Upholstery

The age of automation

Sewn or sealed, automation is trending as U.S. companies strive to increase efficiency and decrease costs. The art of sewing textiles is lacking in U.S. manufacturing as lower-cost labor in Asia has helped meet consumer demands for competitive retail prices. But automation technology is slowly advancing, helping companies bring production costs down while keeping quality …

In the commercial upholstery market, is small beautiful?

Smaller shops may not always have the staff, but they’re local and they’re flexible, advantages that are still valuable in the business. With commercial furniture and upholstery becoming increasingly large-scale and increasingly technical in nature, is there still a niche for smaller shops? The answer is yes—if only by the skin of their teeth. Robert …

Room for inspiration

The commercial upholstery market is becoming increasingly performance oriented, with noticeable growth in health care, hospitality and sports. New fabrics and coatings are in demand, and in development. When most people think of commercial upholstery, they think of offices . While that`s a big part of the market, it`s by no means where the most …

Automatic upholstery

Giving cars a winning look. The best meals are cooked from scratch, the wildest adventures take place off the map, and some of the most impressive auto upholstery restoration projects are done without a template. Two entries in the upholstery category of the 2014 International Achievement Awards were just such projects, transforming torn, tattered and …

First do no harm

Performance upholstery fabrics need not come with a steep environmental cost. New fabrics, blends and treatments are making sustainability an affordable option. By Sigrid Tornquist On an even playing field, when faced with a choice between an environmentally friendly upholstery fabric versus a toxic one, would anyone ever choose the toxic one? And when faced …

Foam and flammability

The foam used in upholstered furniture can be another environmental concern if it’s treated with flame retardants. Until recently, the only way to meet the flammability requirements of the California Bureau of Home Furnishings Technical Bulletin 117 was to use flame-retardant treated foam. “The problem with that is that flame retardants are not molecularly bonded …

Bottom line: evaluating comfort

Recall your last marathon all-day, all-night drive—and the aftermath. Remember the aching back and neck, headache, sweating torso and ice-cold feet, the feeling of other-worldliness? The symptoms of uncomfortable vehicle seats include decreased concentration and tiredness that can lead to accidents. The Hohenstein Institute, Bönnigheim, Germany, has developed test methods for assessing the physiological comfort …

Discarded chairs molt into ‘Hybreeds’

An industrial designer in London, England, admits to having close personal relationships with chairs. “Not every chair speaks to me,” says Charlotte Kingsnorth. “There are special characters. Sometimes I will find beautiful chairs just dumped on the side of the road with a missing spindle or worn upholstery. I can’t resist bringing them back to …

Indoor/outdoor, high-performance cushion and sling fabrics from Phifer Inc.

Featuring on-trend color combinations and designs in furniture fabrics—from solids and stripes to florals in traditional and contemporary weaves—Phifer’s chic, durable furniture fabrics can easily transition from an outdoor room to interior living spaces. GeoBella™ is Phifer’s unique line of high-end, performance indoor/outdoor cushion fabrics made of 100 percent olefin yarns recycled from post-industrial waste. …

“Canvas” seating hits the wall

Japanese design studio YOY, a Tokyo-based studio composed of Naoki Ono, a spatial designer, and Yuki Yamamoto, a product designer, intended to “create a new story between space and objects” at the Milan Design Week 2013 exhibition. The international design event featured YOY’s “canvas” chairs. On first look, the chair appears to be a two-dimensional …