The first impression of a piece of upholstery relates to the geometry. How does the piece sit in space? Is it visually compelling? Does it invite the viewer to sit on it or to luxuriate in its comfort. Matsuoka's commitment to the mission of cutting edge design, exemplified in the aesthetic of Christian Lyon, is an assurance of a winning combination of visual elements.
It is impossible, however, even for the most discerning, merely to look at the geometry of a piece of upholstery and know its quality. This is a tactile and ergonomic experience for the audience and a marvelous exercise in engineering and craft for the manufacturer.
The customer's experience when they interact physically with these artifacts, speaks for itself. They are masterworks of comfort. They are also built to last.
Comfort and durability are both very much the products of the same set of elements built into a quality piece of upholstery. Here we are talking about the nitty-gritty. Because the reality is that it is so easy to hide compromises and cut corners in upholstery work - because many times, the only thing the consumer sees on the floor is the geometry covered by a fabric. Many people never suspect that the item which they see on the floor may have a truly poor ergonomic profile, it may not "sit" well, which means it is not comfortable - or that it may be destined to be very uncomfortable or noisy with a few short years of use.
Quality is the assurance that what looks good indeed is good.
Comfort and durability derive from an understanding of wood materials engineering, the use of superior components well selected, and a commitment to never compromise. This is of course, the Matsuoka way.
Frame / Spring Up / Cushions
The details that go into the construction of excellence in a piece of upholstery are myriad. It would be impossible in this space to explain them all. And, indeed, comfort and durability are a function of all of these myriad elements working together in harmony to create a masterpiece. We will focus here, however, on only three…
- Excellence starts at the construction of the frames. Every Matsuoka sofa is engineered to be built on a specific frame. The frames are dimensioned according to the design and then built by a master frame maker, who cuts the beams of solid maple.
- Maple hold nails, screws and staples very well, because it is a dense hardwood.
- The lumber chosen is all of the same species, usually cut from the same grove, kiln dried together to a specific moisture content and then applied to the frame.
- Using exactly the same wood for all frame parts ensures that through the action of time, the vagaries of temperature and humidity change, all frame parts will expand and contract together assuring that joints will hold their shape, and not loosen.
- The joinery of the component parts of the frames is itself a combination of art and science. Each joint is carefully
- Glued with a space age adhesive
- Screwed tight, and
- This assures a durable fit and finish that will stand up to the most harsh of environments and withstand many years of use.
- Spring up is a science in itself.
- Each spring is made from steel wire whose chemistry is carefully chosen to ensure the proper physical character and resistance to fatigue is imparted from the very beginning.
- Precise heat treatment, quenching and wire drawing assure the required crystal structure designated by the engineers. This imparts physical characteristics of strength, and suppleness which will ensure precise load bearing tolerances.
- The wire is coiled a precise number of turns, in order to accomplish exactly the right coefficient of compression to meet the comfort needs of the application;
- These springs, specifically designed for this application are then carefully laid out on the carriage of the frames, in arrays of 4 X 4 under each seat. (Most manufacturers stop at 3 X 3 spring up per seat).
- These are carefully eight-way hand tied to assure that the springs cannot not migrate over the usage life of the sofa, causing lumpiness or vitiating the proper distribution of loads.
- Even Load Distribution makes a major difference in terms of an experience of comfort.
- Finally each cushion is the result of years of experience in the development of cushion technology. While a "medium firmness" cushion is our standard, several wonderful choices can be selected according to the customer's needs. Our standard cushion combines the following quality characteristics:
- A precisely engineered polyurethane core of a specific firmness to absorb and distribute weights of varying intensities.
- This is surrounded by a double layer of down proof ticking
- Between the layers of ticking is a filling of 15/85 down and feathers. The down is the finest available with a specific curvature of the feathers to provide an even lift that assures the tailored look and presents a comfortable "ride" as the user slips into the seat.
- The ticking is channeled to prevent migration of the down and feathers. This provides a very crisp tailored visual appearance, and delightfully embracing feel when the body moves into the cushion.