Selecting cushion foam

What’s in a cushion?

Cushions on sofas and scatter cushions have different interiors, this can be for several different reasons, but basically boils down to three. Price, comfort and longevity.

A cushion’s “loft” refers to its height as it lays flat on the sofa or chair. A cushion with a low loft will be thin, while a cushion with a high loft is thicker. 

This is a guide to choosing cushion interiors:

Hollow fibre – is a synthetic man-made fibre which has a crimp, giving it loft and resilience. The strands of the fibre are hollow which means they trap air and warmth which is what produces the loft. Hollow fibre can be prone to flattening and can quickly clump together, so will need plumping and turning regularly. However, compared with other fillings its quite cost effective and is anti-allergy as it can be washed and dried easily.

Foam – comes in several densities, each one having particular properties. High Density foam is good for shape retention and a firm seat and holds its shape. So, can be used in things that will not easily get plumped. Medium foam is softer and is the lowest density we would recommend. It’s ideal for foam wraps, where its used in combination with another material to help hold shape and loft.

Foam with polyester dacron wrap – a combination that is the cheapest version of ‘wrapping’ and gives firmness which comes from the foam as mentioned previously, but also softness which comes from the fibre.

Foam with feather or down wrap – is extremely popular, it gives the support and resilience of foam, but feels like a feather cushion. Plumping is still required to keep it looking good.

Feather – usually comes from ducks, it is 100% natural, so can cause dust which is best avoided if you suffer with allergies. It is soft and supportive and allows you to nestle more than some of the other fillings. If plumped regularly will retain its shape.

Down – can be expensive but offers ultimate softness and the most luxurious comfort for a cushion, down is the soft fluffy under coat of feather. Down clusters are very soft light have no quill and traps heat when cold and eliminates heat when warm. It also haves a breathable quality and is again 100% natural.

Feather and down combination 85%/15% or 70%/30% – a mix is a cost compromise, offering a slightly more luxurious feel and high loft. The higher the content of down, the lighter the cushion will feel. Higher amounts of down will give better recovery when plumped.

Cat and Kiwi Upholstery can source all cushion types for you and are happy to recondition or re-stuff cushions you already have. More stuffing can make all the difference to an old sofa, giving it a new lease of life. Costs vary.

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