Wednesday, September 12, 2007


When you shop for new sofas and chairs, this is major decision for the comfort of the family.It can be a tough choice given the range available; but it can be also just a delightful shopping experience.So just a piece of advise,please take some time to think through for the best option.Remember it's for you and your home, so before you buy consider if it meet your lifestyle and budget.It is a crucial choice's you want to find a comfortable piece that will last for long time in the house.Not to forget that it has to be in a style and in the color you like for some time.But ,what really makes a chair or sofa comfortable?

This article will help you look at types of upholstery and how each pieces or components add to or detract from the final style,look and durability of the sofas.Many improvements have been developed over the years in sofa manufacturing and with the excellent result of comfortable,style and durability.Let us guide you through a few principles in your choice for a sofa or chairs.

There are two main types of upholstered furniture :

  • The Fully Upholstered furniture

These pieces have upholstery all over the furniture's, as its name implies.Some decorative touches may not be upholstered,but the bulk of the sofa or chair is covered.

  • Partially Upholstered Furniture

Generally,the seat area is upholstered ,but the bulk of frame exposed and decorative as well as functional .The frame might be made of wood,metal,wicker or a plastic.

Apart from these categories,we also have what we call Dual Purpose Furniture.Theses are motion furniture or stationary furniture which includes sleeper sofas and recliners.Now, which is better? Well ,it all boils down on your personnel preference and needs from a particular piece of furniture.

Now,let us take a quick look at how sofas and chairs are constructed and made.


The frame could be made of wood and for a type of wood uses,well that depends on the manufacturer.The quality sofas in the market could either be made from Plywood Frame or a Kiln-dried Hardwood Frame.Some manufacturers will use only one type of wood for their frames.And they are likely to claim that their way is the strongest.Plywood ,one of the earliest forms of engineered wood and as the name implies is various pieces of wood glued together with adhesives.Tradition-wise ,kiln dried hardwood was the standard; however ,with the modern adhesives technology,some plywood can be very strong and durable too.Note that these are generic terms and it is not a question so much on whether Kiln-dried Hardwood or Plywood is better,but on the quality of wood used and the method of construction ;especially the joint of the frames.The joint tend to be the weakest link of the whole frame and they then to determine if the sofa is sturdy enough for robust young kids jumping on it or for the boisterous group of teenagers or adults watching a football match.

Remember that the frame is completely covered in many styles of sofas and chairs.And if you have any doubts about the sofa,you should ask which type of wood is used in the frame .With high quality Plywood,this would be as durable as would kiln-dried hardwood laminates.

Reliable and long established sofas manufacturers with proven years of experience will be a good bet is prudent to note that in low priced sofas,one of the areas of cost reduction is the frame hidden from the view.

Frame-wise ,the quality of a sofas frame should be viewed from three consideration :

  • First is the Engineering or Design,it determines the strength and reliability of the piece.It is a said that the best design s have frames that are shape and form of the wood is not artificially stretch too much,such that in due course of time it will try and revert to its natural shape.The foam and batting simply pad and fits the frame and the whole harmony of the composite materials is achieved.

  • Second is the Proper Proportions.With proportioning,this affects how easy it is to get in and out of the sofa or chair.It is a design skill,for it dictates not only how comfortable a person is in the finish product but how easier it is to get up from it without putting undue strain on certain parts of your anatomy!A shallow and more upright pitch make it easier for people to stand up after sitting on the sofa.

  • Third is the types of Joint or fasteners.These are important components of sofas and chairs since they will have to withstand a lot of stress.The strongest Joint/fastener is one that is double-doweled and has a corner block which is both glued and screwed into the joint .The back legs; sometimes forming as part of the frame needs to very well attached too.


Deck is the bottom of the seating area and is built in many different ways.These are placed before cushions are put on or attached.

This is a foundation which helps build a level of support and comfort.When it is not done well,even the best cushions will feel uncomfortable within a short time.The deck of a sofa or chair is similar to a box springs for your mattress.And the most comfortable,longest lasting sofas build the deck with with springs that covers the largest area of the upholstery.Hence ,it should therefore be more comfortable and stand the longest amount of time and lengthens the life span of cushions.


Sheet of polypropylene stapled to it will give the padding some shaping and support-otherwise the padding could simply slip in between the frame pieces.Some layers of polyurethane foam are used for the arms and possibly some bathing around some outer areas of the frame.


Fabrics are seen as the final dressing up of the upholstery.In interior decoration ,fabrics are the crowning glory that touch and dress up the room

In the case of a sofa or chairs, the quality and design of the fabrics can double or even triple its price range.The prices for the fabrics can run for just a few dollars to hundred of dollars per meter.Good upholstery is when as few seams as possible are used making the sofa look smooth and clean.Sometimes wastage's, of the material cannot be avoided in making sure that its pattern or design in the fabric aligns correctly and will look nice on the finished sofa.You can look at each fabrics and can tell the cost of a sofa from it.Note here, that the natural fabrics are not as durable as man-made fabrics.

One advantage of fabrics is that it present you with a bigger range of color options;be it an intricate print design or a classic embossed single color usually comes in a fibre mix for strength and texture,and thoroughly tested for durability.Pick a fabric that will suit your life style.

Before you buy the sofa,ask for a fabric sample or a cutting that you can take home on approval,so you can see the material under lights in your room and with other pieces.If you're adventurous with colors;consider buying a neutral sofa and embellishing it with colorful cushions scattered on it.

Most fabric upholstery comes with some fabric protection plans,but do ask and confirm it with the retailers.Protection will reduce stains from liquids resulting in easier care and maintenance . However do take note that spillage should be cleaned up as soon as possible.When choosing the fabric suited for you needs in a sofa or chairs and how to care for it.

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