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Tips for Specifying Fringe and Tassels on Furniture

Oslo Chairs

Fringe and tassels are all types of passementerie: decorative trimming used on furniture and clothing (e.g. military uniforms). No longer is this kind of decoration the exclusive territory of old ladies with chintzy sitting rooms, fringe & tassels go hand in hand with the Maximalism aesthetic and they're appearing in a restaurant or hotel near you soon.

What's the difference between fringe and tassels?

A tassel is a ball-shaped bunch of plaited or or loose dangling threads with a cord at one end from on which the tassel is hung.  Fringe is a decorative border which is fixed rather than hung, and is usually sewn on rather than tied. You can also have tassel fringe, which is a decorative border with hanging tassel elements (see below).

Does fringe need to be Crib 5 treated?

No Crib 5 treatment is needed. This is because the test applies to fabric wrapped around CMHR foam and since the fringe is not over CMHR foam, it can't be tested and therefore doesn't need to be treated. Learn more about the Crib 5 test here. 

Where to find fringe, tassels and other trimmings

Is fringe suitable for hospitality environments?

Fringe needs to be carefully considered when specifying contract furniture. Customers' clothing, zips or buttons can get stuck in the material and can result in the fringe being ripped or torn. To safeguard against this it's better to specify fringe on the outside of the chair and places that are not high traffic areas that are in direct contact with the client.  Fringe should also not be so long that it drapes on the floor as it will get trampled on by people's feet, or sucked up by vacuums and will rip and tear. For this reason it's advisable to leave a small gap between the fringe and the floor.

Our Fringe Furniture Picks

Komondoro Lounge Chair

Komondoro Lounge Chair

Beardie Pouf

Beardie Pouf

London B Barstool

London B Barstool

Projects that feature fringe & tassels 


One of our favourite examples of fringe is from Everyman Crystal Palace, by Fusion DNA. The addition of black onyx fringe to House of Hackney Florika Velvet on our Komondoro Lounge Chair, is simply sublime.

Photo by Johhny Stevens.


The secret room in Raffles Chelsea by Rucca Design Studio adds a further touch of class with fringe at the bottom of the hot pink banquettes. As well as adding detail the fringe softens the geometric patterning of the walls creating an exuberant fitting of one of London's most notorious nightclubs.

Photo by Pawel Kosiba.

Lost & Found Leeds

Lost & Found Leeds, designed by Concorde BGW deploys a few lounge chairs with fringe to add to the comfortable vibes and old world charm. A fully upholstered fringe chair is the perfect companion to these impressive but harder framed rattan and wicker chairs. 

View images of Lost & Found Leeds. Photo by Ben Carpenter.

1807_5th_029Passementerie isn't restricted to furniture and soft furnishings, it's popping up in other places too. In Harvey Nichols 5th Floor Bar by Shaun Clarkson ID, tassels makes an impactful appearance on the light fittings! What's next, fringe on table tops?!

View images of Harvey Nichols 5th Floor Bar. Photo by Melvyn Vincent Photography.

The future of fringe?

multiple fringe maison objet

If one layer of fringe isn't enough to provide the wow factor, we spied several layers of fringe on the same item at Maison & Objet in January. So if you need to go to the next level for a particularly lavish project, multiple layers of fringe may be an ultra-extravagant addition to your mood board.

Topics: Furniture trends, Contract upholstery, Specification tips

By Paula Stanbridge-Faircloth Paula Stanbridge-Faircloth on 25/02/19 14:28
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Furniture Style Guide Autumn 2018 arrow

Furniture Style Guide Autumn 2018

Packed with more new furniture than ever before, our Autumn 18 edition showcases nearly 50 collections of chairs, tables & fabrics in line with the latest trends.

Trending this season:

  • Marble & stone-effect
  • Leather on chair frames
  • Scandi style returns
  • Lines from fluted upholstery to metal frames
  • Fringe trim

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