Originally Posted by Juliette
I rather think they were made out of undied, carded wool (XIX-XX century, there's a war song against officers who stay home and sleep with their wives on "beds made of wool") or, before, feathers and fibers like natural cotton or linen (flax is originally blue, before it's treated and freed from wooden parts). Poorer household or members of household would use straw, both in the form of beds of straw (like in Heidi!) and of sacks shaped like mattress, whose filling was changed from time to time with fresh straw.
Yes, but the ticking is the fabic of the cover.
In the UK pillow and mattress ticking was traditionally a striped fabric, very closely woven (often with a twill weave), so that the stuffing did not escape.
As in Italy, there were a variety of fillings.