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Thread: Dimension Accuracy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Alexandria VA
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    14,919

    Default Dimension Accuracy

    One thing I've not addressed in some time is accuracy of dimensions that you see on the website from various makers. Upholstery is still a hand-made item, and they will vary - do not rely on the published specs if you are seeking accurate measurements. This is addressed in most every maker's price book, the below is one from Hancock and Moore:

    "DIMENSIONS: The dimensions we display in our catalogs are approximate. Therefore, because our furniture is hand crafted, these dimensions can vary up to two inches. Please do not assume that a style will always have the exact measurements shown. If a style you have chosen needs to git a limited space or has specific needs, please call the factory to insure a proper fit. We continually make modifications to the dimensions to improve the overall look and comfort."

    If you require a specific dimension to be accurate, its critical that you inform your dealer at the time they write the order. For example, if a sofa is 89" long (published) and it absolutely cannot be 90" for your application, the dealer can write on the order "Must not exceed the maximum published length". And that will flag a piece in the production notes and they will then work to make sure its no longer than 89".
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    High Point, NC
    Posts
    258

    Default Re: Dimension Accuracy

    Dimensions in upholstered furniture can be very perplexing. At Simplicity Sofas everything we make is modular. We use a total of only 24 different frame components from which we can make over 100,000 different end products in 10 styles and 6 sizes.

    All of our frame depths should be identical. When we measured the first prototypes 5 years ago they were all 32 inches deep which is what we listed in our catalog and on the website.

    A few months ago a customer called to complain that his sofa was 33 inches deep, not 32 inches as our website stated. I went out to our showroom and measured several of our sofas and chairs. I discovered that there were variations from 31.5 inches to 34 inches.

    Although different fabric thicknesses could possibly account for up to 1/2 inch of difference I have no idea why some of the sofas were 2 inches deeper than others.

    If the frame sizes were not consistent that would have created problems with hardware placement and fabric cutting patterns. That has not happened. Neither my factory manager nor I have been able to come up with an explanation.

    Jeff Frank
    Simplicity Sofas

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Alexandria VA
    Posts
    14,919

    Default Re: Dimension Accuracy

    In today's world of CNC-cut, precision-fit products, I think most are taken aback how little of that computer-guided accuracy is in the upholstered furniture business, which is by and large all handmade. When you walk into an upholstery plant, there are no computer terminals at the work stations and no robots. What you see and hear are pneumatic staplers, sewing machines, and electric shears, then the pounding of hammers and mallets. And because its hand-made, the amount of padding will vary from one piece to another, how tight its pulled, and even cushion build thicknesses from one batch to another. These dimensional variances occur at every maker, be it upholstery or even wood case goods - I see it constantly.

    I remember one situation many years ago. A customer had bought a set of windsor chairs in the early 80's from a particular maker. 20 years later she wants to add two more chairs (realizing that there would be 20 years of finish wear and tear difference) we ordered the same exact specs for her. When the new chairs arrived she was not happy with them, they were larger in all dimensions than the ones she bought so many years before. I called the maker and he said "We have never changed a thing on those, we don't understand why they 'grew' larger?" A few days later he called back - mystery solved. They use cardboard templates as their patterns. When the cardboard would wear out, they would trace around the template to make a new one. With every tracing the template grew a pencil width....and over 20 years that added up to 1/2 an inch or so.
    Last edited by drcollie; 04-05-2012 at 04:26 PM.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

  4. #4
    CMBAUR Guest

    Default Re: Dimension Accuracy

    Thumbs up this topic. 2-3 inches might sound like a lot however it's not.... There is no cost saving on the manufacturing side NONE, no bait and switch, it's just hand crafted upholstery, and it's to be expected. In my experience the size different is in the arm size not the actual inside length... If people knew this it would be less upsetting to people. In regards to the arms if the upholsterer doing the arms pulls too tight or the leather you order versus the catalog specs is a thinner cut you will be off an inch or 1.5 per arm. Multiply that by 2 and your off 3 inches versus the catalog. Companies tend to lean towards smaller vs catalog size rather than larger because in some cases it can't fit if it's an inch or two off. So when doing dimensions for catalogs manufacturers will use the higher measurements to avoid ordering product "not fitting"
    Last edited by CMBAUR; 04-05-2012 at 06:18 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Dimension Accuracy

    Does the Huss 3020 Recliner,
    in first recline position, is the footrest straight out (parallel to floor) or does it dip down?

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