The three Fs of fffurniture
When shopping for upholstered furniture, keep in mind the three Fs: frame (inside frame), filling (foam/rubber), and fabric (the cover).
A Frame made of a wood with a dense grain and properly seasoned, such as CP teak, Burma teak, old teak, imported maple or walnut (so they won’t later warp) are your best bets. The frame joints should be secured with dowels and glue rather than nails or screws; wood on wood makes the strongest connection. Check the ‘pressure points’, such as where the legs meet the seat bottom. Also, try to determine whether these areas have been reinforced with corner blocks or steel angles.
The longevity and comfort of a sofa lies in its springs. Eight-way, hand-tied coil springs (individual springs secured to the frame in eight places) provide the best – and most expensive – support. Nivar pattas made of jute are a cheaper choice.
After the springs would be the turn of the filler- foam or rubber. The latter is expensive but more durable. Foam gives a soft feeling, but is not a durable as rubber. Another option could be synthetic fiberfill, or fiberfill along with foam or rubber.
Make sure that the fabric is tightly woven. Go for milled products rather than handloom, as the life of a machine woven fabric is longer. The design of the fabric could be coordinated with the other designs used in the room.
Look for tight, neat, sturdy tailoring. Feel all around the piece to make sure that padding its plentiful, especially on the arms and back where wear will be heavy. If the fabric isn’t protected from the frame, it can show through over time.