A Christmas Gift for the Family…

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How about a Recliner?

AmericanLeather Brayden American Leather Recliner Ekornes Opal Recliner Ekornes Lux

Look for these features when buying a recliner.

  • Comfort: The height and angle of the seat back and the depth of the seat affect comfort. Consider softness and bounce. Any metal parts should be smooth with no sharp edges. Backs should be free of bumps and hard spots.
  • Frame: Frames should constructed of Kiln dried hardwood (oak, maple and ash are the most common), steel, plastic, or laminated boards to avoid warping A good frame is joined using dowels as well as corner blocks glued and screwed together. Frame should have a heavy balanced feeling. The legs should be squared and sturdy to prevent wobbling. Frames should not creak.
  • Recliners: can be constructed with one of three mechanisms:
    The two-way mechanism: Allows the chair to open into a reading position with the ottoman up or in a fully reclining position. These chairs require space behind them to be opened.
    WallLounger or WallSaver: A multi-position mechanism opens forward so that the chair can be placed in close proximity to the wall. The mechanism in these chairs will often be opened with a handle or button. When opened with the ottoman up, the chair back can be adjusted to recline to different degrees by pulling the arms forward.
    The rocker mechanism is a multi-position mechanism that allows the chair to rock until the ottoman is opened. These chairs require space behind them to be opened. Swivel bases are often available with rocker recliners. Mechanisms to open the chair work smoothly. Moving parts clear fabric to prevent tearing.
  • Support: Types of support include: webbing, sling straps, slats or springs. The type of support used will depend upon the design, size and amount of support or softness of the piece.
  • Springs: The quality and quantity of springs utilized is more an issue than which system is used. The primary spring systems used in upholstered furniture include:
  • Eight-way hand-tied and no-sag or sinuous. Eight-way hand-tied springs are considered a sign of quality due to their comfort and durability. These coils are attached to webbing on the bottom of the sofa or chair and tied with twine to surrounding coils in eight different spots to prevent shifting.
  • No-sag, or sinuous springs are “S” shaped wires that are fastened to the top of the front rail and run from the front to the back of the piece every few inches apart. These springs are less costly but not necessarily a sign of an inferior product.
  • Other types of springs include the single coil, double core coil, zigzag coil, and back springs (4-way hand tied).
  • Cushioning: The padding of a frame affects comfort and durability. The frame should be padded such that no fabric touches wood. This prevents untimely fabric wear and adds to comfort and softness. Cotton and polydacron are the most popular frame padding materials.

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