Compare the Kensington, Wessex and other Tufted Leather sofas to the Casco Bay Furniture Kingsbridge Chesterfield – Review

What You Should Know About Our Kingsbridge Tufted Sofa

The Kensington Tufted Sofa is a classic Chesterfield design made popular by several Catalog Companies. Compare our Kingsbridge Leather Sofa to the Restoration Hardware Kensington Sofa,  the Arhaus Wessex Sofa, Pottery Barn’s Chesterfield and other tufted leather sofas. Our version of this sofa, the Kingsbridge is handcrafted in a state of the art manufacturing facility in Taylorsville, North Carolina. It is manufactured by Jonathan Wesley Furniture. The owner of our factory Tim Shook and his uncle, Norm Shook founded a company in the early 70’s called Taylor King Furniture, considered to be one of the premier upholstery manufacturers in the industry. They later sold Taylor King to Hancock and Moore. After the sale Tim continued on as the plant Manger for Taylor King , eventually leaving and reopening as Jonathan Wesley Furniture. Coincidentally Tim’s brother replaced Tim as the plant manger for Taylor King. Several of Tim’s upholsterers joined him at Jonathan Wesley. As you can see from this little bit of history, our factory owner has been making high quality upholstered furniture for 43 years.

Casco Bay Furniture’s Kingsbridge sofa is available in 8 sofa sizes, sleep sofas, numerous sectional configurations, 2 seat depths, custom sizes and either 1, 2, 3 or 4 seat cushions. Your choice of legs and leg finishes. Choose from a selection of nailhead trim or choose no nailheads. Casco Bay Furniture traditional hand-knotted, 8-way hand-tied construction with a 5/4 Maple frame. The Ultimate in durability and comfort! Hand Crafted in North Carolina.

Casco Bay Furniture traditional hand-knotted, 8-way hand-tied construction with a 5/4 Hardwood frame. The Ultimate in durability and comfort! Hand Crafted in North Carolina.

So what’s different about our Kingsbridge sofa? How does it compare ?

We have improved on a good thing. Our Kingsbridge sofa is handcrafted exclusively in Taylorsville, North Carolina. The quality leather furniture capital of the world. It is never imported from China. The famous Catalog company imports their Kensington Leather Sofa from China. In addition to the quality features of a North Carolina produced product, domestic hand crafting makes it easily serviced should the need ever arise, should you accidently damage your furniture. Our sofas are never subject to the harsh conditions often found in overseas containers. Overseas containers often contain chemicals used to prevent mold.

Our frames are made of 5/4 Appalachian Maple, not hardwood plywood commonly used in the industry in 98% of sofas sold, yet referred to as hardwood frames. The Famous Catalog Brand uses plywood frames in most of their sofas according to their customer service department. Our spring construction is built to the Gold Standard, which is True 8 Way Hand Tied Hand Knotted Springs. This spring system is a complex spring system taking hours to build. The system is comprised of four layers, with steel banding across the base of the frame (like a checkerboard). It is built to last for decades with proper care. Some companies use another type of 8 way hand tied spring system called a drop in unit. What exactly does this mean?

Typical Drop-In-Coil System. This drop in system is generally floated and screwed into hardwood plywood frame but referred to as a hardwood frame.

The Drop in 8 Way Hand Tied Coil System is essentially a pre-manufactured spring system. This system is manufactured outside the furniture. It typically resembles a wire or wooden box with coil springs 8 way tied and clipped to the unit. It is then placed on top of the frame and screwed into place. This pre-manufactured system is not built into the frame and as a result, does not contribute to the torsional strength of the frame and spring. It also does not have the steel banding across the base of the frame which greatly increases the strength of the spring system and framing. It can be installed in a matter of minutes. This system cost substantuially less to manufacture than a true 8 way hand tied spring system.

No Sag, Sinuous Spring suspensions set into hardwood plywood frames found on the
Wessex Sofa From Arhaus and Pottery Barn’s Chesterfield sofa.

No Sag, Sinuous Spring suspensions are usually set into hardwood plywood frames, (but again often referred to as hardwood frames) are typical of the spring construction used by 98% ofother retailers on their tufted sofas and some catalog companies such as Pottery Barn and Arhaus. A sinuous, no-sag spring system is no more than an s-shaped wire stretched across a frame every 6″ to 9”. A Sinuous Spring is also hard on your cushions as it creates a firm surface that only moves in one direction, up and down.

Another form of spring construction derived from the mattress industry  is called a Drop In Pocketed Coil.  This  preassembled unit is generally constructed in this manner. A series of small springs are encased in fabric. The frame is turned upside down and the frame is covered with a polypropylene fabric called “FLW” and stapled in place. The frame is then turned back over and glue is sprayed on the poly. The pocketed unit is then glued to the poly. This pre-manufactured system is also not built into the frame and as a result, does not contribute to the torsional strength of the frame and spring. Another retailer making this type of sofa employs this system. The Famous Catalog Brand uses this system in their Cloud sofa according to their website.

Based on our wholesale costs to build this sofa to our construction standards as outlined above (and there are only a handful of manufacturers still building sofas this way), and based on a typical retail markup,  sofas built to our standard would generally retail for twice our price.

We offer 5 upgraded cushion options on our Kingsbridge sofa for a nominal fee. These include our softest cushion, called a Foam Blend Down  cushion which is a combination of Ultracel soy based foams of varying softness with a down blend wrap. Ultracel 1.8 21 foam with a down blend wrap for a medium softness and Ultracel 2.5 25 with a down blend wrap for a firmer cushion. We also offer two version of our  Ultracel Spring Down cushion which is our most popular cushion and in our opinion one of the best cushions to be found in the industry. There are very few manufacturers offering the Ultracel Spring Down cushion.  Ultracel Soy-based foam is a high-quality foam lasting substantially longer than regular foam. Very few retailers offer this many seat cushion options. Our cushion cores are all domestically produced in Hickory NC. Our cushions are never imported.

Tufting – Real Tufting and Pre Tufting. What’s the difference?

The last point I wanted to discuss is the method of tufting used in our furniture. Tufting is a dying art. There are very few tufters left in the industry. Our tufters use the traditional method of tufting using a long 12” tufting needle where the button tuft is anchored behind the leather with heavy duty batting. It is a time consuming and difficult process to master. Many manufacturers would like to offer tufted furniture but they cannot find tufters to accomplish this difficult task.

As a result, many tufted sofas sold today are actually not really tufted but employ a method called pre-tufting. In pre-tufting, the tufts are sewn into the leather and then a button with a 2” nail on the end is inserted into the sewn in tuft and anchored by a metal clip behind the leather. A common problem with pre-tufting is some of the metal anchoring clips often fall out or loosen leaving a very unsatisfactory appearance. It is also very difficult to repair a pre-tufted sofa.

And saving the best for last, in spite of the quality features found in our sofa, our sofa cost less than most other tufted leather sofas and substantially less than any comparably made tufted leather sofa. It also includes more such as no sales tax and a free in home delivery in most states. And our sofas are delivered by a private delivery service. The same drivers that leave NC will set up your furniture in your home. No Freight Transfers which often result in damage.

Our Kingsbridge sofa is offered in a wide variety of full aniline dyed leathers from the world’s leading supplier of high-quality leather, Moore and Giles but we also offer the Kingsbridge sofa in fabric in a Customers Own Material.

I have been involved in the manufacturing and sales of investment quality leather furniture for 40 years. Whatever you decide to purchase and of course this is only my opinion based on decades of experience, ask for and in fact insist upon, construction photos of the of what’s inside your furniture. A well constructed sofa can last 40 or even 50 years and even if you  don’t plan on keeping it that long you will know that while you own it, it will sit good, look good and won’t sag or bottom out. 

Look for detailed pictures or videos of  frame, spring and cushion construction. Most new sofas and sectionals will look good on the outside, how long they will last is determine by how they are built on the inside. If the perspective retailer says photos or videos are not available ask yourself, why not? Many manufactures employing high quality construction techniques are proud of what they build. They almost always will show construction photos or videos on their web site or catalog.

Buying a tufted leather sofa is an important purchase. We have provided this information to the reader for educational purposes so the reader can make their own shopping comparisons. We have provided information about how our sofas are constructed and provided photographs of how are sofas are constructed. We have also explained the various other types of frame and spring construction found in the furniture industry. As you are now an informed consumer be sure to ask other potential retailers detailed questions as to where and how their sofas are constructed. Ask what method they use to tuft their sofas. Ask to see construction photos. A leather sofa should be a long term investment. A well built sofa with the construction features employed by Casco Bay Furniture can last for decades. Make sure you make the right  decision in your sofa or sectional purchase. Please give us a call if you have any further questions about our product.

We also make Kingsbridge sofas and sectionals with all with all their quality features in a fully tufted version called the Brighton.

Richard

Casco Bay Furniture’s Fully Tufted version of the Kingsbridge Sofa called the Brighton.
Compare to Restoration Hardware’s Cambridge sofa

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4 Comments

  1. Maureen cu4thff

    What are the costs of the furniture?

  2. Maureen cuff

    I can’t locate the various styled all together to compare them. Will i be taxed in Pa?

    • Maureen if you look in the left hand margin you will notice under tufted leather furniture “View All Styles”. We do not collect tax in PA. Richard.

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