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About Me

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My name is Gerrie Wydeven doing-business-as Wydeven Designs. I have been conducting this small GREEN business since 2004. Wydeven Designs, based in the Atlanta, Georgia area, sells CHAIRS, LOVESEATS, CHAISES, SETTEES and other fine, well-constructed refurbished upholstered pieces. I love to travel, cook, take photographs and generally follow style and decor topics as well!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Buying Upholstered Furniture - The Value of the Spring System

In one of my first blogs, I discussed how I learned about the value of the spring system in upholstered furniture and that it is one of the things I check out carefully before committing to purchasing a piece to refurbish.  I have discovered over the years that many/most people, even those who are quality-minded in buying furniture, are not aware of the spring system and how to tell whether a piece has hand-tied 8-way coil springs.  I am often frustrated when going out to look at a potential furniture purchase and after being assured that the piece does have hand-tied 8-way coil springs that it in fact doesn't have it.  I don't think people are trying to mislead me - they just don't know how to tell.  I always tell them to flip over the piece and LOOK and FEEL the bottom - you can tell in less than a second whether the coils are there.  If all you see and feel is that black piece of fabric covering the bottom, it DOESN'T HAVE COIL SPRINGS!  I just had this experience last week after three messages back and forth to discuss this very thing!  The gentleman still didn't get it until I got there and left without the furniture purchase, again!

I found this great article and demonstration about the spring system and thought it would be useful to share.

Spring systems
Once the frame is constructed, a spring system is installed to support the seating area. Furniture manufacturers employ two main types of spring support systems: standard springs, zig zag Springs and eight-way hand tied springs, coil springs. When the spring system is finished with a top layer of padding, it is commonly called the "seat deck".
Standard springs provide good support at a lower price than the alternative. Most manufacturers offer either sinuous springs or drop-in-springs as their standard, depending on how they make their furniture. Both types affix to the frame to support the seat deck. Standard springs have a formal, very firm "sit" and only move in the up/down direction. In contrast, eight-way hand-tied springs can move in many more directions.
Sinuous springs are heavy-gauge steel springs that have been heat-formed into continuous "S" shapes. They are cut into lengths and affixed to the frame. Drop-in springs are mass-manufactured, welded units that are more cheaply manufactured and considered to be of lower quality than sinuous springs.
Eight-way hand-tied springs have a wide range of movement providing a very even and individual "sit", because they move up and down and from side to side. In the construction of these systems, the craftsman individually ties heavy-gauge coils from front to back, side to side and diagonally (eight ways) to provide the highest level of quality, comfort and durability. This process costs more because it is time consuming and can only be done by hand.

And while you're studying this, here are some pieces of great refurbished furniture that do have the hand-tied 8-way coil spring system.
Huron Chair and Ottoman

Bloomscraft Wingback Chair

Lanier Chairs in Duralee Ikat

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