Glossary

Acacia Wood

A smooth lustrous hardwood that takes a high polish. It is light to dark red in color which deepens upon exposure.

Acrylic

A synthetic fiber of over 85 percent acrylonitrile units. It is lightweight, soft, and has a wool-like feel. It is commonly used in furniture due to its excellent color fastness and resilience.

Aluminum

One of the most plentiful natural resources in the world. That factor combined with its lightweight, ease of working, and resistance to corrosion, have put it into extremely wide use.

Ash Wood

A strong heavy hardwood that takes a high polish and does not damage easily. Its elasticity allows it to bear a high level of pressure.

Bamboo

A fast growing, renewable plant that is known for it's silky texture and is incredibly durable. Since bamboo is a plant, it can be harvested every 5 years without damaging the soil.

BambooTimbre™

Bamboo culms or stalks are flattened, layered and bonded together in defined patterns to create solid boards as thick as 8 inches. Maria Yee uses this proprietary process to create beautiful, heirloom quality furniture.

Bench Made

A piece of furniture is assembled from beginning to end by a skilled craftsman.

Birch Wood

A hardwood with a light tone that can be stained to resemble a variety of colors.

Boxed Edge Cushion

Cushion seat or back with a sewn in border.

Bycast Leather

A combination of natural leather hides processed and bonded to a man-made surface covering and then coated with a thick layer of polyurethane. In addition to the highly desirable "shiny" look, the coating helps prevent scratching, gives it a higher resistance to sunlight fading and is an excellent dirt-repelling surface. Bycast can be a top grain or split hide but in either case it is ironed very smooth to remove most of the natural graining. Also spelled as bicast.

Cherry Wood

Cherry is a soft wood and is greatly prized for its warm, red color and highly figured grain.

Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL)

It is a fluorescent light bulb designed to save energy and replace incandescent light bulbs.

Coil Spring

Tapering, cone-shaped, resilient wire springs used in the construction of upholstered furniture, mattress, and box springs. May have a double cone or hourglass shape. Also called cone springs.

Contrast Welt

Cord that runs around the cushions and or sofa made of different fabric from the base fabric.

Corrected Leather

Any top-grain leather that has been sanded or buffed in order to remove imperfections on the surface.

Cotton

A soft fiber that is used to make a breathable textile. It comes in short, medium, and long staple fibers and is absorbent, comfortable, and dyes easily.

Cross-Planing

Planing the wood in a criss cross (or diagonal) pattern to create a worn, old world effect.

Customer's Own Material (COM)

Material provided by the customer to the manufacturer for custom upholstery on the manufacturer's frame (sofa, chair, ottoman, bed, etc).

Dacron

A premium fiber fill by DuPont that has a super soft silky feel. It is made from polyester and can be used in diverse applications such as fiberfill in pillows or decorative fabrics in home textiles. This material is used in conjunction with polyurethane foam to add cushioning and support to upholstered pieces.

Directional Fabrics

Fabric with a pattern that runs up the roll or runs vertically. Pattern direction runs parallel to selvages.

Dovetail Joint

A joint technique that takes a series of pins cut to extend from one board and interlocking them with a series of tails that are cut into the end of another board.

Double Expansion Joint

Consists of two bellows joined by a common connector which is anchored to some rigid part on the installation by means of an anchor. Each bellow acts as a single expansion joint and absorbs the movement of the pipe section in which it is installed, independently of the other bellows.

Doweled Joint

A joint technique that consists of small uniform holes being cut into two pieces of wood and joined by inserting matching pegs into the holes of one piece and lining it up and attaching to the other piece. The pieces are then glued together to permanently secure the joint. This joint adds strength to stress points in furniture.

Down Blend

A layer of soft fine feathers and feather-down blend encased in downproof ticking that is used for filling upholstery and cushions.

Downproof Ticking

A heavy, strong cotton fabric used to enclose cushions. Downproof ticking is used on fiber and feather cushions because of its tight weave, which helps prevent feather ends from working through the casing.

Dye

A soluble or insoluble coloring matter that can impart a new and often permanent color on a fabric or material.

Dye Lot

A single run of color printing of wallpaper or fabric , using a particular batch of dye.

Eight Way Hand Tied Springs

A 3-dimensional coil spring used in furniture construction that is the strongest, most resilient, flexible and long-lasting spring around. Each coil is sewn to the webbing then tied to an adjacent coil. Each row of coils is then tied on at exactly the same level in all directions.

Elm Wood

A solid wood that is coveted for its durability, resistance to splitting, and beautiful wave-like grain. The color of wood ranges from light yellow to a rich brown.

Fiber Fill

Synthetic fibers used as a filing material for cushions or pillows.

Fir Wood

A straight even-grained wood that is creamy white to pale brown in color. This wood works easily with hand or machine tools and handles glues, nails, and screws nicely.

Flexolator Spring Suspension

A tempered steel grid system that is suspended to the back rail with 11 gauge helical coil spring.

Foam Density

Based on a foam's resilience and weight per cubic foot; an indicator of foam performance with respect to support, durability, and comfort. Foam density is not related to the firmness of the foam.

FSC

Forest Stewardship Council, an international non-profit organization that promotes responsible management of the world's forests by deeming products or materials environmentally appropriate.

Full Aniline Process

A leather coloring process where the leather is processed with a transparent dye that lets the grain show through.

Full Grain Leather

Leather from the upper section of a hide that has not been corrected and remains in its natural state

Giclee

Derived from the French word "to spray", this process renders a digital reproduction of an original piece of artwork. Each image is then "hand embellished" with a variety of as artistic applications which the look and feel of an authentic hand painted piece of artwork. Final sealing provides UV protection and lasting beauty.

Grade

Charting system that determines how valuable a fabric is. The higher the grade the more valuable the fabric becomes.

Grid Suspension System

A springing mechanism where wire mesh is fastened to an upholstered furniture frame on one side and then fastened with helical springs on the other side

Hanger-Bolt System

Used to attach legs to the surface of a table by taking a specially-engineered screw and attaching it to the leg and inserting it through a metal corner bracket that is securely fastened with a bolt.

Heartwood

The dead portion of wood in a tree that is resistant to decay.

Hemp

Hemp is the world's longest and strongest natural fiber. The bark of the hemp stalk contains bast fibers which are among the Earth's longest, soft fibers. Hemp is rich in cellulose, which gives it a natural and shabby chic look.

IFD

The Indentation Force Deflection, also know as Indentation Load Deflection (ILD) is a measure of how much pressure is required to compress the foam by 25% of its original thickness. A measure of foam's firmness.

Joints

The junction of 2 or more parts of a framed structure. There are numerous types of joints used in furniture construction. See also: Dovetail Joint, Double Expansion Joint, Doweled Joint, Mortise and Tenon Joint, Tongue and Groove Joint

Kiln-Dried Hardwood

Hardwood that goes through the kiln-drying process to have moisture removed to eliminate the possibility of cracking or warping of the wood.

Kiln Drying

A process a seasoning wood where the wood is dried in an insulated chamber that is fitted with equipment that controls the temperature and humidity of the drying air.

Knife Edge Cushion

Back or seat cushion has one seam to attach the two sides of fabric around the cushion.

Knock Down System

Also known as a KD System, this described furniture that can easily be assembled and disassembled. Ensures greater quality in the product since it reduces the chances of the items being damaged while in transit.

Lacquer

A clear or colored varnish that produces a hard durable finish in various sheen levels. It may be damaged when exposed to substances such a nail polish remover or alcohol, heat, or a combination of heat and pressure.

Leather

A material created through the tanning of hides and skins of animals. Leather is known for being long-lasting and very durable. See Also: Bycast Leather, Corrected Leather, or Full Grain Leather

Linen

A textile made from the fibers of the flax plant. It is valued for its coolness and has a high natural luster.

Mango Wood

A fast-growing environmentally friendly hardwood. The wood is harvested after the trees are no longer fruit-bearing, therefore, it is not wasted and farmers are able to profit from the barren tree.

Medium Density Fiberboard

Commonly known as MDF, it is made from wood pieces that are cooked in steam and refined into fibers. These fibers are then blended with adhesives and pressed into the form of wood panels that have smooth surfaces and cores. MDF is resistant to warping and splitting.

Microsuede

A lightweight, breathable, and very durable fabric created from super-fine polyester microfibers. It has the look of suede but with a much softer finish, is easier to clean, and water-resistant. Also known as microfiber.

Miter Joint

A joint technique where two pieces of wood are cut at a forty-five degree angle and the beveled edges are placed and to end and nailed or glued together.

Mohair

Mohair is made from Angora goat's hair. It has been proven to be one of the strongest, moisture wicking, and crease resistant fabric available for upholstery. It's unique sheen and texture has made Mohair synonymous with chic, luxurious home décor.

Mortise and Tenon Joint

A joint technique that is common in furniture when joining the major frame of each piece. Each variation follows the same basic form: the mortise is the cut-out receptacle and the tenon is the piece that fits into the mortise. This joint has many variation including keyed, doweled, blind, and doweled through.

Non-Woven

A type of fabric construction where the fabric has not been woven or knitted but it bonded together by chemical, mechanical, heat or solvent treatment.

Nubuck

Top grain leather that has been sanded or buffed on the grain side to give a slight nap of short fibers, producing a velvet-like surface.

Nylon

A synthetic silky material that is versatile and durable and used for carpet and upholstery.

Oak Wood

A wood that is very widely used in furniture construction due to its durability and strength. It is light-colored and maintains a distinctive grain.

Padding

Cushions that lie between the springs and fabric of an upholstery piece

Particle Board

Made from refined wood chips that are blended with adhesives and pressed under heat and pressure to make wood panels.

Peroba

The wood is indigenous to Brazil. The wood was used to construct houses and buildings in the late 1800 and early 1900's. The reclaimed wood is now used by Environment Furniture to make beautiful, heirloom quality pieces.

Pine Wood

A straight-grained wood that has a low tendency to split and is extremely easy to work with. Pine is sturdy and light weight.

Pirelli Webbing

A type of rubber webbing that is used in placed of springs. This webbing is very durable and provides excellent suspension and structure for a seat. It is considered superior to springs due to its strength and ability to distribute weight evenly.

Plywood

A type of engineered board that is created from thin sheets of wood being glued together. it is resistant to cracking, wrapping, and splitting and has a high degree of strength.

Polycarbonate

It is a very durable material that has high impact-resistance, lightweight, and outdoor application. Polycarbonate is 100 percent recyclable.

Polyester

A woven fiber made of both synthetic and non-synthetic components. It is durable, highly versatile, and known for its resistance to wrinkles.

Polyurethane Foam

A durable foam used to pad the frames of upholstery furniture. It is produced by mixing two liquids and allowing the material to expand and become rigid. This foam can be made in a wide range of strengths depending on the use. Special care is taken to ensure that the density of the foam complements each piece and factors like seat height and depth, cradling, and the angle and pitch of the piece are all considered.

PU Leather

A high quality synthetic leather that has a fabric base and is finished in a polyurethane. This creates a soft touch and a more economical substitute for top grain leather.

PVC Leather

See PU Leather.

Railroaded Fabric

Pattern on fabric runs horizontally. The selvage defines the top and bottom of the pattern.

Rayon

A semi-synthetic fiber that imitates silk with its higher luster.

Reclaimed Wood

It is wood taken for re-use. Most reclaimed wood comes from timbers and decking rescued from old barns, factories, and warehouses. Some companies re-use wood from less traditional structures such as boxcars, coal mines, and wine barrels.

Rosewood

See Sheesham Wood

Rubberwood

An eco-friendly wood that comes from the Para Rubber Tree and is only used after the plantation trees have already served their main function. This wood has a low tendency to wrap.

Sand-Casting

A process in which a molten liquid metal is poured into a unique fine-grained sand mold. The mold is cooled until the metal has solidified and then the mold is separated from the metal casting.

Sapwood

The outer layer of wood on a tree, directly next to the bark. The sapwood is the living wood in a growing tree.

Sealers

A liquid that becomes a solid once applied to a piece of furniture. It helps prevent the penetration of gas or dust into the wood or material.

Sheesham Wood

Also known as Indian Rosewood, this wood id heavy, hard, and dense with high crushing strength and good stability. Sheesham has long been prized for yielding fine solid wood and veneer fro use in furniture, cabinetry, and high-end architectural woodwork.

Silk Dupioni

Silk fabric that is woven with silk fibers of vary thickness. It creates a textured, slubbed finish with a slight sheen.

Sinuous Springs

Springs that look like a continual "S". The spring is bowed-up and supported from the sides to keep them from moving or separating. Also known as S-Springs or No-Sag Springs.

Slipcover

A slipcover is a fitted cloth cover that is slipped off and on a piece of upholstered furniture. Slipcovers are usually made of cotton, linen, or other natural fabrics. The versatility and durability of a slipcovered sofa make it an attractive option for families with kids and pets.

Spew

A substance that occasionally rises to the surface of top-grain leather due to the open finish that allows the leather to breathe.

Springs

A support system used in upholstery pieces. See Also: Eight Way Hand Tied Springs or Sinuous Springs.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel does not stain, corrode or rust as easily as ordinary steel. It is a steel allow with a minimum of 11% chromium content by mass.

Sunbrella®

Sunbrella combines the best stain and sunlight resistant technology with a sumptuous hand and enduring color. This luxurious textile is easy to maintain and clean. It can be used for both indoor and outdoor furniture.

Suede

A material made from the underside of an animal skin that is buffed and brushed to create a fuzzy surface feel.

SFC

Sustainable Furnishing Council is a non-profit group of industry members that promotes sustainable practices among manufacturers, retailers, and consumers.

Tanning Leather

The chemical procedure used to prepare raw animal hides for use. The hide is cured and soaked in water for several days to rid the skin of debris. Then the hides are treated based on the end-use and put through a dyeing process that adds color and moisture.

Teak

A valuable hardwood that is golden reddish-brown in color with fine black streaks and a straight grain. Because of it natural oils, it is highly resistant to weather exposure.

Tight Back

An upholstered sofa or chair that does not have a removable, loose back cushion.

Tight Seat

An upholstered sofa or chair that does not have a removable, loose seat cushion.

Top-Grain Leather

Leather from the upper section of the hide that has been sanding of buffed in order to remove imperfections.

Tongue and Groove

A joint technique used when one piece of wood is cut to fit the matching groove of the other piece of wood. This allows panels to sit within the frame without glue or nails and also allows for slight expansion and contraction in humid climates.

Toss Pillows

Refers to the decorative accent pillows.

Tufts

An indention in an upholstered piece of furniture that is achieved by threading through layers of fabric or leather, often in a pattern, and securing the ends of the thread with a knot or button. The dense clusters that this technique creates are known as “tufts."

Traditional Chinese Joinery

A joint which no screws or nails are used. An almost infinite combination of joints is possible in furniture when the Chinese Joinery techniques are used.

Ultrasuede

A non-woven microfiber that has a suede-like feel. It is one of the most durable fabrics available and comes with a limited 10-year warranty.

Uni-Directional Webbed Suspension Seating

It is composed of latex rubber filaments which are fully wrapped in polypropylene yarn. The yarn protects the latex from oxidation and allows the rubber strands to be woven into wide strips. Application of the webbing uni-directionally provides each seat with an independent suspension, while the webbing's tight tolerance of 10% maximum stretch insures a well engineered suspension that is constant from seat to seat.

Veneer

A very thin slice of wood that is glued onto a core panel, usually made of wood, particle board, or MDF to produce a flat panel.

Velvet

Velvet is a type of woven tufted fabric in which the cut threads are evenly distributed, with a short dense pile, giving it a distinctive feel.

Warp

The yarns arranged lengthways on a loom, forming the threads through which the weft yarns are woven.

Weave

The process of interlacing threads to make a fabric. It also can mean the pattern created by the weaving process.

Weft

Strands inserted horizontally over and under the warp to form the foundation of the rug.

Welting

Cording that is wrapped in fabric and is used to trim upholstery seams.

Wool

A natural protein staple fiber taken from the fleece of sheep.