Have you ever wondered how a natural mattress is made?
We are proud to be able to show our customers the back workshop space (conveniently connected to our showroom!) Click here to book a showroom appointment and tour our back space.
Our Workshop's Open Door Policy
Our workshop’s open door policy is our promise to you that our materials and processes are as clean as our showroom. We invite you to meet the builders and see and feel all the different materials and to learn about their unique properties and function in your custom built mattress.
Can’t visit in person? Here are the ten steps of creating your custom Black Sheep mattress.
How It's Made
When we say we build mattresses, we build it from scratch so we know that every piece is up to our standards.
It starts with our rolls of fabric and our extra large cutting table. Our fabrics are mainly organic cotton with some, like our quilted wool or tencel, having a blend of other materials for particular characteristics. Our sewer reviews the specific size and mattress case material that the customer has selected, and then cuts the fabric by hand.
Once all the fabric is cut, it's time to take it to the sewing table. For our Oxford mattress, this is also when we will cut and sew our organic cotton muslin fabric to wrap the individual latex layers. Our sewers sew the pieces together and add a heavy duty zipper. We put a zipper on our mattress cases so that we can build the materials into the case and zip it up!
One final touch for the mattress case, we sew our signature stripe of sheep to the foot of the bed! It wouldn't be Black Sheep if we didn't sprinkle some sheep.
While our sewers are working on the mattress case, our builders begin prepping the other materials. For our spring-core models, the pocket coils are cut to size and edge guards and edge wires are installed to add more structure to the mattress (no sloping ends or bulging sides here). These springs are then wrapped in batting of natural cotton to soften the edge and covered with a thicker organic cotton fabric. Next we move onto the natural wool. Our wool is never chemically treated, dyed, or bleached and the animals are humanely treated. We take the batting which comes in large rolls and cut them to size. Here we check to make sure there's no small grass or other natural debris caught in the materials.
Now we're ready to start putting it all together!
Layering the Good Stuff
For our Oxford model, this is the last step before quality check. We take the layers of latex that have been sewn into their cotton muslin cases and do a test build to make sure that everything looks sharp. Each layer of latex can be of varying firmnesses and the order is determined by the firmness that you choose and the height of the mattress. The layers have tags at the end which denote what firmness it is on our scale from one (soft) to five (firm). We open up the mattress case onto our work table and carefully stack the layers in their predetermined order, zip it up and send it for quality check.
Devon & Suffolk
For our spring models, the Suffolk and Devon, we open up the mattress case our sewers prepared on the table and build bottom up. Our spring mattresses are flippable so we build them symmetrically with the springs in the centre.
For the hybrid Devon, we lay down the wool, latex (of your selected firmness), springs, latex, wool and zip it all up!
For the Suffolk it'll be wool, cotton, springs, cotton, wool and then it's all zipped up.
Tufting Spring Mattresses
You’ve maybe heard us talk about it before, but what is tufting and why do we use it? Tufting is the ‘sewing’ of all the different layers together in a spring-core mattress. Using 17” (fact check) needles our builders carefully thread a needle (in a pre-mapped pattern) through all the layers of the mattress (and yes, that includes the springs) to hold all the pieces together. This eliminates the use of any toxic glues and gives the luxurious, distinct dimpled finish. Tufting requires a lot of attention to detail and the delicate touch of the builder to create an even tautness and finish. Some of our builders have been tufting for over 9 years now but their work still goes through a diligent check to make sure everything is perfect.
We believe that every piece we create is a work of art. Each product goes through a review at each stage of the production process and then goes through a final quality check before being packaged up to be sent to their new home. Appearance wise, we look for sharp corners, good fitting case, clean stitching and even tufting, to name a few. We also check to make sure that the mattress in front of us is built correctly for each unique customer request. This would be reviewing that it's built to the correct size, firmness, case material, and any other special requests.
Not only do our mattresses need to look the part, but we also do multiple checks throughout the building process to make sure that it performs to our high-standards as well.
Made-By Sheep Card
The final touch! We special prepare envelopes for our customers which include their custom care guide and our made-by sheep card. Each card will be signed by the team member that worked on your specific order.
Additionally, snap a photo of the sheep card with your new products, share it on Instagram and we’ll donate a tree with WEARTH (more about our tree planting program
And voila! You've got yourself a handcrafted custom natural mattress.