There are so many components to a sofa, but probably the most important part is the frame. Because the frame holds all the parts together and takes the brunt of the use, it needs to be put together well to last.
Today well built frames are made from 1 1/4″ laminated wood that is made up of many layers of kiln dried wood. They place the layers with the wood grain going in opposite directions so it eliminates expansion and contraction of the wood pieces. This helps the frames to stay very rigid and not loosen in the joints.
The dowels along with corner blocks and screws keep a frame together even after many years of usage. The springs are then hooked to the frame and this is what forms your support system. If these two things go bad, your sofa or chair will have problems as everything is built upon this.
The legs can be built into the frame or they can be a screw-in style. Corner blocks are secured to the corner of the frame and the legs is attached once the sofa is made.
Cross supports are added and then covered with a fiber board before foams and materials are added to give the frame more stability. Many imported sofas use very little wood and cover arms with cardboard. If you happened to sit on the arm of a chair and heard a crunch, it might have been the cardboard bending!
The best recommendation I have is to ask what kind of framing a piece of furniture has. Many manufacturers offer small cut-aways of their construction so that you can actually see what the frame is made of.
There are great companies making furniture in the USA, and it usually is high quality. Well built sofas in the early 70’s were sold for $800+ but at that time there was very little furniture imports. Today you can find sofas selling for $399.00! Recognize, there has to be differences in the construction as well as the quality of the fabrics. These piece are not designed to have a long life, and because they are imports, there are very little parts available if a repair is needed. This is why you see so many furniture pieces on the side of the road on garbage day.
So, if you want to help the landfills, buy a quality built piece of furniture…..it will cost a little more, but it will last many many years, and can be passed on to the cottage, or dorm room!
If you want more information on the inside story of quality construction, stop in and we’ll will be glad to show you many of the variables being used today!
Hope you have a better idea of how furniture is constructed. If you have specific questions, feel free to let us know. If you,have a couple minutes, watch how a sofa is made from start to finish.
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