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Futon – Wikipedia

– History and Materials: – Before recycled cotton cloth was widely available in Japan, commoners used kami busuma stuffed with fibers from beaten dry straw, […]

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– History and Materials:
– Before recycled cotton cloth was widely available in Japan, commoners used kami busuma stuffed with fibers from beaten dry straw, cattails, or silk waste on mushiro straw floor mats.
– Futons were later made with patchwork recycled cotton, quilted together and filled with bast fiber.
– Yogi are kimono-shaped bedclothes that were used in the 1800s and early 1900s.
– Rectangular kakebutons are now widely used with varying materials; some are warmer than others.
– Traditional makuras are generally firmer than western pillows and can be filled with beans, buckwheat chaff, bran, or modernly, plastic beads.

– Dimensions:
– Futons are traditionally laid on tatami rush mats which can absorb and re-release up to half a liter of moisture each.
– Tatamis measure 1 by 0.5 ken, just under 1 by 2 meters, the same size as a Western twin bed.
– A traditional shikibuton is about the size of a Western twin bed.
– Shikibutons are usually 2–3 inches thick, rarely as much as 6 inches thick, and can be layered for more thickness.
– Kakebutons may be wider than shikibutons and vary in thickness depending on the weather.

– Western-style Futons:
– In the 1980s, futons became fashionable in North America with a construction method similar to contemporary Japanese futons.
– Western-style futons differ considerably from Japanese counterparts, often resembling low, wooden sofa beds.
– They typically have the dimensions of standard western mattresses and are too thick to fold double and stow easily in a cupboard.
– Western-style futons are often set up and stored on a slatted frame to avoid needing to move them to air regularly.
– Most Japanese homes were not traditionally centrally-heated, unlike Western homes.

– Futon-like Traditional European Beds:
– Traditional European beds resembled Japanese-style futon sets with thin tick mattresses and were sometimes set on a bedframe.
– It was traditional to air these beds, and duvets are still aired in the window in Europe.
– Airing bedding outdoors was seen as a foreign practice in English-speaking cultures in the 19th century.
– The fairytale ‘The Princess and the Pea’ exaggerates the traditional European layering of thin mattresses.
– Mattress toppers are structurally similar to futons, made of similar materials, and have similar dimensions to twin-bed toppers.

– Miscellaneous:
– Futons are a traditional Japanese style of bedding consisting of a mattress and a duvet.
– Futons are pliable enough to be folded and stored away during the day to allow rooms to serve multiple purposes.
– Futons are traditionally used on tatami for a softer base than wooden or stone floors.
– Futons need to be aired regularly to prevent mold and keep them free of mites.
– Futon dryers may be used for those unable to hang out their futon.

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