much in price? Quality goes deeper than looks;
the secret is what lies inside!
components that impact the quality, longevity and price of an upholstery piece:
The Frame, the Support System, the Seat & Back Cushions and the Fabric.
of kiln drying removes all moisture from the wood, leaving it extremely hard
and stable for decades of sturdiness. Harden and Wesley Hall’s lines of sofas
and chairs are a great example of this gold standard. If you are after a good sofa, look for a frame
that’s constructed of engineered hardwoods with glued, dowelled and screwed joints
and reinforced with corner blocks for extra support. This type of frame will
last you a long time, even if you have kids jumping on it from time to time. In entry level sofas, you’ll often see particle
board or plywood frames, and instead of joints, the corners are glued and
stapled. These sofas may look good on the outside, but the reality is that the
frame will crack in no time.
warranty is standard on a well built sofa.
When it comes to support, the best is the eight-way hand tied
springs system. It is a labour intensive technique where each spring is set into the deck webbing, then tied and knotted together
in 8 different directions with upholstery twine. With this Cadillac of spring
system, your sofa will have nice bounce and support. A good sofa will have sinuous
spring or no sag system. Some of today’s slender sofas will have sinuous spring
systems built in as it requires less space. The S shaped springs are supported
by cross wires for a strong and consistent seat.
Simply lift up the cushions and feel the springs in the seat deck when you are
testing your next sofa.
Filling for the seat and back is a personal but very
important choice as the cushions separate you from the springs. Great sofa
manufacturers like Lee, Wesley Hall and Harden have several fill choices
ranging from all down to foam/down blend to high density foam. Down filled cores may be the most luxurious
but they do require daily fluffing. Your next best bet is high-density foam
wrapped in down or soft fiber, which maintains its shape and feels luxurious at
the same time. For firmer support try for Lee’s Spring Fiber seat or Harden’s Spring
Down seat which has an innerspring core, encased in foam and finished with a
soft wrap in 100% cotton cover.
Tip: To get the best seat that is right for you, take
the time to test your options. Seat cushion packages can add to the base price
of a sofa, but upgrading to your preferences is your best investment for
but before you commit, consider the amount of use your sofa will endure and the
way you live. Fabric grades can have a big impact on the bottom line of your
sofa or chair, but don’t skimp on the fabric. Choose high performance fabrics for the family
room sofa with high Wyzenbeck rub count. If you fall in love with a patterned
fabric, great manufacturers like Wesley Hall will make sure that the pattern is
flow-matched from top to bottom. A sign of good quality is bias welt on seat
and back cores; this ensures the fabric won’t ripple. Make sure both sides of
the back and seat cushions are upholstered in fabric so you can rotate them to
extend their life.