Reasons to Use Natural Latex Foam
in Furniture Reupholstery
Not all foams used for reupholstering furniture are created equal. The two types that manufacturers utilize most frequently are natural latex foam and chemically manufactured polyurethane foam. So most upholstery professionals prefer natural latex foam because it’s permeable and resilient. Latex foam is ideal when reupholstering furniture. Also, this material comes in varying degrees of softness and firmness. And you can mold it into any shape.
About Natural Latex Foam
Natural latex foam is an excellent, quality foam made from rubber trees (Hevea brasiliensis) and water. As a result, it is 100 percent natural. Natural latex is long-lasting foam used by top-of-the-line furniture manufacturers and professional upholsterers. It’s a breathable, open-celled foam made with simple, organic materials.
What About Synthetics?
Furthermore, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, synthetic polyurethane foam consists of chemically derived materials. This foam is made from gases and hazardous pollutants like methylene chloride, toluene diisocyanate, and hydrogen cyanide. Polyurethane foam is low-quality and sinks in a short time. The result is indentations in furniture cushions. If you’re considering having your furniture reupholstered, ask an upholsterer about using 100 percent natural latex foam.
Natural Latex Foam Manufacturing Methods
Manufacturers use two different methods for making natural latex foam. The older method is the Dunlop style. And the modern way is the Talalay style.
The Dunlop method of manufacturing natural latex foam is to pour the rubber and water mixture into a mold. While in the mold, the material rises and cures. Then, people slice it into pieces.
The Talalay process is a more involved method of forming latex foam. The rubber tree’s sap and water go into an aluminum vacuum mold. After the extraction of air from the mold, the liquid expands. Then the mixture is flash frozen, heated and cured to specific comfort levels. After drying the foam, it’s cut into full or thin pieces.
Reasons to Use Natural Latex Foam for Reupholstering Furniture
When your upholsterer uses latex foam in your furniture cushions, it can keep its shape for up to 20 years. And the following list details the benefits of using natural latex foam for reupholstering furniture.
- Permeable enough to mold into various shapes
- Naturally hypoallergenic
- Resists dust mites
- Healthier than petroleum-based foam
- Resistant to distortion
- Instant support and comfort
- Does not retain heat
Reupholstering Can Keep Your Furniture Free From Caustic Flame-Retardants
According to a study at Duke University’s Superfund Analytical Chemistry Core, furniture manufactured with polyurethane foam cushions in the past 15 years could contain harmful flame retardant. If your furniture cushions have this retardant, it can accumulate in your home. The chemical released from PentaBDE, TDCPP, TBPP and several other flame retardants can settle in human tissue. This can occur after inhaling or ingesting particles released into the air of your home. If this happens, it may cause adverse health effects.
Get it Tested
Some polyurethane foam manufacturers still add unknown flame-retardants to their foam. Therefore, the Duke University study suggests having your current furniture foam tested for harmful flame retardants. In addition, some people prefer having an upholsterer remove hazardous foam. The old foam is replaced with natural latex foam to alleviate worries about ingesting harmful particles. Ask a professional upholsterer about the organic, natural materials you can use for replacing polyurethane foam.
Why Use a Professional Upholsterer?
When you bring your furniture to an upholsterer, the process involves more than just changing the outer fabric.
Reupholstering a piece of furniture involves stripping it down to the bare bones and replacing all the materials. In addition, it is an age-old craft that takes years of experience. And the upholsterer also checks the frame for loose joints, replaces linings and checks springs for damage.
Why Reupholster Instead of Replacing Your Furniture
You could have many reasons for having your furniture reupholstered. Maybe you’ve had a piece since childhood, and it brings back sentimental memories. So even if it looks tired and worn, an upholsterer can breathe new life into furniture. And a pro will bring it back to its original beauty.
If you’re an antique hunter and you see a chair or sofa that would be perfect for your home, don’t worry about a torn, indented seat. A professional upholsterer can restore the piece by replacing the cushions and choosing a new covering fabric. In addition, a professional can transform it into the ideal complement to your decor.
Also, when you decide to change your wall color and carpeting, you might find that your furniture doesn’t fit the style of the room anymore. And choosing to reupholster allows you to cover your furniture with any fabric you want without having to search in furniture stores.
Finally, reupholstering furniture is also a great way to recycle and reuse. If green living and eco-friendly materials are important to you, consider having your worn furniture reupholstered.
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