A natural mattress with Michigan wool couldn’t be a more natural choice for our handmade in Harbor Springs mattress company. We use wool from a Michigan woolen mill that gathers fleece from Michigan sheep farmers. We feel good buying and selling local. Plus, farming sheep for fleece is sustainable as sheep regrow their fur. We often tell customers; "the wool in your mattress comes from sheep who are still  happily grazing, as we speak." It’s hard to get any more natural or locally made.

Harbor Springs Mattress Co., Farm to Bed story begins with Michigan sheep farmers.  There are over 2000 sheep producers in Michigan who raise sheep for both recreational and commercial reasons.

Shearing Sheep For Wool

The production of wool begins of course with the shearing. Sheep are generally shorn of their locks in the spring. Zach Oaster, Shepherd at Fat Toaster Farm in Rockford Michigan says; “Sheep shearing is a relief for the sheep, mostly. Wool is different from hair in the fact that it grows continuously and never falls out. Thus, when a sheep grows a full fleece it gets long and uncomfortable. Sheep must be sheared because the wool will not fall out on its own. Thousands of years of domestication results in shepherds needing to cut the wool. To not do so would eventually endanger the life of the sheep.”

The tool used to cut, or “shear” the wool is very similar to the electric trimmer that your barber or stylist uses to cut your hair.  Sheep shearers have often honed their skill for years or decades, and it is a craft.

Maury Kaercher, Executive Director of the Michigan Sheep Producers Association says; “in my experience, the sheep seem relieved afterwards more than afraid.”  Oaster noted that; “the sheep usually go straight to eating grass or hay and happily enjoy their newfound freedom from the thick itchy fleece.”

A Natural Mattress with Michigan Wool begins at the Woolen Mill

Our mattresses are made with wool from Frankenmuth Wool Mill. A recent visit with our friends at the Mill, included a behind the scenes look at how they clean, card and form the fleece into the woolen batts we use in our mattresses.

March 15, 2021 — Darlene Charlebois