Making of a Biosofa

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Design, planning and prototyping

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When we meet with our designers for a new model, a first step is often a drawing, and then a miniature model. We discuss comfort, usability, look, feel, lines, materials, and general emotion for the new sofa. In the picture above designers ddp studio is showing a first model of Casquet.

Eventually we will create a 3D model — in this case the Casquet sofa. Our product developers will start to optimise and refine it and precisely calculate textile sizes and cutting patterns for our large scale plotter. 

The digital model is also the calculation base for all materials in order to calculate prices for the production process.

Once everybody involved in the development of the new sustainable sofa gives a green light, the proper production can start.

Building the wooden frame

We make all of our frames out of solid, FSC or PEFC certified wood. 

We use dried beechwood, because it is extremely hard, ultra robust and will not bend — not even after decades of usage.

None of our products contain chipboard or MDF, ever. 

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Our specialised team of woodworkers will proudly tell anybody who will listen that they inherited their art from their fathers and grandfathers.

After the wooden pieces have been cut and sanded by hand, all parts are measured once more and assembled by our team under head carpenter Fabio Solenne.

We now have a complete wooden under-frame, the backbone of our Biosofa.

Jute and metal springs

Before passing onto the cushioning proper, we install the base on which all cushioning will be placed. 

We call it the elastic layer and it’s an incredibly important part to ensure the final piece will be flexible and comfortable. 

The way we make sure that the product base will be not only comfortable, but also long-lasting and robust is by installing vertical and horizontal stripes of jute right under the frame. 

The woven jute pattern is fixed with steel nails. Steel springs are clamped together with large steel staples.

An extra layer of criss-cross belts is applied to the top and inner backrest and fixed to the steel springs. 

When everything is fastened, an extra piece of pure jute cloth is cut and added to cover the entire web of belts and springs. We like to do this so that the next layers of textile and cushioning feel really smooth.

Cotton felt and latex padding

On top of the jute material on the seating area, but also for the armrests and all around we are now applying a layer of 100% natural latex. 

The latex is delivered in large blocks and we cut it down to the needed sizes in the correct height and length using our large scale vertical saw. 

This process takes experience and craftsmanship, as the material is very soft and any push or pull in the wrong direction will result in an uneven cut.

Depending on the level of softness we want to achieve for the various parts on a sofa, the cut pieces of natural latex will vary anywhere from 1 to 20 centimetres. 

By carefully applying the different layers of latex we can sculpt the sofa as envisioned in the first sketches. 

This really is the difficult part, especially when constructing a sofa with rounded or soft lines, and here all the workmanship of our artisans really plays in our favour.

To protect the latex cells from dust and damage, we apply an extra layer of recycled cotton felt. Apart from the protection, this layer will also provide a firmer feel and keep the relatively wobbly latex foam compact and in shape. 

Furthermore this cotton layer will also support the final textile cover to run smoothly and not produce any creases or folds.

Inside and outer cover

With the 3D model that we have created early in the process, we’re now able to get the exact cuts for the textiles. 

We pass the shapes into our dedicated cutting program which is linked to our automated large scale cutting table. With its size of 3 x 8 meters and a movable arm we’re able to easily and precisely cut all the material.

After the textile is perfectly placed on the cutting table, gentle air pressure from underneath starts to suck the textile down, holding it in place during the whole cutting process.

Each textile has its own little features and challenges. With velvet for example, the lay of the soft surface will reflect the light differently depending on the direction of the weave. 

Once all textile pieces are cut, our seamstresses clean them and assemble the covers while borders, zippers and threads are matched to the textile color. 

The first cover is a white protective cover and will also support the final textile to run smoothly and perfectly flat. When you remove your top textile cover from your furniture for cleaning purposes (removing our textile covers is something we’re quite proud of to offer as a standard), you’ll see exactly this cover. 

Finally, the textile you chose as your top cover is assembled.

Backrest and cushions

Generally, a backrest is softer than the seat cushion of the sofa. Therefore, we need to produce them in different ways. The backrest will be made from pure feathers and is actually a cushion within a cushion. 

The technique we use to keep all this soft material in place is to sew it into air compartments, sort of like you would do with a down jacket. We do have vegan option available on request.

The inner layer for the seating cushion will be a latex layer featuring 10 to 20 centimetres of thickness. Once again, using our 100% natural latex! 

These latex pieces will finally be covered by a feather chamber cushion, much like the outer ones on the backrest.

Quality control

The last steps in making a Biosofa are assembling the feet and executing our quality control routine.

We double-check all measurements and features.

We test it for comfort, document the piece, put a piece of the original cover textile in an envelope for you, so that you always have a colour reference, and start smiling: the Biosofa is now ready to ship out and make you smile in turn.

organic sofa, eco friendly sofa, natural sofa, sustainable sofa
The Free Guide on Living with More Nature and Less Toxins.