When buying high-quality upholstery, how can you determine the quality when the guts are under cover? One of the most distinguishable characteristics of quality upholstered furniture is the construction. There are certain key features to look for in a furniture’s construction and make up. Here are five tips to help you know what to look for when purchasing high-quality upholstery.
1. WHAT TYPE OF WOOD IS USED?
Hard wood is best for upholstery. Alder is a hard wood that is moderately lightweight, perfect for machining, handles nails, screws, and glues well. Alder has a medium density that has low-bending strength and performs well with shock resistance. We use kiln-dried Alder sourced from sustainably harvested forests on all of our frames and offer a lifetime warranty. Our frames will stand the test of time.
Finished product (L-R) Galaxie chair, Ansonia chair.
2.WHAT TYPE OF SEAT SUSPENSION IS USED?
When shopping for contemporary or modern style upholstery, look for a heavy gauge, sinuous no-sag spring or webbing suspension system. These systems provide excellent and long-lasting seat comfort, yet maintain the modern silhouette. We use heavy gauge sinuous no-sag spring system and Pirelli webbing. The springs are mounted to specially-fitted fittings and silencers that hold the frame in place and provide a comfortable ride.
Eres sofa, finished product.
3. HOW IS IT MADE? PRODUCTION LINE VS. ON THE BENCH.
It is important to know how an upholstery piece is made. Does one upholsterer make the piece? Or, does a line of upholsterers each make a part of the piece? If it is a production line, then one upholsterer makes the outside back, another makes the arms, another the inside back and seat. This speeds up the process and allows many pieces to be produced much faster. If it’s upholstered on the bench, that means one upholsterer makes the entire piece. This process takes longer and is usually for custom or complicated pieces. High quality furniture will be made on the bench. The upholsterer will be given time to perfect the furniture piece and pay attention to detail. Our upholsters each have their own bench and each works on an entire piece from start to finish. They sign off on the work order when they are finished. Our furniture is produced with pride and it shows in the attention to detail each artisan gives the piece. This is the mark of true craftsmanship.
4. WHAT TYPE OF FILL?
Finished product: (L-R) Sabine bed w/wood legs, Haus sofa
Fiber quality is important for padding the frame, comfort against the body and longevity. Look for high resiliency foam 2.5 lb., cotton padding and heavy fiber fill. Anything less will collapse after extended use. Also, ask if the pillows are blown fiber or hand-stuffed. We use high resiliency foam 2.5 lb and hand stuff all cushions.
5. WHERE IS IT MADE?
It is important to know where the upholstery is made because you want to be able to trust that the product was made with integrity and if the build will stand the test of time. If you are an American buying American made products you can rest assured American companies are held to higher standards in terms of more transparency in what is put into the furniture and getting a product on the market. Also, you have business protocols and American laws to protect you if you are dissatisfied with the product.
According to consumerreports.org, “78 percent of Americans would rather buy the American product, according to a new nationally representative survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center.
More than 80 percent of those people cited retaining manufacturing jobs and keeping American manufacturing strong in the global economy as very important reasons for buying American. About 60 percent cited concern about the use of child workers or other cheap labor overseas, or stated that American-made goods were of higher quality.”
We have been manufacturing furniture out of the same location in Vernon, California since 1989. Nathan Anthony products are the result of more than twenty-six years of experience and expertise in craftsmanship. American made with pride and integrity of quality.