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Quality Fabric Of The Month

Snooze Comfort

Tietex Ticking's BodyClimate® by Polartec® mattress ticking for visco and latex mattresses brings climate control to the bed, providing a more comfortable night's sleep.

Janet Bealer Rodie, Associate Editor

T ietex Ticking — a division of Spartanburg-based textile manufacturer Tietex International Ltd. — has teamed with Lawrence, Mass.-based Malden Mills Industries Inc. — makers of Polartec® performance apparel fabrics — to develop a new mattress ticking that satisfies demands, such as stretch and recovery as well as some method of climate control, created in light of the growing popularity of visco and latex mattresses that are said to offer improved sleep and back support. BodyClimate® by Polartec uses a fabric developed recently by Malden Mills for outerwear and next-to-skin applications, including military apparel to integrate with body armor systems.

In developing the new product, Tietex sought to address the stretch and recovery limitations of circular knit tickings introduced to the market in recent years, largely because they are better able than woven tickings to conform in relation to the behavior of visco — also known as memory foam — or latex. Furthermore, as visco mattresses often are perceived as being hotter than traditional spring mattresses, the company looked at wicking and temperature-regulating properties developed for performance apparel applications to improve sleep quality.


“If you look at what’s been nothing short of a revolution in mattresses over the last five years, performance has risen to the top,” said Scott Frisch, business development, Tietex, noting the increasingly stress-filled lives of an aging, relatively affluent, hard-working population that comprises the primary market for the new mattresses. “While mattresses have gone through the metamorphosis of making performance a central issue, the fabric on top of the mattress — the closest thing to the body — really hasn’t followed the performance of the mattress itself. Malden has done some incredible things in performance fabrics for the army, activewear and so forth; so we tried to glean some of those ideas and technologies to use in something for a mattress.”

The lightweight, variable knit, four-way-stretch fabric used in BodyClimate by Polartec features fleecy, raised hexagonal “islands” to provide warmth and padding; surrounded by low, open-construction paths that breathe, wick moisture, channel heat away from the body or insulate the body as necessary to maintain a comfortable climate, and reduce bulk. The fabric also offers antimicrobial protection, resists pilling and abrasion, and is durable to repeated washings, Tietex reports.

In talking about the Tietex/Malden partnership, Frisch said the trend toward downsizing US textile operations has crimped investments in new, exploratory ideas. “Because of that, alliances are a lot more attractive — where you can have an idea and go to someone who’s already capable of making that idea in a noncompetitive way, and bring it into a new market,” he said.

Mattresses offering the new ticking will soon be available in retail stores.

For more information about BodyClimate® by Polartec®, contact Scott Frisch (803) 548-4292.

September/October 2006