Any quality sofa needs a well-made frame that will allow it to maintain its overall shape and integrity. The frame is the skeleton that keeps every part of the sofa together, and for that reason it is incredibly important that it is strong and robust — able to stand up to everyday use without compromising on comfort.
Many manufacturers use either metal or wood composites for frames in their contemporary designs, but the traditional craftsman’s choice is hardwood timber, a material that has served sofa makers well throughout history and to this day. Metal frames can be sturdy, but they can also be prone to oxidation with seasonal changes in humidity. Wood composite frames are cheaper to produce, but lack the strength of hardwood or metal.
At Desket, we maintain that traditional timber frame methods are the best choice for manufacturing a high-quality piece of enduring furniture. More specifically, we prefer red cedar, which is well known for its solidity and ease to work with. Simply put, quality red-cedar timber guarantees a long-lasting and reliable frame for sofas.
The reason that red-cedar is so desirable for sofa craftsmen is down to its natural qualities. The tree has a long, unbending trunk with few side branches, producing a hard timber with a straight grain. This type of grain allows the wood to keep its shape over the years, as there’s no variation in the grain that could encourage warping or twisting. The lack of side branches on the red-cedar tree also means the timber has consistent strength throughout its length, as knots can be weak points.
In recent years, it’s become more common for manufacturers to use a mixture of timbers for frames. This is purely a cost-saving exercise and has no basis in good design or construction. At Desket, we only ever use solid red-cedar rails in the construction of our frames.