Sofas, chairs, ottoman, kitchen tables, beds, nightstands. Where do they come from?
All these furniture pieces start off as nothing more than raw materials: wood, fiber, foam, etc. What turns them into a finished product that we sit on, eat on or put our nightly glass of water on? A furniture manufacturer!
Let me tell you about the steps one manufacturer, Bassett Furniture Industries, uses to make comfortable and stylish upholstery pieces. I had the incredible opportunity to see the process up close and personal at Bassett training in Newton, North Carolina.
Out of only one sheet of 13/16 laminated hardwood, using a state of the art CNC machine, an entire sofa frame can be cut. Bassett is sure to cut the frame for an entire piece out of the SAME laminated hardwood board whether it is a sofa, chair or sectional corner.
Any scrap pieces the CNC generates, get burned for heat in winter months in the Bassett factory.
Step 2 – Frame Assembly
Using the accuracy of the CNC cutting machine, all the parts and pieces fit exactly into place like a jigsaw puzzle. Using skilled frame assemblers, a sofa, chair, or sectional piece goes together efficiently.
Step 3 – Interior spring and webbing installation
Frame is cut, assembled and solid as a rock (a Bassett uniframe, as they call it). The machine tied suspension system is installed into the seating platform. The suspension system distributes our weight across the entire coil system as well as the frame. This makes your new upholstery piece more comfortable, for longer!
Webbing will also be placed on the inside back of your new upholstery piece, giving support to the back cushions.
Step 4 – Fabric Cutting
Using a state of the art fabric cutting machine, each part and piece of fabric is cut. Prior to the fabric even getting cut, Bassett creates a cutting path and pattern file for each fabric and customer order.
Creating the file and cutting path for each customer order makes as little of waste as possible and ensures accuracy.
Step 5 – Padding and Cushioning
The arms of the upholstery are fully padded, with a high density and resilient foam. All the hard edges of the frame are wrapped with either foam or Dacron to give the edges a softer appearance before the fabric is upholstered onto the frame.
The cushion you choose is also assembled at this stage, whether you picked softer, firmer or spring down, then it moves on to fabric upholstering.
Step 6 -Fabric Upholstering
The frame of the piece is upholstered, while the back cushion and seat cushion covers get sewn together. Seat cushions and back cushions get inserted into the covers. The underside of the upholstery (which faces the floor) is finished and the stained legs are attached. If you chose to have nail head put it, it is done now and down the assembly line it goes!
Step 7 – Inspection
Off of the assembly line it goes, and onto an inspection platform. Is everything straight? All corners crisp? Fabric strings clipped? ALL GOOD!
Step 8 – Packing
Off the inspection platform it makes its way down another assembly line where it is covered, placed into a cardboard base and shrink wrapped. From there is it loaded onto a truck and once the truck is filled, it ships off!