Buying New??? Think Twice…

Buying New??? Think Twice…

“Out with the old, in with the new”  In today’s disposable society this seems to be the motto when looking for new furniture. That is not the case at Fabrics and Frames Furniture! Fabrics and Frames is celebrating its 34th year of service in the furniture industry.   With so much experience behind us, we have learned a couple of do’s and don’ts from the industry, and reasons why we suggest you carefully reconsider before throwing out your old furniture or buy new.

With the way most furniture is constructed these days, it no longer holds the label of “furniture built to last a lifetime”.  Most of us assume that our pieces of furniture are constructed with the finest materials both inside and out, especially if you have invested thousands of dollars in the piece, but this is not the case in most situations.  Fabrics and Frames Furniture is a manufacturer in the furniture industry, and because of this we specialize in furniture construction and repairs.  Over the 30+ years that we have been in buisness, we have deconstructed and reconstructed  many pieces of furniture to find particle board and cardboard holding the insides of the furniture together. There are many ways to construct a piece of furniture, but by paying attention to the small details you can distinguish a well-made piece of furniture from a low end piece of furniture. Price does not necessarily determine the quality!

When you take apart a piece of furniture that was built in the early 1900’s, you will notice many unique characteristics of the style of upholstery and construction.  A older piece will show that the person or company that originally created the piece designed it with functionality meant to last for many decades.  Generally older furniture will be constructed with hardwoods, joint details that give strength to the piece, and structure details that screams out “Form Follows Function.”.

The majority of today’s furniture is constructed to last maybe 5-10 years before it starts to breakdown. One of the first areas to go are the cushions followed by the frame.  Older peices would normally have some sort of spring system built into the structure of the piece.  Today many furniture frames are constructed with a webbing systems inside of them.  (Note: there are some companies out there still offering spring systems to support their furniture, but the average furniture won’t have it incorporated into the design.)  Having a webbing system incorporated into your design instead of a spring system will ultimately end up with you eventually falling through your sofa.  Webbing is a rubber product that has elasticity…over time (5-10years) the webbing will start to stretch and wear out.  As time goes on, you may eventually start to sink into your sofa.  When this begins to happen, many people think that it is just the foam in the cushions breaking down, and that is why they are starting to have trouble getting out of thier furniture, but in reality it is often their webbing system is stretching and breaking down.

Most furniture sold these days comes from China, regardless of whose brand name is attached to it.  When shopping for a new piece that you expect to last for years, ask these questions:

1. Is it made in the U.S.A.?

Furniture that is constructed in the U.S. mainly comes from North Carolina.  Many name-brand companies are buying overseas and getting pre-upholstered furniture shipped into the U.S.  This is problem for many reasons because (A) it takes away American jobs and (B) you lose the quality aspect that comes from experienced upholsterers. You can end up with mis-shaped furniture, and poorly matched pattern repeats. I have seen fabrics put on upside down because people are not taking the time to pay attention to simple detail. (C) Non-Consistant Furniture Product.  What you see at the store is not what you always get in your home.  Dye-lot colors and patterns on the fabric being off in tone and texture are common problems.  After waiting for 12 weeks or more for a custom-ordered piece and not getting what you ordered at the store is not a fun experience. Often you get stuck with something you don’t really like because once you sign on delivery you are unable to return it.  With these many problems with mass produced furniture today it should  make you question: “Is it worth buying cheaper?”

Striped Pattern Matched Sofa

Stripes are not pattern matched.

2. What type of wood is the furniture frame constructed out of?

The only acceptable type of wood for furniture frames is hardwoods. Softer woods and particle board is a big no-no because they don’t have the strength necessary to support the frame.

3.What type of seating system does it have?

Webbed or Spring? Spring systems are superior in all areas no matter what a salesperson tries to tell you.

4.Am I looking for a piece to keep for a long time, or do I want a disposable piece of furniture?

Many of today’s younger generation like the option of cheaper furniture because it allows them to change every couple of years.  The disadvantage to this way of thinking is that economically you are spending more money overtime.  Instead of buying a better quality sofa  which will allow you to abuse your furniture and it structurally be able to withstand the impact over the next 20years, the younger consumer will buy inexpensive sofas every 3-5 years that will break down and may even structurally fall apart.  When purchasing an inexpensive piece of furniture, you are risking buying a piece that is constructed out of particle board and cardboard.  What is wrong with this style of construction is that particle board is compressed thin layers of wood, allowing it to be weaker that hardwoods, and eventually snapping and breaking in half.  Some common places where breakage occurs is in the middle of the frame, the arm falling off, and legs breaking off.  If you are looking for a piece of furniture to fill a spot in your home and it will never be used, then go with a cheap piece of furniture.  But if you are looking for a piece of furniture to really use such as in your living room or den spend a little more and buy quality.  Another benefit of buying quality is that you will not have to bother with the headache of the upkeep on an inexpensive piece that will need extra TLC.

Broken Arm Sofa

Broken Base SofaBroken Arm Sofa

When thinking about new furniture, think about the functionality of the piece, and how are you going use this particular furniture piece and how often?  Times are hard economically for most of us right now…shouldn’t we analyze our expenses so that we get the most out of our purchase? If you are now discouraged from buying new…Then think Reupholstery!  Reupholstering is not always the most inexpensive way to go, but if you have a unique quality frame, or one of sentimental value, then it may be structurally better than the pieces coming out of China and most certainly will cost a little less than buying a comparable new piece.

For more information about designing or where to get custom looks like these please visit our website:

www.fabricsandframes.com

We are currently located at 5322 Alpha Rd, Dallas, Texas 75240. 972-385-4097.  Please contact us if you have any questions about this blog at andy@fabricsandframes.com, and or follow us on Facebook!http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fabrics-and-Frames-Furniture/156825517684205

Writen By: Erica Guajardo

Edited By: Linda Decuir

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One thought on “Buying New??? Think Twice…

  1. Pingback: IT’S BEEN A YEAR! Fabrics and Frames Top 12 Blogs! | Fabrics and Frames Furniture

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