Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Different Types of Polyester Wraps around a Foam Core

The most basic cushion construction is a foam core with a polyester wrap. The foam provides the support and lines up with the seams in the depth, width and boxing of the cushion. Foam is cut with a straight blade and is perfectly flat on all sides. It is difficult to have a cover be tight and wrinkle-free on a flat surface. To aid in the fit and to soften the appearance of the foam, we wrap it with polyester (and down/feather, but that is for another entry). The polyester pushes out against the cover which tightens it and eliminates wrinkles. Below is a discussion of two types of polyester wrap.

High Density foam w/ Dacron 91 wrap, muslin tick

With use, all foam gets softer and all polyester flattens. High Density foam, which is available in five levels of firmness, resists softening the best. The best option for wrapping the foam is with Dacron 91 made by DuPont. It's springy fiber stays fluffy and resists flattening best out of all the polyester battings. To hold everything in place we make a muslin lined jacket out of the Dacron 91 and the foam core fits inside. The jacket is closed with a zipper at the back.

High Density Foam w/ bonded wrap, glued, no lining

Bonded polyester is the easiest, quickest batting to work with. It is cut to size and glued to the surface of the foam. Bonded polyester has the least amount of resiliency and will flatten the quickest. We have 4 different weights (thicknesses) of bonded polyester to choose from: 1/2 oz. , 3/4 oz., 1 oz. & 1 1/4 oz.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Persian Ottomans and Foam Interiors

We often see customer's who have returned from a trip to North Africa or the Middle East with beautiful, but empty, ottoman covers. Usually the opening runs across the diameter which means that the best filling material is by hand with either cotton or wool. Recently a customer brought in these ottoman covers that she purchased in Iran.

They were made with a zipper at the bottom that went around the circumference (see below). This allowed us to insert firm pieces of foam cut to make the covers tight and the structure stable. By using foam instead of cotton or wool, the result was stronger and a more even in shape. The dozens of stripes around the side looked vibrant and neat.

This ottoman was the show stopper. The racetrack shape framed the colorful design and made for a unique shape that was the most comfortable of all.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Slouchy Back Cushions Get New Foam

Most back cushions are filled with polyester. With use this type of cushion starts to slouch, dent and look baggy in the cover. Usually we replace these misshapen forms with fresh polyester or down/feather. Sometimes we are after a firmer, more resilient cushion and that is where foam comes in.

The set of slouchy back cushions (pictured above on the left) for this job had an extra challenge. The seams of the cover were knife-edged. This means that we have to taper the edge of the foam so that it meets the single seam of the cover nicely.

We then wrapped the foam with Dacron 91 batting (very resilient to resist denting) and fit the form into a muslin tick. This will allow the customer to easily remove the outer cover. In these pictures, the new cushion sits beside its mate already fitted into the finished cover.

These cushions are going to look fresh and full for many years to come.