Why We Use Horsehair

Glencraft has been using natural fibres since we were founded in 1843. Nature has an incredible way of providing us with the natural fibres that help keep us warm when it is cold and cool when it’s hot.

Choosing a mattress that utilises horsehair within it’s layering, will help create a micro-climate within your mattress. But getting horsehair to the point that it is ready to help create the ultimate nights sleep, starts long before your mattress is hand delivered to your door.

The starting point for creating a horsehair mattress is processing the raw material into a rope. The hair comes in loose and the longer and thicker the fibres are, the better the quality.

This is because the more twists you can get into the product means, that when we un-twist it, the more curls we have in the layers of horsehair. What we’re trying to do is create as much spring in a mattress as possible.

People talk about pocket spring count a lot. Pocket springs are off course hugely important, especially for stopping you rolling into the middle of the bed.

But the way we process horsehair, results in a natural fibre, that acts as millions of individual springs across the mattress. But to do this we need to take raw, loose, material and form it into a rope.




Processing Horsehair

First the horsehair is washed. It then goes through an electro magnetic process to remove any contaminates or impurities, before it’s fed into the hopper. Before twisting the material into rope, the horsehair is long and flat. If we put that straight into a mattress it’s not going to create and resilience, or any of the spring that we’re looking for. So we have to put that spring into the fibre and we do that by spinning it into a rope.

The horsehair is then manually fed in to the hopper. The fibres then start to feed through the rollers and at this point they are worked and weighted. The hopper feeds in a set amount of air to start to evenly feed the fibres through to the rollers where they begin to open up the fibres. As the rope begins to form, the weight and tension helps it become very tight. We then begin spinning the rope. The more twists and curls that we can put into the rope means that when we open it back up the more spring we will get in the horsehair and ultimately the mattress.

Each rope weights about 25kgs after 10 - 15mins of spinning. But were not finished yet, we need to give the rope a memory to make these curls and springs permanent. To do this we heat the rope, which changes the form of the horsehair, and means it retain it’s spring once we open it back up. Now the horsehair is ready to be used in our luxury mattresses. We begin by feeding the rope into a machine which untwists it and circulates it inside a hopper with air. The difference now is that instead of a flat fibre, we now have a material that is curled and very springy.

So why do we go to these lengths to put horsehair into your mattress? Well, moisture is a big part of it. Horsehair, unlike many other materials used across the mattress industry, doesn’t absorb any water. Our horsehair mattresses will actually wick the moisture away from the bed where a standard foam bed will absorb it like a sponge. From a comfort perspective, our luxury mattresses are like nothing else you will find. It provides an entirely elevated level of support and comfort while controlling the temperature like no other fabric.