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The Quality of Upholstered Furniture Matters

Reupholstering a furniture piece or set of pieces is a wonderful way to breathe new life into an old piece. However, there are many considerations that should be taken when deciding whether to upholster a piece. First and foremost, the construction of the piece must be examined. This can be difficult because the elements that matter are hidden beneath the fabric, but it is important that you look beyond the covering and get a solid idea of what you’re dealing with.

The frame of a piece of furniture is its skeleton and will determine how long lasting a piece is. The type of wood used to build the frame affects the longevity of the frame greatly. Soft wood is not as sturdy as hard wood. Oak, alder, and other hard woods are optimal for furniture construction. Furniture must also be assembled so that the frame is sturdy and will withstand the pressure of time and use. This means proper joints, blocking, and doweling. Joints are just like they sound – the parts of the piece where wood comes together with other wood. Blocking is additional pieces of wood placed diagonally or behind joints to reinforce them. Doweling is when two dowels are secured into the wood with drilling, hammering, and glue to further reinforce the frame.

A solid frame will be constructed of a hard wood like oak or alder and will be kiln-dried, which removes excess moisture and sap from the wood. Most well constructed frames will be joined, blocked, and doweled for support. A spring system is then installed to a furniture piece for ease of use and comfort in seating. Standard springs are affordable and give good support. Standard springs are firm and move up and down when sat upon or having weight lifted. Another type of spring is the sinuous spring, which is made of heavy-gauge steel. These springs take an “S” shape. These are not optimal for a furniture piece and are a sign of poor construction. Lastly, eight-way hand-tied springs are an option. These springs can only be installed by hand and therefore are an expensive endeavor. They have a vast range of motion, moving eight different directions, and are therefore considered the most comfortable spring option.

Once springs are in place a pad will be placed over them. Next, the actual furniture piece is filled with either foam or feathers. Foam is highly resilient and stands the test of time well. Feather or down fillings are extremely comfortable and offer softness that many consumers find attractive. Once filled, cushions are covered with either leather of fabric. Tightly woven fibers last the longest and leather is also extremely durable.

Depending on what covering a piece has, care for the piece will e different. Vacuuming, treating spots and stains, protecting against stains, and removing slipcovers for washing are all common processes for protecting the longevity of a piece. Further, it’s a good idea to keep a piece out of direct sunlight, as even the most resilient fabrics will fade over time if left in the sun.
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NYC Furniture Upholstery | Manhattan Commercial Upholstery | New York City Sofa Reupholstery
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