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Sofa Search: Anatomy of a sofa

As you lounge on great aunt Jenny’s sofa, do you ever wonder what made this particular piece of furniture hold up to generations of wear and tear? The answer is top notch construction. It’s a challenge to wade through the countless cheap couches on the market today, but you can still find traditionally crafted sofas, made to last. Follow along as we deconstruct the cream of the crop.

Sofa Frame
Source: Love Your Home


It all starts with the bones. Top notch sofas have frames made of kiln dried wood, reinforced with wooden dowels, metal screws, and wood glue. Lower end frames are made with plywood or pressed wood, held together with staples. A well made frame is the backbone of an heirloom couch.



High quality sofas have jute webbing woven along the ‘deck,’ or seat base, back, and arms. Individual steel springs are sewn onto this webbing. This combination of webbing and springs provides flexible give when you sit and spring when you rise. Lower end options use elastic webbing and zig zag springs.

Living Room Sofas 
Source: Brabbu


Over these springs, you’ll find layers of padding to soften the support. Burlap, horsehair, foam and batting are common components. Extra padding is used in areas of high impact, including the fronts of sofa arms and the upper back.

Individual cushions sit on top of the deck and back, creating a layer of sinkable softness. These often have a supportive core of springs or foam, wrapped in a layer of batting. Down feathers on top provide the softest support, while the firm core keeps compression in check.



The best cushions are covered in high end fabric. All natural fabrics, like cotton, wool, silk and linen are classic, durable choices. Synthetic ‘high-performance’ fabrics are a bit easier to maintain and often stain resistant. Want to save, without sacrificing quality? Choose solid fabrics over patterns. Printed fabrics mean pattern matching at seams, which often requires extra yardage. Solids tend to be timeless, while patterns rise and fall in popularity. You can easily add in the motif of the moment with throw pillows, blankets, and rugs.

Next time you lounge, think of the layers below. All that care in construction make for a piece that lives on. Cheers for quality, comfort, and care!

Now that you know how to select the right sofa for your room, check out our favorite leather sofas!


Why stop at the couch? Check out these holiday decorating tips to make your space a jaw-dropper this season.
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