Stop. Stop right now. Haul that mattress back out of the car. The trip to the tip will not be necessary. According to my copy of 'The Complete Illustrated Home Book' a mattress makeover is a cinch.
If your mattress doesn't respond to the daily thumping and pummeling required to keep lumps at bay then it's time to bite the bullet and turn to page 280. It's time to take the thing to pieces, wash it to within an inch of its life and put it back together again. The following 3 pages provide clear and concise instructions, though the accompanying foggy photographs are less helpful and are reminiscent of disemboweling a cloud. It's a very physical thing this re-making business. One's skivvy (bless 'er) would be puffed out and cursing what with all that washing, kneading and squeezing gently, before the stuffing, sewing, tufting and quilting. (Do click on the picture and check out the tossing of the stuffing between two sticks. Hard to imagine such entertaining times.) Much use is made in the final stages of scarily long needles and stout twine. Stand well back.
There's no indication of how long this whole process takes - waiting for the fine and windless day to dry the laundered stuffing on a dust sheet outdoors could add weeks to the operation......and what does one sleep on in-between I wonder.
It's a thrifty business too. Heavy on labour and soap flakes perhaps....As much of the original should be used as is possible - having been cleaned thoroughly of course. (The author almost regrets the possible expense of new leather 'tufts' at 2¾d per bundle - that's just over 1p in today's money.) The re-built mattress is meant last another generation. Here, whilst we're talking about longevity, bear in mind that Featherbeds are Dangerous.....it's a hygiene thing. If your featherbed has been in the family for generations - is a 100 years old - that's 80 years too long. Burn it.
It's true isn't it? 'The past is another country . They do things differently there.' We have moved on from the 'make do and mend' culture beloved of previous generations - the whole process, from our 21st century perspective looks like a no-brainer. Now it's a trip to John Lewis or the nearest retail park for us, a few moments feeling silly 'trying beds out' and the new mattress will be delivered next week. Sorted.
I'm not about to start washing horsehair and mattress ticking or threading my upholstery needles - bed stores are a fine innovation - but I do regret that so much is now deemed disposable and jettisoned without much thought as to its destination; landfill here or elsewhere, recycled in China or India at what cost to their environment and so on. Out of sight out of mind perhaps and on to the next new shiny product. Stuff. Mountains of it and very little thought about the consequences.
Next week: Tired of that dingy old bath? Re-enamelling so simple the cat could do it. According to 'The Complete Illustrated Home Book' that is.