Give Me 10 Minutes, I'll Give You The Truth About CAL 133

Posted by Janet Voigt on Tue, Apr 01, 2014 @ 02:22 PM

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Topics: Flammability Standards, Fabric/Upholstered Furniture for Contract, CAL 133, Fabric/Upholstered

How to Choose Contract Fabrics Like a Pro

Posted by Janet Voigt on Mon, Nov 18, 2013 @ 09:00 AM

In the world of contract (non-retail) furniture, fabrics take on a whole new dynamic.

Contract grade upholstery can get as technical as a Java code! Furniture and fabrics for heavy use and health care applications are made to exacting standards to ensure stability under constant use, resist staining, deter breakage, prevent fluid seepage, defend against bacteria and microbe growth, and so much more!

So when you are tasked with purchasing furniture for your facility what exactly do you need to know about fabrics?  Get The Upholstered Seating Catalog

Upholstery fabrics use a laboratory process called the Wyzenbeek Double Rub test. The Wyzenbeek test uses an oscillating mechanism covered with an abradant that repeatedly rubs against the fabric to determine its overall strength and resilience. The results are tabulated in a number of double rubs that the fabric resisted before fiber breakage. Sounds a little complicated but the scoring system basically breaks down as follows for contract grade fabrics:

  • 15,000 doublerubs is the minimum result for commercial applications. At 15,000 double rubs or greater, fabrics in this category are suitable for many contract or commercial applications. Fabrics at and above this minimum standard will be stiffer and thicker than what you might have in your home but that additional thickness is necessary to ensure durability.
  • 15,000 – 30,000 double rub fabrics are considered heavy duty. They are acceptable for many contract environments with moderate use like offices, conference rooms, dining chairs, and other similar use areas.
  • 30,000 double rubs and greater are considered extra heavy duty. They are extremely durable and can withstand use in constant, heavy use areas like waiting rooms, group rooms, and other common areas.

By comparison to r
esidential or retail fabrics, the double rub numbers are big. Fabrics for residential use typically hover in the 3,000 – 9,000 double rub range so 15,000 double rub minimums nets an upholstery fabric that is substantially different than what you see in a typical living room. These high double rub fabrics will feel stiffer and offer less comfort but will survive hard use.

When working on projects for
upholstered furniture for your facility, make sure to work with an experienced professional who is familiar with your customers and consumers.

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Topics: Fabric/Upholstered Furniture for Contract, Contract Furniture & Fabric: Making it Last, Fabric/Upholstered

The Power of the Right Upholstery Fabric

Posted by Janet Voigt on Wed, Mar 06, 2013 @ 08:30 AM

When selecting contract fabrics for upholstered furniture, there are many things to consider. When buying for commercial businesses or health care facilities you will  have to Selecting fabrselect upholstery fabric(s) for your furniture purchase.

Contract furniture is always “made to order” due to the enormous variety of furniture styles and fabric types, finishes, patterns and colors. The possible combinations that can be created imagining the endless number of furniture styles plus hundreds of thousands of upholstery fabric and its variables creates a dizzying assortment of potential groupings.

While you can expect contract upholstered furniture to take a few weeks to produce, you may be surprised by the pricing which rarely feels like “custom” pricing. The truth is that contract upholstery sales costs far lower than its residential / retail counterpart so while the options are more plentiful, price is actually lower and quality is substantially higher than retail.
  ic for contract upholstered furniture can be a daunting task. Choosing color, pattern, fabric type, and performance characteristics is a lot of decision on top of selecting the style of the furniture itself. While the technical aspects of fabric performance are important, let’s first focus on the more visible elements.
  • Color is an obvious consideration.  Color sets the mood for a room, especially if you are adding big pieces of furniture like sofas, loveseats and lounge chairs. Depending on the existing décor or tone of your facility, color can be used play up contemporary elements of the buildings design or conversely can be used to tone down more dated elements. Warm colors complement traditional designs and cool colors tend to highlight contemporary design. Mixing colors within a single room setting can add drama and can improve the overall look of a room compared to a single, repeating color. When mixing colors, look for colors that harmonize rather than contrast to create more of a designer look. Be careful not to choose colors that are too light. Whites and light earth tones are very “in” right now for residential design but tend not to perform well in contract facilities even when treated with soli and stain resistance. Instead, look at deeper solid earth tones with texture.  The textures add an additional natural element without compromising the dirt-hiding properties of darker tones.
  • Pattern is probably the most intimidating selection for many contract buyers.   Patterns do not always age well.  What is hip and trendy today might quickly end up looking like yesterday’s news.  Big, graphic patterns can be the riskiest patterns choices but the right selection can really add drama when the building design lacks character. The scale of the pattern should be in balance with the size of the room so large, bold patterns would not be an ideal match for a small room with small-scale furniture. Large, open spaces can accommodate more pattern. A designer trick for using large pattern in a room is to find a color that is present in small quantities in the patterned fabric and select a solid color fabric in that color. Use the large, bolder pattern on chairs and loveseats and use the solid color on the larger pieces like sofas to create a high-end look.
Durable furniture fabric is essential in any contract environment. Some qualities to look for include thread count, double rub results and fiber type:

  • The higher the thread count, the more durable the fabric since the weave of the material is denser and therefore more durable. Additionally, consider whether the pattern is woven into the fabric or whether it is printed on top of a solid color fabric. Woven patterns will wear far better than printed patterns.
  • Double rub results measure the number of times fabric can withstand being rubbed together under standardized, laboratory testing. The higher the double rub results the more durable the fabric. Results from 15,000 double rubs on up indicate better performance for heavy-use environments.  Results as high as 100,000 and above are commonly available from contract furniture suppliers.
  • Fibers can be mad made or natural. Man made fibers like acrylic, nylon, olefin and vinyl offer a higher degree of durability and stain and soil resistance than natural fibers. In addition to their inherent stain and soil resistance, many fabric treatments are available through contract suppliers that offer an additional measure of dependability. Crypton is far and away the most common fabric treatment for contract facilities. Crypton is a process that is applied on top, bottom and within the weave of the fabric resulting in a fluid and soil barrier that keeps fabric clean as well as hygienic.

When considering choices for your next furniture project, always contact a reputable contract furniture supplier who understands the needs of your facility.

upholsteredfurntiure   Free Ebook on Tips on How to Get started on Buying Contract Furniture   Need Pricing? Click to Get it!
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Topics: Interior Design Advice of Group Living Facilities, Commercial Lounge Furniture, Contract Furniture, Fabric/Upholstered Furniture for Contract, Contract Furniture & Fabric: Making it Last

2013 Contract Furniture Trends

Posted by Janet Voigt on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 @ 03:21 PM
Healthcare, group living and housing experts have returned to the proverbial drawing board after putting last year to bed.  2012 was packed with conferences and industry gatherings for professional buyers, architects and planners. Now that the New Year is firmly underway, these experts have started letting the industry know about what they expect to see in terms of contract furniture trends for the upcoming year.
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Topics: Interior Design Advice of Group Living Facilities, Commercial Lounge Furniture, Contract Furniture, Fabric/Upholstered Furniture for Contract

5 Creative Ways to Manage Patient Incontinence

Posted by Janet Voigt on Mon, Jul 30, 2012 @ 08:50 AM

Patients and consumers with incontinence create a special kind of demand on staff and direct service providers.

Not only is there risk to the health of patient, but cleaning both the patient, furniture and flooring takes the time and effort of staff trying to manage broad responsibilities. Furniture can often be ruined by bodily fluids that are either not cleaned entirely or due to soaking into hard-to-clean places like the foam and frame.
With the growing demands for WELL-DESIGNED FURNITURE to help care givers manage limited mobility and incontinence, consider these 5 little-known facts that might make life easier for anyone dealing with incontinence:
  • POP-OUT SEATS are by far the most innovative solution for fluid issues. With this design, the entire seat of an upholstered sofa, loveseat or chair “pops” out leaving just an open frame to allow easy mopping and cleaning of fluids. Urine, or any fluid, flows through to the floor and eliminates pooling on upholstery or into wood frames.
  • SELF-DECKING is a technique that uses a length of fluid-proof fabric under upholstered sofa, loveseat or chair cushions that “catches” fluids to prevent them from hitting the floor or soaking into foam and furniture frames. This is typically an inexpensive way to significantly reduce damage caused by urine and fluids.
  • VINYL fABRICS are a fluid-proof upholstery option that is low cost and highly durable. The best news is that vinyl is no longer the sticky, hot plastic-like fabric it was mid-century. Soft and stylish options make it a stand-out choice for incontinence or any furniture in areas that might take a few spills.
  • Many FABRIC TREATMENTS are now readily available on an endless variety of upholstery fabrics. Some treatments, like Crypton, penetrate the entire weave of the fabric, making the entire knit fluid-resistant. This penetration of the treatment makes it far superior to surface treatments that might wear off after repeated cleaning of soiled areas.
  • As an added safe-guard for any upholstery option, fluid-proof liners can be added to almost any contract upholstered furniture. These liners add extra protection for foam that can still be vulnerable to urine and fluids that seep in through fabric, zippers, welting and seams.
The excess demands of occasional or chronic incontinence on caregivers can be stressful, and the added expense of labor to clean fluids adds up. In addition, furniture is at high risk for ruin due to urine or fluids penetrating fabrics, foam and frame components. PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS are available but not widely known.

Consult a trusted Contract Furniture provider for the right advice for your patients, staff and budget.

upholsteredfurntiure  Need Pricing? Click to Get it!   Click me

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Topics: Health Care Furniture, Commercial Lounge Furniture, Furniture For Incontinence, Fabric/Upholstered Furniture for Contract, Contract Furniture & Fabric: Making it Last

Contract Lounge Furniture Buying Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Posted by Janet Voigt on Mon, Jul 16, 2012 @ 01:30 PM
As a leader in the contract seating industry, we hear from lots of people who become responsible for buying the furniture for their facility despite having no real experience with furniture buying. We often ask these buyers if they feel like they drew the “short straw” and we overwhelmingly find that is the expression they find most relatable.

So, what have we learned from helping our “short straw” customers through their buying processes? 

Here are a few novice mistakes and the best ways to fix them or avoid them altogether:

  • Underestimating usage of seating areas. It is easy to pass through a furnished common area or waiting area and assume that what you see at that moment is typical usage. It can be really easy to assume that you need fewer seating spaces based on limited observation of the area. Seating areas take on different lives at different times of the day. If you are dealing with a group living environment, consider peeking in at higher-use times, like after meals or group therapy, to see how seating areas are used during higher traffic times.
  • Picking the “wrong” color combinations. Chances are if you are not an experienced buyer you are also not an experienced decorator. Picking complimentary fabrics to liven up a seating area can be a tricky feat for a beginner. Many Contract Furniture Providers offer fabric collections that "marry" a variety of patterns and solids that use consistent underlying tones and hues to ensure a harmonious look. Depending on the space’s overall décor, you may lean towards picking one fabric for all seating pieces to ensure that everything “goes together.”
  • Picking out pieces that exceed your budget. Web shopping gives you access to endless varieties of furniture at a click of your mouse. But, due to volume pricing and upholstery grading, most Contract Furniture Providers do not show pricing on their websites. It can be easy to get caught up in the process of virtually picking furniture and ending up with a vision that far exceeds your funds. Save yourself some time and frustration and reach out to your Contract  Furniture Provider before you start dreaming. Being up front about your needs and your budget will help you get the right look, the right function and the right price.
  • Going to a retail furniture provider. While touching and feeling your furniture purchase at your local furniture store seems to make sense, the reality is that contract furniture is an entirely different animal. While the styling of retail and contract furniture can often be identical, contract construction standards are more stringent for contract (commercial) use. So, if you are buying furniture that is going to be used more than what an average family at home would use then you need contract furniture. Beyond construction, contract furniture has warranties that cover heavy use; fabrics are made to more durable standards and furniture is made with special features and benefits that speak directly to your users whether they are clients, patients, students or guests.

Don’t fret if you are stuck with the job of buying furniture for your facility. Contract Furniture Providers will listen to your needs and guide you to the right choices for your facility. If a contract provider expects you to point and click chances are it is not the right provider for you. Ask for advice. After all, if you make a wrong choice you (and your boss) will likely be stuck looking at it for years to come.

upholsteredfurntiure   Created on 12/06/11 at 15:29:27  Need Pricing? Click to Get it! Click me

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Topics: Commercial Lounge Furniture, Contract Furniture, Fabric/Upholstered Furniture for Contract

The Best Kind of Heavy Duty Recliner

Posted by Janet Voigt on Tue, Jun 19, 2012 @ 08:26 AM

See Why a Heavy Duty Recliner, Available Only From a Contact Healthcare Furniture Provider, Has Features and Benefits That Make it Far Superior to Retail.

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Topics: Health Care Furniture, Commercial Lounge Furniture, Contract Furniture, Fabric/Upholstered Furniture for Contract


Posted by Janet Voigt on Fri, Feb 10, 2012 @ 01:40 PM

Upholstered Benches: A great choice when looking for versatile furniture for your facility!

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Topics: Fabric/Upholstered Furniture for Contract

Personalized Upholstery Seating

Posted by Janet Voigt on Mon, Jan 23, 2012 @ 02:50 PM


When tasked with buying seating furniture for your healthcare or group living facility, the choices available for upholstery fabric can seem daunting.

The trickiest part of the ordeal is imagining the finished product. 
Internet shopping has done a great service in leveling the playing field when it comes to shopping for standard items like folding chairs .  But when you want to personalize a sofa or make a lounge chair fit an existing décor, what you see on the internet might not be exactly what you want.
Get The Upholstered Seating Catalog

The word “custom” can send chills down the spine of anyone working within the confines of a strict facility budget (and let’s face it, who’s not?).  The good news is that personalizing your furniture pieces can be less expensive than you think.  For starters, most contract furniture companies offer a variety of “in-line” fabrics which basically means fabrics are grouped into one price category for your shopping convenience.  Surprisingly, the vibrant pattern you have been eyeballing might not be any more expensive than the boring solid that the sofa or chair is pictured in.
Really, the bottom-line price of most contract upholstery in your favorite pattern can be surprisingly reasonable. 
For the most part, production is factory-direct so which fabric you choose might have very little impact on price since the piece was going to be made-to-order to begin with. 

If you are offered limited fabric choices by a contract furniture provider there is a good chance you are dealing with a lower quality import that was mass-produced in a few colors.  Buying a piece like that may quickly re-affirm the “you get what you pay for” motto.

So, check out your options and dream.  Sometimes it helps to look at a contract furniture provider’s  customer or installation photos to help get an idea of what finished options look like.  In general, bolder solids on a seating piece with straight lines lends a more contemporary look while soft patterns on seating pieces with curved backs and arms might look a little more traditional.  The sky’s the limit.  When in doubt, work with a contact furniture provider who offers the type of advice you need to make your project a knock-out.

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Topics: Fabric/Upholstered Furniture for Contract

Upholstered Furniture: Understanding Fabric Cleaning Symbols.

Posted by Janet Voigt on Tue, Dec 06, 2011 @ 04:19 PM

What Do Those Upholstery Cleaning Symbols Mean? W, S, W-S??

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Topics: Fabric/Upholstered Furniture for Contract

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