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Decoding Lounge Furniture: A Beginner's Guide to Key Lingo

Every industry has its own version of a language.

And the contract furniture market is no different.

However, unlike laminate tables and task chairs, contract lounge furniture has even more technical terms.

From foam, to frame, to upholstery, to design terminology lounge furniture has a wide range of lingo to understand.

Do you want to learn to speak Lounge Furniture like an old pro?

Keep reading and I’ll define a few of the most important terms. And don’t expect dictionary definitions, these are real definitions, that don’t require having to google the definition of all the words within the definition…

Foam Density:

stacks of foam

This one is a little bit complex and honestly the better way to understand this is. Is the foam high or low quality?

High-quality foam generally has a higher density, which is just the weight of the foam per cubic foot. For example, most of our foam has a density of 2.2 lbs.

Foam Compression:


Yeah, foam is confusing. This is the second lb number you will hear soft-seating gurus talk about.

The compression is simply the amount of weight the foam can hold before it compresses. So most of our furniture uses 110 lb foam, meaning if you weigh more than 110 lbs you will notice the foam compress slightly when you sit down.

However, when you stand up it will refill the upholstery and look as good as new!


rolls of fabric

Mayer Fabrics Made with SEAQUAL Yarn - Photo Courtesy of Mayer Fabrics

This is a brand, but with upholstered products, it may be talked about quite a bit!

SEAQUAL yard is a recycled polyester yarn used to make some upholsteries. It combines 10% recycled marine plastics and 90% post-consumer products from landfills and creates a 100% recycled polyester yarn.

Biophilic Design:

biophilic design with plants on shelves

Biophilic is a huge buzzword in the design industry right now, so you have probably heard about it.

Essentially biophilic design is bringing nature indoors and incorporating it into interior design.

This doesn’t mean all buildings are made without walls and doors now. It simply means using nature as an inspiration for the design. This can be done using natural colors, textures, materials, and more…!


hands sewing upholstery

Reupholstery is a sustainable way of making your Flexxform furniture new again! Because our frames last forever and the upholstery doesn’t, we can bring the piece back to our factory, cut and sew new upholstery, and recover your chair with new upholstery.

And simple as that you have a brand-new piece, even though the frame is technically 15 years old…!


rolls of upholstery

Photo Courtesy of Camira Fabrics

COM is the abbreviation for Customer’s Own Material.

This essentially means if you would prefer to buy your own upholstery and send it to us to put on your new Flexxform seating, go ahead! Just mention you are doing a COM and we know what you are referring to.

This means that you, as the customer, purchase the upholstery and ship it to our factory.

Where we cut, sew, and upholster your new seating!

Woven Upholsteries:

rolls of woven fabric

Photo Courtesy of Luna Textiles

Woven upholstery and the standard fabrics we are used to. They typically use thread or yarn woven together to create a pattern.

Woven upholstery can include materials such as cotton, flax, wool, hemp, and more. However, the most common woven upholstery is made of polyester.

Coated Upholsteries:

coated upholstery hanging

Photo Courtesy of Ultrafabrics

Coated upholsteries are upholsteries that are either coated with a moisture barrier type coating, or faux leather.

With the moisture barrier type products, typical woven upholsteries are used, but then they are treated with materials like Crypton or Endurepel Sheild to ensure all the spaces between the woven yarn are filled in to stop liquids from leaking through.

Faux leather can be made of several materials. A few examples are polyurethane, silicone, or vinyl.

Real leather is in its own category but would be considered a coated upholstery as well.

And finally, we have Double-Rubs:

circle of fabric samples

Photo Courtesy of Kvadrat Fabrics

Double-rubs is an upholstery term. It refers to the testing used to see how long the upholstery will last.

The test essentially uses a machine to rub the upholstery back and forth until the upholstery wears through.

For reference, it is recommended that commercial-grade upholstery be higher than 100,000 double rubs, but some of the coated upholstery can get up to 1.5 million double rubs!

And now you can face the lounge furniture market sounding intelligent, and feeling intelligent, and let’s be real the feeling is so much better than anything else! 😏

Have more terms you need clarification on? Reach out to us for the definition, or quote requests, we accept those too… 😉 –


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