Mattress Makers Come to Town

Al Fresco Production

Al Fresco Production

India is known to enchant visitors with unexpected sights and on this afternoon, this sight had me grabbing for my camera yet again. In front of a small guest house in rural South India, I saw a makeshift assembly line producing mattresses. With limited language skills, I think that I understood that the guest house had bed bugs, a pest, not so uncommon in my own city of New York and they were now required (by the police?) to make new ones. There are no mattress stores in this town. Mattress makers come right to the premises.

Part of their equipment includes an unusual machine that recycles the mattress stuffing. The stuffing from the old mattresses is fed through this machine. The old stuffing comes out fluffy and fresh looking.

Recycled Stuffing with Blue Machine

Recycled Stuffing with Blue Machine

They also come with a sewing machine and striped cotton mattress ticking. By the time I passed, all the mattress covers were sewn.

New Mattress Covers

New Mattress Covers

Stuffing the Mattress

Stuffing the Mattress

Tufting the Mattress

Tufting the Mattress

I was talking to a friend recently who was complaining about his credit card debt. He mentioned that he was almost finished paying off his new mattress and box spring which cost him $1,900.00. I’m sure he has a very fine mattress but he paid a very fine price for it too. What is the conclusion? The cost of progress is very dear, in so many ways. India helps me put so many things in perspective, sometimes with a ping of pain but mostly with a smile. I think I’ll sleep on that.






About ninagrandiose

I am based in NYC but travel regularly to India and Mexico. Both of these countries feel like home. In India I scour the country in search of fabulous textiles to incorporate into my clothing designs. I sit back and let the ambiance and wonder of India seep into my consciousness so I can be inspired to write about what India is for me. I bring a limited number of people to India on exclusive and intimate tours of my favorite hangouts. In Mexico I take in the natural beauty that surrounds me and dance the night away. I constantly give thanks for all this and am pleased to share it all with you.
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6 Responses to Mattress Makers Come to Town

  1. singhcircle says:

    This is co very common in the North just before the winters. You see them everywhere, ‘sewing’ the customary ‘rajai’ to deal with the harsh winter! India is a photographers dream destination!

    • ninagrandiose says:

      I completely agree that India is a photographer’s dream destination and certainly got me to take my own photography more seriously. I have seen the rajai makers in the North and they are very similar but the rajai is a quilt and these men are actually making mattresses, just to distinguish the two. Thanks for commenting.

  2. singhcircle says:

    That’s right! The rajai makers also make mattresses – and pillows!

  3. A lovely series of mattress production on the street. And it does put things in perspective, doesn’t it!

  4. ninagrandiose says:

    India is especially good at that. Thanks, Otto.

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