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A quality piece of leather furniture will not only be upholstered in quality top grain leather, but it will also be constructed with only the finest materials and craftsmanship available.

A solidly built hardwood frame double-dowelled and corner-blocked for reinforcement is the first step to a quality product. A consumer should be wary of frames that are a combination of wood and metal or only metal. These frames are not built to withstand everyday use.

Next, and most importantly, the seat construction should have eight-way hand tied coil springs for maximum durability and comfort. Inferior seat constructions such as no-sag springs tend to "bottom out" after several years of use. It is also preferable for the springs in eight-way hand- tied pieces to be placed at least four deep, if possible, or to have 12 coils per seat. Many manufacturers cut corners by using only 9 coils per seat, which reduces the seating firmness substantially.

The back construction is also important. At McKinley Leather, we use sinuous wire springs in the backs of most of our pieces. This is a superior construction feature that provides unequalled back support and firmness.

Cushions are also important in determining comfort. A minimum of a 1.8 density (1.8 pounds per cubic foot) polyurethane foam is acceptable for seat cushions. Keep in mind that seat cushions which start soft tend to soften excessively in a relatively short time. Seat and back cushions should always be in casings to prevent them from losing their shape and breaking down.

The overall tailoring of the piece is often the best determination of quality. Since each piece is handcrafted, there will be slight variations in each piece of furniture. However, seat cushions should fit snuggly; seams should be straight and back cushions should be sized uniformly.

FRAMES - Select kiln-dried hardwoods with a minimum of 5/4" stock. Frame joints are double-dowelled and corner-blocked. The corner blocks are glued and screwed into the frame for maximum strength and durability.

BASE - The finest quality polypropylene is reinforced with resin- coated steel bands that run the length and width of the frame. Then, double-cone coils are clamped to the polypropylene four deep, or 12 coils per seat, and eight-way hand tied. Spring edges are used where applicable. Ottomans are no sag.

CUSHION - All loose seat cushions are a 1.8 density or better urethane Foam core wrapped with polyester fiber and enclosed in a casing, commonly known in our industry as a Polyfiber cushion. A more soft and inviting seat cushion, Crown Royal is available at an up charge. Leather upholstery is not quite suited to Royal Down cushioning for two reasons: 1. The required down-proof ticking does not breathe as well as the standard muslin casing. 2. Leather does not breathe as well as fabric. The net effect is somewhat firmer than is normally expected out of "plush" Down seating. We do offer Royal Down as an upgrade, but we recommend our Crown Royal cushions, which provide the plush softness expected from Down.

BACKS - Sinuous wire springs are used in the backs of most pieces. Back cushions are 100% polyester fiber or Dacron, baffled and sewn within a muslin casing.

PADDING - Backs and arms are covered with a combination of fleecy Cotton, urethane foam, polyester batting, 5/8" nylon- backed fibrous pad, or urethane foam as dictated by styling. The outsides of all pieces are doubled-covered with plush cotton.

FINISH - All exposed wood is maple, with several finish options: Antique Cherry (medium brown, low sheen), Black Walnut (dark ebonized brown), Mahogany (dark brown, higher sheen), Oak (lightest brown) and Worn Black (black walnut with gold tones rubbed through randomly). Our J. Neal Collection frames in the "Occasional" section have exclusive hand-rubbed finishes. These finishes are distressed and rasped for an aged effect. The colorations are: J. Neal Tuscany (light Italian, almost a pine presentation), J. Neal Plantation Cherry (medium brown, reminiscent of an aged Cherry wood), and J. Neal Heirloom (dark black brown, with yellow highlights).

NAILS - Brass nails are individually driven by hand. Nail head trim may be added or deleted to most styles upon request. There are three nail head sizes: small (09), medium (54) or large (52). The medium and large brass nails can be applied head-to-head or spaced; contact us to discuss the options on any given style.

EXECUTIVE SWIVELS - Tilt-swivel mechanisms are by Collier-Keyworth. An ergonomic base with a gas lift is standard on some styles but can be added for an upcharge on others. The bases are 5- prong steel bases with wooden caps. Casters are a double-wheel Shepherd caster with Solid antique brass hoods. They are for use on all surfaces.

SLEEPERS - All sleeper mechanisms are manufactured by Leggett and Platt. The mattress is a 6" innerspring Queen size mattress from Kingsdown.

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