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  • Kathy Kilbourn

Sofas Don't Have to be Brown

Understanding costs of sofas today, Due to fabrics, construction

So many people come in today, and are surprised to see sofas in other colors besides

Brown Sofa

brown! Brown and gray tones seem to dominate the color palettes of the sofas we see in the marketplace, but why is that? I think that due to the high number of imported pieces today, these two colors are the safest and will sell to the multitudes!

Because we sell American products, there are lots of options available for sofas and chairs! In the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, sofas were in many fabric types, such as prints, florals, plaids and strips. The fabrics would be in many color combinations. People still have some of these sofas still in their homes 30 years later. The American products were built with high quality construction and the most durable fabrics available. Manufacturers knew people used them and wanted to keep them for many years! But, then the imports started coming, and it was all about the price! In 1970, we sold a top quality, 8 way hand tied spring sofa for $899. Today, you can purchase a sofa for $399.00,

But what is the difference?

There have been lots of changes in the construction and design. Many sofas are pretty plain, with minimal tailoring, bag style back pillows and straighter arms. The quality of the foam and dacron have been changed as well. Anywhere they can cut costs, they do! Things like a removable and flippable seat custom is now attached as it takes less fabric to manufacture!

The biggest variable comes with the quality of the fabrics. A sofa in a matched plaid takes between 27-30 yards whereas in a plain fabric, it might take just 18-20 yards depending on the sofa style! Just the difference in yardage changes the cost quite a bit!

It is also a lot less labor intensive because a machine can cut out the fabric and there is no requirement to match up any pattern.

junk sofa on the side of the road, not American Made

The quality of the fabrics are also very different today. I have purchased some imported thread, and just running it through my sewing machine, it constantly breaks! The imports have figured out every way to make it lower cost, but in a sofa, that can mean big problems! Ever wonder why you see so many furniture pieces at the curb on garbage day? Many of these pieces are not fixable, and if you need parts, you are really in trouble as there are no parts stocked here! Throwing it away is the only solution in many cases!

The cost of the fabrics are variables also. Many stores talk about a high grade fabric. Remember, that the grading system is done for pricing and not for quality. A higher grade fabric means the fabric costs more to manufacture, especially prints like plaids and strips. These are much harder to weave, and they have to be ‘right on’ so that the repeat of the patterns are exact, otherwise, when it is put on a sofa, they would not be able to match the plaid or strips on the frame or cushions. This is the reason the import companies do not make those types of fabrics. They have hard enough times keeping the dye lots the same!

There are so many beautiful fabrics available today by American fabric

Beautiful fabric choices for sofas at TriCity Furniture

manufacturers, and yes, they are a bit more expensive, but they are higher quality! There are amazing textures and prints available.

With a fabric having a texture or pattern, it does have more hiding power from use, lint, crumbs and dog hair! Many of those sofas people have had and still look good is because there was a print on it, and that helps hide all those years of use!

If you are looking to replace a piece of upholstry in your home, please come check out some of the beautiful American made pieces that we have. There are many sizes to fit leg lengths as well as room sizes!

Let us help you create a beautiful space!


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