Purchasing High-Quality Upholstered Pieces

Cindy Beyer

This is a sponsored post by Reston interior designer Cindy Beyer, a Reston Now Best Reston Business winner.

Most often in my practice I try to recommend to my clients that they purchase high-quality upholstered pieces.

There is nothing worse than your sofa or chair cushions breaking down and your frame coming apart after a few years of use. A good sofa should last practically forever.

The frame should be made of kiln dried hardwood. Kiln drying removes all the moisture in the wood thus helping it to maintain its shape and stability. The joints should be dowelled, glued and screwed. In addition, the springs on high quality pieces should be eight-string hand tied.  This means the craftsman has connected each spring to the adjoining one with a strong twine and secured on the corner and sides of the frame.

Cushions are a personal preference, however I generally try to steer my clients to an upgraded spring blend down seat. A full down cushion is hard to maintain and requires constant fluffing. You can save the pure down for accent pillows if you choose.

The fabric is also a personal preference, however I try to guide my clients to a fabric which has at least 15,000 “double rubs.” A double rub is a measurement of a fabric’s abrasion resistance and is sometimes noted as the Wyzenbeek method.

Heavy duty fabrics have at least 15,000 double rubs, medium duty have 9,000-15,000 and light have 3,000-9,000. I have found that most fabrics on the market have a greater double rub number — the higher the better. Sometimes the fabric you choose will need to be backed. A good manufacturer will advise you if you need to back the fabric with a latex backing.

A good cushion should last for the life of your sofa, however you must perform a maintenance check periodically such as, adjusting the fabric cover over your cushion so the welts line back up. This will require unzipping the fabric cover and maneuvering the cushion back into position. The back cushions should be plumped weekly or after sitting.  Don’t be shy about beating or stomping on the backs. Try to flip your cushions weekly.

If you find your cushions are not holding up, ask your manufacturer to replace them or have your local upholsterer to replace them.

If you need more information regarding high-quality upholstery pieces, please contact me at [email protected] – or visit my web site at www.cindylbeyer.com.

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