Treasure #41 Rope beds

81 Rope bed

81 Rope bed

The Damm garrison displays several colonial-era rope beds. While a feather bed was preferable, it was also very expensive, so about 70% of families made do with these. Two ropes were needed, each 40-100 feet long, depending on bed size. The rope was inserted into holes in the bedframe and woven back and forth. Then a duvet, hand-sewn and stuffed with leaves, straw, or rags would be placed on top. The phrase “sleep tight” originated with rope beds as, after a time, the ropes would stretch and the occupants would sag to the middle. Rope tightening with a turnbuckle tool was a regular and essential chore in order to get a good night’s sleep.

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