Upholstered Couch Seams do not match

shelley4March 27, 2010

I recently purchased a Smith Brothers sofa in a custom fabric. The Fabric is a large floral that at first glance is almost random, but in fact repeats in intervals of three. The seams at arms and particularly along the back do not begin to match -- a large white flower cut in half sewn up against a blue leaf or fern segment of the pattern.

Should I have turned the sofa away upon delivery? Is this unacceptable? At first I was just so happy with the fabric itself in this room that I didn't notice the mismatched seams. I assume they thought the large splashy pattern didn't require the same seam matches as a stripe would have.

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That's a shame; I wonder what the workroom would have to say, but more importantly the store or designer that placed the order should have warned you if the large pattern repeat did not lend itself to the smaller surface of a chair.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 9:27AM
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I know how you must feel. The pattern on my Smith Brothers chairs aren't matched either. Mine is a very "scrolly" floral, so I don't think it's super noticable unless your looking for that sort of thing. But still, for what this furniture cost, I expected better.

Totally Confused

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 11:42AM
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I've been back and forth with the store and Smith Brothers. What they finally said was, "Our committee decided that the fabric was busy enough that the mismatched seams would not be noticed. We matched just the front cushions. Matching the seams would have made the couch several hundreds of dollars more expensive because we would have had to use much more fabric."

I responded that the couch is facing a fireplace with the back open to the room, so mismatched seams are extremely noticeable. I also said that I should have been given the option to pay the "many hundreds of dollars" or to choose another fabric if matching seams were impossible. I told them I would like an estimate for replacing the mismatched panels; barring that I would like to return the couch.

Haven't heard back yet. But every site I visit about "how to judge quality upholstery" mentions matching the pattern at the seams.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 12:48PM
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I would've had the same conversation, and reaction, that you had, Shelley.

Thank goodness my soon-to-be-delivered Smith Brothers section is in a no-repeat design! I'd hate to have send back a huge three sided sectional!!

Good luck -- and let us know how it turns out!!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 8:00PM
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A word to the wise; anytime your purchasing fabric that has a repeat, check with the manufacturer where and what they match. Their are yardage charts showing how much additional percentage of fabric is needed for every size of repeat, vertical and horizontal. Most large pattern fabrics are designed so that you can seam together opposite sides to match the pattern. In any case you cant always blame the manufacturer because you not ask about this before purchasing.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 10:13AM
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