Coated fabrics
and upholstered furniture

A professional upholsterer or manufacturer that uses coated fabrics (PU or PVC) knows that in order to obtain proper results, the components of the underside are just as important as those of the top side. The density of foams (weight/volume ratio) has a direct impact on the lifespan of the final product. We recommend using high density foams.

Backing

The choice of backing is equally important and greatly contributes to both the aesthetics and resistance of your furniture.

Blocked backings (warp & weft, cloth or satin) are primarily intended for models that are not expected to stretch, such as seat covers or panelling. They should be excluded from highly detailed shapes that are subject to stress.

Knitted backings (Jersey, interlock, etc.) are more adapted to most uses. Because of their elasticity, they match the most diverse contours as closely as possible.

Nonwoven backings (needle punched polyester naps, etc.), which are isotropic and inexpensive, should be used for non-stretching models and to avoid the risk of bagginess for pieces with wide surfaces.

Sewing

The manner in which the coated fabric is sewn may also have an effect on the lifespan of the furniture. While a double seam provides greater resistance, avoid a back and forth motion along the same line, which could cut the upper layer of the TEP and weaken its resistance to outside aggressions (de-plasticising, permeability, humidity, etc.). A maximum of 6 to 7 stitches for every 3 cm is usually a good practice. More would lead to shearing. We recommend using a ball tip needle (nylon thread for indoor furniture, polyester thread for outdoor furniture).

Assembly

The professional will cover the foam with an interliner so that all corners are properly covered and the foam will recover more easily when no longer under stress. Corners and all other sharp edges should be well protected. If corners are tucked too tightly, this will weaken the surface of the coated fabric and may lead to its tearing when it comes into contact with a hard surface.

Usually, the “warp” direction must be used for the seating (vertical). For long bench seats, it is preferable to sew several seams rather than run a risk of bagginess or wrinkling.

Focus on
Welt cord

Another sensitive point: the use of welt cord wrapped in a coated fabric. While it can bring a touch of elegance, it often combines all the drawbacks described above depending on where it is placed. It rigidifies the corners and subjects them to focused abrasion (side of a cushion) that comes from continuous rubbing at the edge of the seating. For these reasons, we recommend using only coated fabrics that have been specifically designed for this application (compact coatings).

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