The term may sound like gibberish to anyone who isn't a skilled craftsman or interior designer, but "8-way hand-tied sofa" is one of the most beloved decor items you can buy for your home. It's considered the gold standard for its ability to deliver real durability without compromising on aesthetics.
To make sure you feel informed while shopping, decorating, or chatting about design at a cocktail party—and more importantly, to ensure your future sofa is worth the price tag—we’re breaking down everything you need to know about 8-way hand-tied sofas. Take a seat (on your possibly similar couch) and read on.
What Exactly Does 8-Way Hand-Tied Mean?
Simply put, this description refers to the way the springs are constructed in upholstered furniture. The system of springs make up the suspension, which creates the foundation of the seat. The springs directly impact the comfort, durability, quality, and general integrity of the furniture—and they keep you from sinking through the sofa and onto the floor.
Plenty of couches have springs, so here's what makes these kind so special: They are basically coils that have been hand-tied in every direction: front to back, side to side, and diagonally. The result is maximum flexibility, support, and comfort, and all the things you'd want in a high-quality sofa. Of course, there's a catch to this technique. Sofas made this way also happen to be the most labor-intensive, and thus, expensive. That being said, technology has helped make it a bit easier to create at a lower cost.
Are There Other Suspension Options?
The short answer is yes. You can opt for a different type of sofa that's still worth investing in. The other main types of sofa suspension are webbing and sinuous-springs. The former is often described as providing "hammock-like support," and many people find them more comfortable than furniture made with springs—though they typically don't last as long. In terms of production, webbing is much easier and cheaper to manufacture than 8-way hand-tied springs.
However, many luxury and designer sofas with webbing are still expensive because of other factors, such as materials, silhouette, aesthetic, and more. It's also helpful to keep in mind that not all high-quality sofas are necessarily supported by 8-way hand-tied springs, especially if we're talking about accent pieces that mostly serve as style statements (and aren't expected for everyday plopping down). This is because they often have a narrow seat base, so the support is compromised of just a thin layer of plywood and foam.
Sinuous-spring are easy to remember because they're simply S-shaped springs set in zigzagging rows within the foundation of the seat. Like webbing, s-spring sofas are much easier to install. And while they're usually associated with lower price tags, they can be great quality if they're produced by a good manufacturer. With modern technology, we're also seeing more and more sofas with drop-in coil springs, which basically reproduce the behavior of an 8-way hand-tied system, only they're easier and cheaper to make. Of course, as with any major investment, it's best to ask lots of questions and stay on top of research.
Generally speaking, you'll be in very good hands with an 8-way hand-tied sofa. Check out a few options below if you're now jonesing for one of your own.
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