Dreams celebrates 20 years of bed and mattress making in Oldbury
Bed retailer Dreams opened the doors to its factory on National Manufacturing Day.
West Bromwich West MP Shaun Bailey praised Dreams’ contribution to the region on a visit to the factory in Oldbury.
September 28 also saw Dreams celebrate 20 years of making mattresses and beds in the West Midlands.
The open day showcased the expert craftsmanship that goes into making every Dreams mattress, divan and headboard.
The site first opened in 2003 with just 13 staff and now has a 250-strong team of specialists spanning quilting, sewing, fabric cutting, upholstery, tape edging, mattress building and frame and draw assembly. I
t takes more than ten of these experts to produce just one mattress, divan or headboard.
Today 60 per cent of the mattresses Dreams sells are handmade at the site before being delivered to bedrooms in all corners of Britain and Northern Ireland.
More than 1,000 mattresses, 700 divan bases and 200 headboards are made each day.
The factory uses over 13 million metres 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 six 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 five apprentices at Oldbury.
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.
In addition to the Oldbury factory, the region is also home to three distribution sites and eight retail shops. In total, Dreams employs more than 500 in the West Midlands area.
Jonathan Hirst,chief executive 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.”
Mr Bailey 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.”