" for the smell, that stuff takes out everything, (Im a single guy, it REALLY works)

-- stan (sopal@net-port.com), May 27, 2000.

Been there, done that..I agree with the above answer..that stuff is great...as far as teh actual construction, I like to divide the whole thing into fourths and stich them up accordingly..squares are too much trouble, but four large "pouches" works very well...Have a great time!Oh, forgot to mention that after I divide up the surface area into fourths, I then just run a piece of yarn through each area about 10 times, knotting each piece on the "good' side to further secure everything.

-- lesley Chasko (martchas@gateway.net), May 27, 2000.

Stan's right, Febreeze will most likely kill the smell. But it still might not be a bad idea to wash them in case you've got feather mites or some other little critter in them. Might even consider washing them in the pillow ticks they're in, at least partially drying them, and then dumping the feathers in a shallow container covered with an old window screen to sun for a while. Only waterfowl feathers and down have any appreciable oil in them and that's probably long gone by now anyway.

Use the best quality ticking you can find and afford if these are truly feather pillows. Nothing worse than getting stuck with a feather shaft during the night, except maybe feeling a tick crawling around on you. An old trick is to rub the inside of the ticking with a bar of paraffin (canning supply section of grocery or hardware store).

You're right that the more stitching you do, the more cold spots you get, but the flip side is that the less stitching you do, the more the feathers shift and the more cold spots you get. Used to be that shaking and airing the pillows and comforters was part of the daily routine. You might want to consider sewing tubes instead of squares. Makes it easier to get the feathers in and out. You can plan the seams according to how many people will be under it and where they usually sleep in the bed-one person who sleeps in the middle of the bed, put the seams to the sides. Two people sleeping on the edges of the bed, seam down the middle and possibly very near the edges. Gerbil

-- Gerbil (ima_gerbil@hotmail.com), May 27, 2000.

I worked at a dry cleamer for about a year. They will take the feathers out and clean them, then put them back in. ...

-- G (sultanofsnapper@usa.net), May 05, 2001.

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