In many respects, cushions are the number one item that contributes to your enjoyment of your furniture.  If your cushion is of poor quality,  sooner or later, you are going to be unhappy with the way your furniture sits.

Below you'll find a link to a document that outlines the different types of cushions that are available along with some general information about cushions.  But for those cushion-groupies that simply can't get enough knowledge about everything-cushion, here is a complete dossier of the cushion world.


Most commercial manufactured cushions in the modern world use the same basic ingredients in various combinations.  Let's start by meeting all the players in the cushion-making world:


aka "Polyurethane", "High Density Foam", "Poly", "Foam Rubber"

At the end of the day it's all the same thing.  Foam is a product of the petroleum industry and is available in a multitude of grades and densities.  Foam is measured by two standards: density and compression. Density refers to the amount of material in one cubic foot of foam; the more dense the product, the more the cubic foot will weigh. Compression refers to the amount of force required to compress that cubic foot by 25 percent. The two figures together describe the softness to hardness of the foam. For example, a 2735 rated foam is 2.7 pounds per cubic foot and requires 35 pounds of pressure to compress it 25 percent. This is a medium-firm foam suitable for couch cushions. If you want your cushions a bit softer, as you would for a back cushion, you could use a 2720 foam, which would be much softer, requiring only 20 pounds of pressure to compress it 25 percent. Traditionally we use 18-20 and 18-30 foam in building our furniture.


Down is one of those overly / incorrectly used words that many use to describe their pillows or cushions.  In reality, "down" is the layer of fine feathers that exists under the tougher exterior feathers.  While making a pillow or cushion out of nothing but down is possible, it would be incredibly expensive and would not hold its shape for very long.  Instead we use a "Blendown" called "10/90" which represents 10% down and 90% feathers, then we mix in a small handful of shredded polyester to help prevent the feathers and down from caking, helping to preserve the "loft" of the cushion.  You will see this referred to as "Blendown" in most of our materials.  We do not offer strictly down filled nor strictly feather filled cushions nor pillows.


aka "Polyester Batting" is the brand name (often used generically like "Kleenex" is used to describe all facial tissue) of polyester textile fiber that can be found in everything from clothing to car interiors.   This product is designed to give a nice "cushy" feel that won't lose its loft over time.  In our world, this Polyester Batting is used in place of Blendown for customers that are allergic or prefer to not have feathers in their cushions.  Additionally we wrap cushions in Polyester Batting for commercial and institutional uses.


The "secret sauce" of our most-comfortable cushions!  Marshall Springs are individually wrapped, coiled springs that are often seen in mattress commercials.  These springs are made from high-carbon wire and are specially formulated for use in furniture cushions.  Marshall Springs play a significant role in ensuring not on the support and comfort of our cushions but they also aid in extending the life-span of our cushions.  


aka "The Tick".  High quality cushions and pillows make use of ticking bags (ticks) to hold all the "stuff" together before it is inserted into the cover made of the upholstery fabric.  A special type of material is used in making our ticks to minimize the effects of feathers and quills from popping through the surface however it is nearly impossible to prevent all quills from making their way out of a cushion.  A custom tick is sewn for each cushion and pillow with channels sewn into each section to ensure our blendown does not pool in one area ensuring a smooth, even comfort.


We love talking about our cushion units because, well, to be frank - they are the highest quality, most comfortable cushion available on the market today.

Our "standard" seat cushion (some manufacturers offer this as a "premium," "luxury" or "upgrade" option - to us it's our standard) is a Spring Blendown Cushion.

First we start by using high-density polyurethane foam to build a hollow box.  We fill the inside of that box with individually wrapped Marshall Spring Units, linked together with a special connector that ensures that each spring moves independently while still supporting the other springs around it.  

Finally we sew and fill a ticking bag with our blendown down/feather/poly mix and we seal that foam box filled with springs inside that blendown tick!  That's a lot of work for one cushion!  And we do all that work for every cushion we make!


While we stand by our Spring Blendown Cushions as the most comfortable and longest lasting cushion available, it may not be the perfect cushion for every perfect customer.  So we offer the following options:


Our standard cushions are most comfortable for most people.   Most people.  If you need or prefer a firmer or softer cushion let us know when ordering and we can make a few small adjustments.


In addition to the spring unit that we use in most of our seat cushions, we do offer a solid foam core cushion that can be enclosed in a blendown tick (like the spring unit) or can be wrapped in a layer of polyester batting.  Foam Core cushions are found most often in commercial and institutional settings but are also a comfortable, less expensive option for residential use.


For those customers that are either allergic to down or prefer to not have any feathers in their cushions we offer a Dacron Wrapped solution where we cover the top and bottom of either your spring unit or foam core cushion with our polyester batting then encase the polyester wrapped cushion in a basic tick.  The layer of Dacron helps give the cushion that "poufy" appearance that everyone loves along with a comfy feel.

Unlike Seat Cushions, back pillows only have a few options:


Most of our back pillows consist of a tick sewn with individual channels and filled with blendown - this is the highest quality and most comfortable selection


For those customers who prefer to not have any feathers or are looking for a less expensive option, we offer a shredded polyester filled back pillow that is also filled inside of a channeled tick.


In those situations where the shape of the back pillow is crucial (many Mid-Century Modern styles) we offer a Foam Core Back Pillow where we place a thinner piece of foam into the middle of the back pillow tick to help maintain size and structure.


PILLOWS vs cushions

In the furniture world, we have "Back Pillows" and "Seat Cushions."  It doesn't matter if the back pillow is boxed or knife edged, blendown filled or foam core - they are always called "back pillows" and the seat is always referred to as a cushion.

Additionally, a decorative "add-on" is referred to a "Throw" pillow, sometimes referred to as a "Toss" pillow.

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Barnes Custom Upholstery

American Made

Custom Upholstered Furniture

Since 1974

High Point, North Carolina


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