Indian Cotton Mattresses (gaadi)

Hello!  Our furniture has at long last arrived last week and I have been crazy busy organizing the Pigtails Palace ever since. Ah hell, I am clearly not 20 or 30 or even 40 years old anymore. My muscles are aching, my knees buckling. Three story palaces are really most suitable to the young and restless, not the middle aged! As soon as I unpacked my beautiful Vinnis Colours yarn though, I was feeling young and dandy again! 

 Friday morning I took a respite from unpacking to enjoy breakfast at Souq Waqif and stumbled upon the most interesting little street in downtown Doha. In fact, Doha is packed with interesting streets and I just love being able to finally explore the city now that the weather has cooled down significantly. This street is home to a few Indian Cotton Mattress (also known as gaadi) makers and traders.

Such shops are common in the towns of cities of India and it was a surprise to also stumble upon the same in Doha. Production of cotton mattresses (pillows and quilts too) is a labour intensive activity since it is all hand stitched. This YouTube video demonstrates the beautiful process, it is well worth watching to see how they pack the cotton sleeves, hand stitch it closed  (referred to as knitting in this video), flatten and compact the cotton with a stick before finally adding the edging to both sides and sewing the quilt like stitches. Indians are masters with scissors, thread and needles! These mattresses are very comfortable and suitable to hot and humid climates, however, it also loses shape quickly and the cotton needs to be treated and re-packed after a few years.

Two men recount how changes in the bedding industry in India, is affecting their craft:
Anser Basha Mattress Maker from Chennai
Khurban, Mattress Maker from Bangalore

I fell in love with some of the fabrics used to create these mattresses, not to mention that the mattresses and pillows are gorgeous items in its own right. My mind is spinning, I am thinking that this offers the perfect solution with regard to seating, or rather lounging, here at the Pigtails Palace. We have two great outdoor spaces, the one an L-shaped courtyard which also features a build in plant bedding on ground level and the other an entire rooftop area with beautiful wooden lattice shutters dividing space between the water tank and the rest of the rooftop. The space is accessible from a door on the third floor. It is the perfect weather now to develop the full potential of these spaces with the help of  Indian cotton mattresses don't you think?!

Have a great week!


  1. Really gorgeous, those mattresses ! I have never seen such mattresses, to me, they look more like beautiful pillows. Here, a mattress is just a dull, plain white thing, you quickly cover with nice sheets ;-)...
    I also see a lot of lounge & garden possibilities !! Especially outdoors, in your hot climate over there !
    Soentjies, Ingrid

  2. It was such a comfort to read your first rows in your post : I feel the same !!!!! Luckily the Battini Palace (!!!!!) is just 2 story ……. !!!!!! Anyway, I felt so happy too to find out all my yarn again : such a relief !!!!
    I love those indian mattresses and your ideas for your outdoor spaces are great : I imagine you crocheting lying over them while sipping some tea …..
    xxxxxxx Ale

  3. Oh the colours! The beauty! You most definitely need to bring some of these gorgeous mattresses into your home - and the bonus is that they will be easier to move around than heavy wood furniture, and when your middle-aged muscles (oh I can relate!) start to ache, you just flop down and relax on a lovely patterned mattress! Chrissie x

  4. ~ ♥ ~ So beautiful and cooling to see.. We have some similar style way back in my home town, Thailand. Here I am in Germany things are different ^:^I love the yarns you have, so gorgeous. Reading your post, made me want to go to Doha, at least for a yarn. Have a wonderful the rest of the week. ~ ♥ ~

  5. Amazing pictures! Love those mattrasses... I brought similar ones back from India, although it was a bit of a hassle at the time I never regretted it... ;-)
    Your courtyard plans sound so lovely!
    Have a great day! Haafner

  6. Buckling knees, I recognize that �� Glad you have your furniture and yarn! Love all your pictures, the colors and the matresses. I am sure you will work out your ideas to the very best!
    Take care!

  7. Lovely; both the yarn and the matresses...

  8. pillows and mattresses on the yard.....wow...rare beauty-awesomly presented as always...have a great time for your upcoming projects!

  9. Cheers all! these are certainly so much prettier than the norm! Haafner, I can image what your luggage looked like mwoaaaa. It reminds me of the time I brought a wooden carving in the shape and size of a door back from Langkawi. I could barely pick it up, but I was unstoppable in my quest to have it. In fact, it is so heavy that the person who started the carving also gave up as the wood was too hard. That is why I like the piece, It is unfinished and show the process of what a carver goes through. Hmm, will post a pic soon, it is an interesting piece!

  10. Dear Magda, You have beautiful eyes. Even this small worn shop, you are showing me little details. And inspring me very much.
    Hope to meet you soon x x

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  13. Is the shop still there in Souq Waqif? I want to buy a cotton mattress and can’t find in Qatar

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