My host parents have 3 children (2 boys and 1 girl) who are all married and have children. One son and his family live in a separate house on the property. The daughter-in-law, Ina, speaks English pretty well because she studied it at the local University. She and I speak a mix of English and Azeri. One day I came home from training and saw wool laying in piles in the yard. I was very curious and a little excited because I thought they might spin and weave it. If they did, I could help card it!! When I asked Ina about the wool, she said it was for a wool mattress. I said “ohhh ok” but really had NO clue what that meant.

After a little less than a week of the wool being washed, dried, and whatever else you do to wool, it was time to make the mattress. Two ladies had come over to help make it. They took a bed sheet that was about the size of a full-size mattress. The sheet was also a big pillow case turned inside out. They laid the pillow case sheet on the ground then evenly distributed the wool over it. Once that was done, they rolled it up like you would a yoga matt or a carpet. Once they rolled it to the end, they magically turned the sheet right-side out so the wool was now inside the giant pillow case. Then they began to unroll and add a little more stuffing.

That’s how one would make a wool mattress. It is used to sleep on in the winter for more warmth. Ina asked if we had these in America. I said no. She then asked what we slept on, and I didn’t know how to answer that question. The words “springs” and “foam” weren’t understood well. Eventually I said we sleep on mattresses but not made of wool. I wonder how it would be to sleep on one—a little lump I presume.

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