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Coil Springs for XXI-Century Furniture

Time-Proven Upholstery Techniques at Bellavista Collection

If you take a newly produced mass-market sofa or an armchair, strip its upholstery fabric off and look inside, most likely you’ll find some kind of synthetic material there. It could be polyurethane, urethane or latex foam, etc. There won’t be any springs tied across their tops anymore.

Coil springs with their tops hand-tied together with a hemp twine are common in vintage or antique sofas, armchairs and other upholstered furniture pieces. Unfortunately, this highly reliable, time-proven structure is becoming a thing of the past.

Or… is it?

The goal of tying springs together is to connect them so that the springs move as one unit. As a result, the seat adjusts to support contour of your body.

Coil springs, carefully tied by hand in 8-Way method, are still used in traditional and custom upholstery. In fact, “eight-way hand-tied” now is a sign of high-end furniture because it is still the most durable spring system available. It’s becoming rare for just one reason:  tying springs together is backbreaking and time-consuming work. It requires plenty of patience, along with muscular strength. The end result is great, though – interlocking knots and hemp twine keep the springs from moving sideways. Sofa with such a foundation will serve you for decades without sagging.

‘Eight-way’ means that there will be eight knots tied on each spring. In short, this spring construction is made as follows: at first separate coil springs are attached to the frame with metal clinches. After this, a worker ties down the tops of coil springs in four directions: front to back, side to side and diagonally both ways.

So, use of hand-tied springs usually means better quality item.  Furniture makers from Bellavista Collection – a well-known brand that specializes in Italian luxury furniture – use this technique because they never sacrifice quality for quantity. If a meticulous job brings excellent result, it will be done.

That is why you will find a good number of armchairs and sofas with hand tied springs at the Bellavista’s web resource. If you buy any of them, you can be sure that it will remain the same comfortable to sit on even after twenty or thirty years of active use.

Armchairs and Sofas with Hand-Tied Coils at Bellavista Collection

Look, for example, at elegant sofas called BIG JOHN and LITTLE JOHN. Both can have either leather or high-quality fabric upper covering (like most of the upholstered pieces at Bellavista).


As to the size, BIG JOHN can be pretty big – 280 centimeters (110,2 inches) long. However, here are three more size options: 250 cm. (98,4 in.), 220 cm. (86,6 in.), and 190 cm. (74,80 in.) long. So, you can choose a BIG JOHN sofa that will fit into your room, whatever its size.

All these options offer hand tied coils seat, which makes this sofa a must-have if you appreciate durability and comfort.

LITTLE JOHN looks quite like its BIG ‘brother’ but is predictably smaller – only 130 cm. (51.2 in) long. It makes this sofa a good choice for a tiny living room. LITTLE JOHN comes in two options: with a hand tied coils seat or down filled seat cushion.

“BOSS” and “MAFALDA” armchairs are just two of many furniture items at Bellavista, which are made using hand-tied coils. Fashionably-looking and really cozy thanks to their sophisticated and ergonomic design, each of these armchairs will quickly become your favorite place to sit in.

Three most common other options of furniture suspension systems include:

Sinuous Spring Construction

Sinuous springs have lots of names. They are called serpentine, or no-Sag, or zig zag springs, or zigzag wire, or S-coils. All these names mean the same thing: a metal wire formed in a continuous S-shaped coil.

These springs are very popular with furniture makers for a number of reasons. First, they are very easy to install, so the furniture is cheaper to produce. Rows of these springs are attached either front-to-back or side-to-side every few inches apart and often re-enforced with additional metal wires. The resulting construction is strong enough to be used in armchairs, ottomans, seats and backs of sofas.

Second, sinuous springs need less space than coil ones, so these springs could be preferred for some modern designs.

However, a zig zag wire is more likely to break than a coil spring. If it breaks, the entire seat will sag at once.

Drop-In Coil Springs System

Drop-in spring system is a pre-made steel framework of coils connected to one another. Compared to eight-way hand-tied coils systems, drop-in ones are cheap and extremely easy to install. The entire unit is just fastened to the frame – and bingo! However, quickness and lower cost come with a few sacrifices. A sofa is likely to squeak when used; also, it will sag faster than, say, an eight-way hand tied system.


Webbing is a kind of suspension which is frequently used in mass market upholstered furniture. Strong straps are fastened to a frame and weaved to produce a grid-like platform where the cushions will rest. Materials for the stripes can be either natural like hemp or jute, or synthetic ones, e.g. polypropylene.

Although webbing sometimes is thought to be a sign of inferior quality furniture, reputable manufacturers use it in some cases. For example, if a piece of furniture has a narrow seat deck, other suspension methods may be less suitable.

Webbing alone doesn’t guarantee strong support, unless it is made with a special tool called tensioner. A tensioner firmly fastens the straps to the frame, ensuring sufficient endurance.  But anyway, if you want your sofa to resist wear and tear, you had better choose the one with more reliable suspension. The very best option is, of course, eight-way hand tied construction. That’s exactly the one, which furniture makers from Bellavista apply when making their luxury sofas and armchairs.

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