Picking the Perfect Upholstery

In the early years of Thos. Moser, furniture designs did not include any upholstered components, with the exception of a few woven web seats on Shaker-inspired ladderback chairs. In the late 1980s, early 1990s, Tom Moser introduced dining chairs with upholstered seat cushions. During that time period, we began our long-standing relationship with Knoll Textiles as our earliest preferred fabric was their luxurious and durable velvet. Upholstery choices have now expanded to include other premium quality fabrics from Knoll and other world-renowned textile manufacturers such as Brentano, Maharam, Pollack and Robert Allen.

Selecting furniture at Thos. Moser is a truly unique and personalized experience, as all upholstered elements are specifically made to order. Our leather is carefully inspected for quality assurance, guaranteeing that there are no major blemishes or flaws. All fabric is hand cut and then placed on the cushioning. This gives us the opportunity to consider the orientation of the pattern (if applicable), where the seams fall and how the pattern repeats will look on the finished piece.

With so many options available, we know choosing the right upholstery can be difficult.  We ensure our sales associates are well-versed in offering expert advice as they assist customers in the fabric selection process. Our team can identify excellent choices by recommending the right textures, durability and colors to match or complement a room design. Glenys Sayward, a customer care representative with 27 years of experience at Thos. Moser, explains, “the process starts with a conversation.”

The Process of Fabric Selection

How does she help customers select the fabric that’s right for them? Sayward will probe, asking the customer to describe their room and inquire about the colors of existing furniture, rugs, walls and accessories. Once she and the customer are finished discussing the room, Sayward will ask the customer for a photograph of the room. “Having a photo really helps, and although I do love chatting, a picture really is worth a thousand words,” says Sayward.

Each sales representative refers to our library of upholstery samples to select what best matches our customers’ needs. Our fabric vendor websites offer even more options and sample services allowing home delivery to our clients. Sayward prefers to work a little more directly, so she selects fabric samples from the onsite Moser library and packages them with a return envelope to create an easy process for the customer. “By doing it this way, I can better control the timing and appreciate the color nuances and textures of what I send,” says Sayward.

Once the customer receives their samples, another conversation ensues. Sayward will explore how closely the samples hit on the right color and texture, essentially using them as a guide to really hone in on what the customer needs. Once the customer has come to a decision, their order moves forward to production to be built by our master craftsmen.

Customers also have the option of sending in their own material if they so choose. If this method is used, our sales associates can advise the customer on the number of yards to send and the details of directing the fabric supply to our workshop in Auburn Maine. However, at Thos. Moser our leathers and fabrics are under warranty against material defect for five years. Choosing the right upholstery can be challenging, but with Thos. Moser’s experienced sales team, picking the perfect fabric is only one call away.

To read more information about our materials, click here.

Expert Tips on Fabric Selection

1. Consider the wood tone of the seating frames you will be using. Often, a fabric will include just a bit of the wood color to help it make a pleasing connection to the wood, and then everything “pops” or is at least complementary.

2. Place your fabric near or on a piece of existing furniture or the rug in the room, and then walk back about 10 feet. Does the color have the amount of impact and coordination with the other items in the room that you would like it to have? Does a mini pattern involving multiple colors change to a different melded color at a distance? If so, do you like the effect?

3. Is the fabric you are considering intended for medium or heavy-duty use? Take a look at rub ratings, as these are the fabric’s measurements of resistance to abrasion and its ability to withstand surface wear from rubbing. A rub rating of 30K is acceptable, but if you can find a 50K or more rub rating it will hold up even better.

4. If you know your furniture will be well-used by pets and children, consider fabrics that are bleach cleanable and that have a texture and color that will be more forgiving. There are many new fabric options that are developed for hard use. Our staff can consult with our vendors to help you identify the best options.