Finishing Touches

Mattress tapes and fibers add that extra something to a mattress. Whether it’s a bit of texture or softness or protection, these subtle components make a big splash.

Mattress tapes and fibers. No mattress would be complete without them. While tapes are less attention-getting than ticking and consumers likely know less about fiber than memory foam, these components add the essential elements needed to make a comfortable, attractive bed. Take a look to see what these suppliers have to say about their company’s innovations, sustainability initiatives and future trends. 

number one

Briefly, give an overview of your company. What sets you apart from other suppliers?

John Marshall & Co. is the only manufacturer and supplier of high-performance New Zealand wool in the world and has been a wool champion since 1933.

With 40% to 50% more volume than regular wool, but no additional weight, Joma wool is extremely soft yet highly resilient, which is ideal for bedding and home furnishings products.

— Peter Crone, managing director for John Marshall & Co. headquartered in Christchurch, New Zealand

Leigh Fibers is a 100-year-old family-owned company that specializes in landfill diversion by using textile by-products to make our engineered recycled fibers and nonwoven products. We are a solutions provider for manufacturers seeking outlets for their waste products, and manufacturers looking to increase the recycled content of their fiber or nonwoven products. 

— Bryan Tickle, director of business development for Leigh Fibers, headquartered in Wellford, South Carolina

Jones recognizes that product variety is a value-add for strategic sourcing. We are committed to expanding our product offering with the largest selection of mattress components available from a single source. Combining insulator pads, comfort layer nonwovens and FR barriers in the same shipment reduces inventory carrying expense and creates cash-flow enhancement due to increased inventory turns. Jones offers nationwide distribution from multiple manufacturing locations.

— Dennis St. Louis, senior vice president of sales for Jones Family of Companies, headquartered in Humboldt, Tennessee

Bechik Products Inc., founded in 1932, is a manufacturer/distributor of bedding components to the mattress industry, including mattress tapes, tufting components, plastic corners/fillers, metal decorative accoutrements and other related soft goods and hard goods accessories. Bechik is also a 100% employee owned company celebrating its 25th year as an ESOP in 2023. We pride ourselves on producing and supplying first rate goods and services, including unparalleled customer service.

— Bill Simon, president of Bechik Products Inc. headquartered in Eagan, Minnesota

AEC has been producing narrow fabrics in Asheboro, North Carolina, since 1986. We produce myriad products used across many industries, all designed with efficiency and functionality in mind. What’s great to see here is the cross-pollination at the intersection of those avenues. We pride ourselves on the diversity of our product offering and ability to custom create for friends/clients. We prefer to differentiate our products from commodity solutions. 

— Priscilla Peralta, creative director and product manager for AEC Narrow Fabrics headquartered in Asheboro, North Carolina

Continental Ticking Corp. of America — CT Nassau — produces fine-quality mattress tapes and mattress ticking fabrics in North America. We are a distinctive, total-look provider, vertically integrated, Made in USA, dedicated to the mattress industry. With three plants in North Carolina and one plant in Toronto, we have the unique ability to proudly produce and coordinate mattress tapes, panels, borders, foundation fabric, and cut and sew, as well as sewn covers, pillows, accessories and top of bed. We’re a one-stop shop for the mattress industry, maximizing design, and technological and stylistic excellence.

— Andrea Lazzaroni, executive vice president and chief operating officer for CT Nassau, headquartered in Alamance, North Carolina

number two

What are a few of your most recent and innovative introductions? How have your company’s products and processes improved the durability and quality of today’s sleep products?

We continue to expand our line of Craft Woven mattress tapes, developing ever greater tone-on-tone and variegated color schemes to provide unique tape-edge looks that can be marketed at the retail level. We also continue to produce textured tapes for customers looking to provide visual depth at the mattress tape-edge. 

— Simon, Bechik

CT Nassau has a strong history in leading the market, driving innovation and design technology. Our milestones in the industry include, tri-panel knit tape, wider width tapes (1 7/6”, 1 ¾”, etc.) and the introduction of design with colors. Our most recent introduction in the market is an upholstery look, utilizing our own extruding and air texturing of polypropylene – TASLAN plant, GOTS organic cotton, recycled denim, along with a new innovative luxury chenille. CT Nassau proudly produces custom and traditional knitted and woven tapes made 100% at our plant in North Carolina.

— Lazzaroni, CT Nassau

Most recently, we have produced strappings, webbings and handles with increased strength and design capabilities. We are also offering mattress tape using recycled and biodegradable yarns.

Aside from mattress tape, we produce trims of all types: satin, corded or noncorded piping, plus every type of elastic needed for covers, toppers and sheeting. Our apparel market plays a hand in our ability to stay nimble. We have a large array of softer and overall diverse yarns to use when requested and can generally make a finer product. Essentially, we are a custom house and can respond to requests when needed.

— Peralta, AEC

We continue to be a leader in innovation for the bedding industry by creating sustainable solutions for FR barriers in mattresses using our engineered aramid products and our eco-friendly antimicrobial and FR chemistry solutions. We have added new carding fiber equipment to support better quality fibers for bedding applications, along with our partnership with Tidal Vision on their eco-friendly chitosan-based chemistry.

— Tickle, Leigh Fibers

Our operating procedures are recognized by our ISO 9001 certification. Our equipment and processes include fiber web inspection to ensure that product performance specifications and customers’ expectations are met. We take opportunities to enhance throughput processing for the mattress industry very seriously. Attention to details as simple as roll winding quality translates into trouble-free quilting. Jones’ commitment to continuous improvement and lean manufacturing practices is a journey, not a destination.

— St. Louis, Jones

Joma wool pearls (or knops) are made of the pure crimped New Zealand wool. The pearls are a resilient and cozy material, perfect for pillows, comforters, seating and back cushions, etc. Joma wool batting is made of Joma wool and processed to very fluffy layers of wool. This can be made in different thicknesses and densities. This material is often used in the top layer of a mattress or a futon/sofa for its extreme softness. Joma memory wool is a needle-punch product that consists of a higher density layer and is often used right below the wool batting as a natural FR barrier in the top layer of a mattress. We call it “memory wool,” since it can easily replace a foam layer in a mattress.

— Crone, John Marshall

number three

What steps is your company taking to implement practical solutions facing sustainability challenges in bedding production? How have these measures improved the efficiency, production and cost effectiveness of mattress production?

We have improved our manufacturing procedures with environmental stewardship in mind and have a circularity model in place within our facilities aimed at minimizing waste and recycling. We also push hard for our products to be dual purpose, resulting in less waste and, of course, fewer SKUs in a warehouse.

— Peralta, AEC

The recycled fiber products and eco-friendly chemistry solutions we offer the bedding industry help support cost saving and sustainability measures for our partner companies. 

— Tickle, Leigh Fibers

We stay current with the existing solutions in regard to recycled fibers and sustainable processes. We are focused on investing in our local vertical plants in the USA (with) proximity to the final market and our local suppliers and partners. We believe reducing travel and switching to renewable energy is a core pillar of our corporate philosophy. We also have a continuous focus on minimizing the use of energy, water and natural resources. Waste management (including maximizing resource recovery), use of recycled products and products with low environmental impact is our current lifestyle and work. These synergies improve effectiveness and efficiency in favor of an improved process.

— Lazzaroni, CT Nassau

From a mattress tape-edge manufacturing perspective, the key to production efficiencies and cost controls at our customers’ facilities continues to be based in superior quality control. Thus, we are continually monitoring and upgrading our quality control protocols to ensure proper weaving/knitting practices and proper spooling so that the closing of a mattress remains a straight-forward process, free from slowdowns or restarts.

— Simon, Bechik

For over 87 years, the Jones Family of Companies has continued to add sustainable and innovative products to our portfolio that meet and exceed the needs for natural solutions in mattress production. We have been the leader in natural fiber uses for comfort layers, insulation layers and FR solutions. Jones’ natural line of products encompasses cotton, jute, alpaca, wool and cashmere, as well as compostable binder fibers. Continuous improvements in packaging and the ability to combine multiple dissimilar products on a single roll allow for streamlining mattress production and eliminate unnecessary product changes.

— St. Louis, Jones

number four

What innovations do you forecast will help your production and manufacturing in the next two years? What trends do you anticipate?

A focus on the circularity of mattresses will drive much of the future innovations. Just as EVs are driving weight reductions in the auto industry by intensely focusing on textiles for their solutions, mattresses will find textiles can reduce cost, enhance sustainability and provide comfort for a good night’s sleep. We forecast a reemergence of fiber-based solutions in American-made mattresses. 

— St. Louis, Jones

We are already constantly innovating in the product realm. … In the past, our R&D department ran fast to crank out products and keep pace with our client requests. What was left after a big push (and there are many) are countless inventions that get placed into our archives as we moved on to the next. This method has left limitless unexplored avenues worthy of revisiting with a fresh approach and circularity in mind. Conscious consumers will remain, and the necessity of environmental stewardship will become commonplace. Of course, the bedding industry’s forever shades of blues and grays reign supreme for their calming and agreeable nature. But what is interesting this year is the switch to a more intoxicating use of color. We are anticipating a full exploration of blue, delving into the deepest navy and teal shades filled with a subconscious connection to movement and water.

— Peralta, AEC

We see a continued emphasis on automation to help streamline processes and allow companies to be less labor dependent. We will continue to support circularity and sustainability programs and work with the bedding industry to reach their environmental goals as consumers demand more accountability around the products they choose to purchase. 

— Tickle, Leigh Fibers

We continue to focus on the importance of the mattress industry in the life of the consumer under many aspects: aesthetic (design/style), functionality (comfort/technology/wellness) and value. Our current tape and ticking innovations for the next two to three years feature amazing colors, texture, design, innovative cool solutions, natural/sustainable constructions, natural/sustainable FR solutions and innovative technical compliance. All processes are developed to help simplify the construction of the mattress, improving the cost efficiency.

— Lazzaroni, CT Nassau

Though tape-edge remains a small part of overall mattress/foundation constructions, the interest in recycled and/or biodegradable mattress components will continue to grow and possibly cross over into the need for mattress tapes with a recycled story. Currently, the inflated cost of recycled mattress tape yarns — coupled with high MOQ’s (minimum order quantity) — has been a prohibitive factor in why recycled mattress tapes are presently not the norm. However, with further innovation and efficiencies by yarn producers, the ability to produce a cost-effective recycled mattress tape should materialize in the near future. 

— Simon, Bechik

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