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Why Curved Shells May Need Fabric Testing For COM/COL

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Curves are notoriously difficult to upholster. In particular, the inner back of some designs of curved chairs can be tricky.

This is because it's not as easy to stretch the fabric across the foam on a really curved inner back. Most chairs will have stitching to help the fabric stay in place, though some models will need to be glued.

But even some fabrics that are stretchy enough are not suitable for gluing, particularly ones that have a back-coating, as this back coating can become detached from the fabric itself, leaving the back coating fixed to the curved chair, with the fabric loose. Because of this, some curved chairs are only available in the manufacturer's standard fabrics and are not available in COM or COL as the manufacturers can't ensure that they can upholster the curve to an appropriate finish with the fabric neither too loose or stretched too tightly.  

If you are specifying COM for a curved shell make sure you pick a stretchy fabric to guarantee the best results. Similarly, you will want to avoid thick fabrics as they have a tendency to wrinkle.

This is why on some types of chairs with a contoured shell shape, all fabrics/leathers in COM/COL must be sent to the factory for suitability testing prior to ordering. It's best to allow two additional weeks lead time for this process.

Examples of curved chairs that require fabric testing

beetle lounge chair

Beetle Lounge Chair

Atticus Lounge Chair

Atticus Lounge Chair

Barbara Armchair

Barbara Armchair

Nirvana Lounge Chair

Nirvana Lounge Chair

The Nirvana must have the seam stitch in the inner back.
Evelyne Armchair

Evelyne Armchair

Evelyne only requires testing if ordered without the buttons. 
For more information on contract upholstery read our blog Contract Upholstery: 25 Points To Consider or for cleaning guidance read our Contract Upholstery Care & Maintenance Guide.

Topics: Contract upholstery

By Paula Stanbridge-Faircloth Paula Stanbridge-Faircloth on 11/06/19 13:57
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