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Sleep Tight, Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite!

Antique Rope Bed

Have you ever heard the term, “sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite? Have you ever wondered where that saying originated? Well, it comes from the rope beds that people used to sleep on back in the day. They were primarily used from the 1600s to the mid 1800s, which is when box springs were made and started being used. Instead of having slats and box springs for the mattress to rest on, ropes were tied through holes on the railings and headboard and footboard to hold up the mattress. The mattress was typically very thin and filled with hay or straw. You wanted to “sleep tight” meaning you hoped the ropes were tight. You hoped the bed bugs didn’t bite, since there was no telling what you would find in the straw. 

We have a customer who came in from Hardin County, Kentucky with a very old rope bed that he found on the porch of an antique shop in Butler County, Kentucky, which is in Western Kentucky. It was in very rough condition, but he trusted our skilled craftsmen in our woodshop to make the repairs needed. It needed a couple of new feet turned, as well as a new leg. The customer wanted it cleaned up, but did not want the finish altered in any way. This made our finishing job a little tricky, as we had to match the current finish, which is original and a quite rough. However, I would say that our finisher did a superb job! You can’t even tell now which legs and feet are new. You just truly never know what is going to come through the doors here at our furniture restoration shop. Every day is an adventure at Excel Shop Furniture Restoration!

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