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Best of both worlds
By Melodie Wright, Kitsap Sun (2/19/05)
 
   
 
For centuries, married couples have struggled with the question that characterizes the war between the sexes: the conflict of cold versus warm feet, of human furnaces versus ice cubes.
 
What kind of sheets should we buy?
 
David Haggerty and his wife spent 25 years fighting over the answer. She wanted flannel, he preferred cotton. He sweated or she froze and one of them was always unhappy. Then, late one night, the solution hit him.
 
"Lying on those fuzzy flannel sheets in a puddle of sweat one night, I knew there had to be a way to make us both happy," the Tacoma man said. "Suddenly, it came to me. What if there was a sheet with a soft seam down the center attaching cotton together with polar fleece?"
 
Haggerty went to a fabric store with measurements from his queen-sized bed and bought enough fleece and cotton to make a set. He nervously made the bed up for his wife, Janette.
 
"She's a tough cookie," Haggerty said. "If I could convince her, I could convince anyone."
 
Haggerty's half polar fleece, half cotton sheets are a new combination, but there are few fabrics that haven't covered American beds. Cashmere blankets, satin, silk, velvet, wool ... the list goes on.
 
The Sleep Products Industry, which monitors trends for mattress makers, reported that nearly half of all mattresses purchased were queen and king-sized. Super-sized isn't limited to fast food.
 
Sleep Comfort, which manufactures air beds that can change firmness based on individual tastes, is now the number five brand in the country. It's closely followed by TempurPedic, a foam that conforms to the body's shape. Since its introduction in 1992, TempurPedic has grown its market share 45 percent, prompting United Sleep Products, an innerspring manufacturer, to debut its own line of memory foam mattresses.
 
"It's because of Oprah," said Julie Palm, editor of BedTimes, a magazine produced by the Sleep Products Industry. "She's convinced us all we need 600-count sheets."
 
Even the hotel and recreational vehicle take bedding seriously. Ohio-based Hospitality Bedding, one company that caters to the hotel industry with down and synthetic comforters, has seen a dramatic rise in demand for luxury products. The company cited a recent major hotel survey that found the number one consumer complaint was an uncomfortable bed. Customers requested sheets with higher thread counts, puffy pillows, duvets with natural filling and pillow-top mattresses.
 
It's a trend upon which Haggerty hopes to capitalize. He's off to a great start, selling 200 sets of his sheets before the start of a major marketing campaign. Other press - including a spot on KING 5's "Evening Magazine" - are creating a buzz. And if his wife's reaction is any indication, Split the Sheets is on the rise.
 
"She loves them," Haggerty said of Jeanette. "She says she goes to bed every night and gets to sleep with the inventor."
Reach Melodie Wright at (360) 475-3792 or mwright@kitsapsun.com.
 
How to buy sheets
Split-the-Sheet sets start at $65.95 for queen-size. For more information, visit www.splitthesheets.com or call (253) 219-7306.
 
Search for sound sleep
Milestones in the history of bedding:
  • The Early Days On the ground with leaves, straw, twigs, animal hides, wool
  • Neolithic age Archaeologists believe man first began to weave flax and hemp
  • Sometime later First simple mattresses, made with hides or crude fabric, with crude wooden bed frames
  • 1300s First sheets made of linen
  • 1860s First innerspring mattresses in Europe
  • Early 1900 Industry sanitary requirements instituted
  • 1913 French scientist, Henri Pieron, publishes first book that examines sleep from a psychological perspective
  • 1920s Innerspring mattresses become popular. Dr. Nathaniel Kleitman, the father of American sleep research, began work in Chicago
  • 1940s Numerous patents for innerspring mattresses
  • 1950s Major mattress brands begin to appear
  • 1970s Waterbeds introduced
  • 1990s Growth in specialty bedding and big-box stores
Courtesy of David Haggerty
 
 
 
Click here to view a larger image.
Staff illustration by Steve Zugschwerdt.

Trying to find your own comfort zone in a confined space like a bed can be challenging. David Haggerty of
Tacoma, took on the challenge and came up with his "Split the Sheets" company which offers a set of sheets that is half polar fleece and half cotton.
 
Click here to view a larger image.
Staff photo by Steve Zugschwerdt

The old adage "necessity is the mother of Invention" certainly was true for David Haggerty who developed his "split sheet" when he and his wife Jeanette could not decide between cotton and flannel.
 
Click here to view a larger image.
Staff photo by Steve Zugschwerdt
A simple soft seam down the middle splits the sheets, top and bottom, into half polar fleece and half cotton.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                               
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