Built To Last

Many will be attracted to their sofa of choice by its overall aesthetic. Finding a piece with a striking look can often be love at first sight but the saying that beauty is only skin deep applies to many sofas on the current market. Mass produced furniture is often upholstered in materials that are inferior and prone to premature aging which quickly lose the new sofa feel leaving you with something you no longer enjoy and regretting your purchase.

Here are a few points to consider when buying a new sofa:

  1. A quality sofa needs a well-made frame. Imagine this as its skeleton, its strength and structure. Hardwood timber has served upholstered furniture well throughout history and to this day, beech wood is most commonly used for quality furniture as the tree has a long un-bending trunk with few branches. Beech is a hard timber which has a straight grain with no variation to encourage warping or twisting and its consistent strength through its length will maintain the frames shape over the years.
  • The internal structure: In partnership with the frame will allow the sofa to retain its shape over many years of use. Sprung seating is considered a vital component for all quality upholstery and is far superior to any other method. Over centuries, upholstered furniture that was built to last has springs in the seat. In traditional upholstery coiled springs are hand tied individually into the seat and covered with natural fibres and horse hair, when re-upholstering antique furniture this traditional method is still used to retain the authenticity of the piece. Modern sprung seats are a complete unit which is held together by wire mesh. Either method is most effective for both comfort and durability.
  • The Upholsterer. Measure the quality of a sofa by taking a closer look at the people who created it. The majority of mass produced upholstered furniture is manufactured in individual parts then assembled requiring a largely un-skilled workforce, each covering one specific piece part with no understanding of the item as a whole. An artisan upholsterer will be able to complete a sofa from frame to finish, understanding the complete process so that all the components work together leaving no weak link in construction. It takes many years of training to become a fully skilled upholsterer, there are many skills to learn. 

The distinction between the two are a sofa that will look and feel tired in a short time in comparison to one that still looks and feels great in ten to fifteen years or more.

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