Traditional Japanese bed designs are placed directly on tatami, or straw, mats and consist of easily moveable futons and buckwheat pillows. They are very comfortable and help the body by improving posture and body positioning during sleep so that the sleeper can have the best rest available. These beds are a wonderful element to add to any room, especially when the desired decoration theme is Asian or Japanese.
To create Japanese bed designs, you need these following items:
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- Cotton or silk
- Cotton material
- Tatami mats
- Buckwheat pillows
- Measuring tape
- Sewing machine
After all the items you need are ready, first of all obtain six tatami mats. These can be purchased online or in Japan. Tatami mats are a straw weave and are very sturdy and tough, with just enough give to make them comfortable. These are the mats often seen under Japanese-style tables. Six to eight mats will fill up an average-sized bedroom, though more will be needed for a larger room or fewer can be used for those who prefer to have them placed only under the bed.
Measure the cotton material. The measurements should contain all of the dimensions for the futon. The exact measurements will vary based on personal preference, but the typical futon measurement should be around 5½ to 6 feet in long and about 4 feet wide. Measure some extra material beyond the desired size for sewing. Make sure there are two pieces of cotton material for the futon in an equal size.
Turn the cotton so that the material that will be on the outside is facing inward while the inside is facing outward. Pin the material together and then sew up three sides using a sewing machine. Flip the material right-side out.
Stuff the cotton material with cotton or silk. Cotton will make the futon firm, while silk will make it softer. Keep in mind that silk can become expensive, especially when used for a material to stuff a mattress. Stuff the futon until it reaches the desired thickness. Pin the last side and test the feel of the futon. Add more stuffing as needed, and then sew up the last side using a sewing machine.
Cover the futon with a sheet and then place it on top of the tatami mats. Add a buckwheat pillow to obtain the full effect of a Japanese bed.
Other materials can be used to stuff the futon, but they will stray from traditional Japanese materials. Silk was used by the upper society of Japan, while less expensive materials were used by the poorer classes. Some Japanese bed designs will use a platform that has very straight, harmonious lines. These are newer beds and have less tradition in the Japanese culture.