Dreams celebrates 20 years of mattress-making in the West Midlands

National bed retailer Dreams has recently celebrated 20 years of making mattresses and beds in the West Midlands.

It marked the milestone by opening the doors to its Dreams Bed Factory in Oldbury to showcase the expert craftsmanship that goes into making every Dreams mattress, divan and headboard. The event, which took place on 28th September, was attended by Shaun Baily MP and coincided with National Manufacturing Day.  

The site first opened in 2003 with just 13 colleagues. 20 years later, it has a 250-strong team of specialists spanning quilting, sewing, fabric cutting, upholstery, tape edging, mattress building and frame and draw assembly.  It takes more than ten of these experts to produce just one mattress, divan or headboard. Today 60% of the mattresses Dreams sells are handmade at the site before being delivered to bedrooms in all corners of Britain and Northern Ireland.

Dreams’ bed experts apply their craft and care to make Dream’s range of market-leading and award-winning products. They use quality materials also sourced in Britain, including pocket springs, luxurious memory foam and black country wool to meticulously make:

·       Over 1,000 mattresses a day

·       Over 700 divan bases a day

·       Over 200 headboards a day

The factory uses over 13 million meters of thread a year and includes state-of-the-art equipment such as embroidery machines, multi-needle quilting machines, and advanced mattress border manufacturing machinery.

To ensure high quality products that last, the team receives in-depth skills training. For example, tape edging is the process of bringing the edges of a mattress together. It is one of the most skilled jobs in bedmaking and it requires 6 months to become fully competent – in part because it requires the Tape Edger to walk backwards as they work.  Dreams employs 18 Tape Edgers at Oldbury. On average, they will each walk 7.5km a week – that’s 375km a year.

Dreams is dedicated to nurturing the next generation of bedmakers, which is why it actively recruits apprentices. There are currently 5 apprentices kick starting their careers at the Oldbury Bed Factory.  Dreams is also inviting members of the community to visit the factory to learn more about jobs within the manufacturing sector and inspire more people to enter the profession.

The Bed Factory sits at the heart of Dreams’ West Midlands operations hub. In addition to the Oldbury factory, the region is also home to 3 distribution sites and 8 retail shops. In total, Dreams employs over 500 colleagues in the West Midlands area.

Jonathan Hirst, CEO of Dreams, said: “This is a really special moment for our business. I want to say a huge thank you to every single colleague who has played a part over the last two decades. We’re incredibly proud that today the majority of our market-leading, quality products are handcrafted in Britain, right here in the Midlands. Our manufacturing sector is world-leading and we want to play our part in inspiring the next generation of highly skilled bed and mattress makers.”  

Shaun Bailey, Conservative MP for West Bromwich West, said: “I am strongly committed to supporting local manufacturing, which plays a vital role in our economy by driving innovation, exports, job creation, and productivity growth. It was great to visit Dreams today to see the process of how mattresses and beds are manufactured and to celebrate 20 years of Dreams manufacturing in Oldbury.”

Anthony Follows, New Product Development & Quality Manager who has spent 15 years as a Dreams colleague at Oldbury, said: “The way we make our beds and the factory itself has changed a huge amount over the last 20 years, to make us a more streamlined and efficient production facility. What’s unchanged is the care and attention to detail that we put into every single mattress, base or headboard that we produce.”

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