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What Are the Parts of a Leather Sofa?

Among the most popular items at Currier’s are our wide selection of fine leather sofas. Yet while many consumers may not spend much thought on “sofa” terminology, having a cursory understanding of a sofa’s different components –and the differences between them – can help you narrow your favorite styles and make it easier to discover your perfect piece.

A sofa is made up of many different parts. All these different parts can vary from sofa to sofa, giving each a distinct look and feel. Knowing how to identify each main part and its variations can make it easier describe the sofa you want to a salesperson or designer. In addition, understanding the basics of sofa construction can make you a shrewd judge of sofa quality.


Leather Sofa Arms
The arms define the ends of a sofa and play a critical role in the overall look and function of the piece. Yet while many people simply refer to them as “arms,” there are actually several different styles that are available on our fine leather sofas, including:

  • English arm: An English arm is low and is set back from the front edge of the seat. English arms are low-profile and suitable if you like to take naps on your sofa. They are also good for small spaces, as they don’t project beyond the body of the sofa.
  • Pleated arm: The front part of a pleated sofa arm is covered by leather that is continued from the inside of the arm.
  • Rolled arm: A very common traditional shape for sofa arms, a rolled arm curves outward. Although comfortable for lounging and reading, rolled arms do take up extra space and should be taken into account when measuring a sofa.
  • Lawson arm: A Lawson arm is a low-profile, modestly scaled version of the rolled arm.
  • Square arm: Also called a box arm, a square arm gives a modern, tailored look, with straight lines and angles. Square arms are useful for entertaining, as they can serve as seats. However, they are not as comfortable as rolled arms for lounging.
  • Tuxedo arm: Tuxedo arms are slightly flared arms that have the same height as the sofa back.


Leather Sofa Backs
Sofa backs vary in height, shape, and cushion material, and define both the style and comfort level of a sofa.

  • Attached back: Attached back cushions are fastened, clipped, or sewn to the back of the sofa. The advantage is that they don’t move around, and you don’t have to worry too much about keeping them in shape.
  • Camel back: This is a traditional sofa back that is shaped much like a camel’s hump, raised in the middle, and sloping down lower at the ends. It often imparts a formal look.
  • Channel back: Deep vertical grooves on a tight back are the distinguishing features of a channel back.
  • Loose-cushion: Loose cushions are separate from the sofa back, as opposed to attached back sofas. This allows for easier cleaning.
  • Curved back: The back of a curved-back sofa curves all the way around so that it forms one solid piece with the arms, which are not attached separately.
  • Pillow back: A pillow back sofa has more pillows than seat cushions, and therefore a softer feel. This style offers comfort that can also be adjusted by moving the pillows around. It does require more upkeep, though.
  • Tight back: A tight back on a sofa is upholstered but does not have loose cushions. The back has a firm feel and can provide a clean, tailored, and formal appearance. ​
  • Waterfall back: A waterfall sofa back has two or more vertical layers of gathered and billowing cushions that are attached to the back.


Leather Sofa Seats
Sofa seats are more than just places to sit and dig under to discover lost items. The right feel of a seat is critical to your comfort and long-term enjoyment of a leather sofa.

  • Cushioned seat: A cushioned seat is usually made up of two or three cushions. Since these cushions are made to support the weight of the sitter, they are usually firmer than back cushions. The cushions may be square or rectangular, depending on the number on the seat. Sometimes the end cushions are T-shaped to accommodate the arms. Cushioned seat covers sometimes are removable.
  • Single-cushion seat: Oftentimes a sofa seat will have just a single cushion. This is also called a bench seat. A single-cushion seat offers a tidy, minimal look but also can be combined with a pillow back, which is more about casual comfort than minimalism. When you sit down on one end of a good single cushion, it will not rise up on the other end.
  • Tight seat: Sofas that have no separate seat cushions are often called a tight seat. This style can be found both on traditional and modern sofas. It generally conveys a formal look.


Leather Sofa Construction
Underneath all of the sofa’s leather and padding are the various parts that make up its structure. These are largely responsible for the longevity of a sofa’s frame.

  • Deck: The deck is the surface that lies directly underneath the seat cushions.
  • Down-proof ticking: Ticking is the inner lining of a cushion, usually tightly woven, that helps keep tiny down feathers from moving to a cushion’s exterior.
  • Eight-way hand-tied springs: Tied springs are connected to one another with strong twine that runs front to back, side to side, and diagonally in both directions. This construction interconnects the springs for durability and even support.
  • Filling: Filling may be foam, down, or padding that is used to make the sofa comfortable.
  • Frame: The frame comprises the bones of a sofa and determines not just the shape but also the quality. Many of our sofas have kiln-dried hardwood frames with strong, reinforced joints, which are considered to be of exceptional high quality.
  • Plinth base: Instead of conventional legs, a plinth base is a box-like base often found on contemporary sofas.
  • Webbing: Webbing consists of interwoven strips of synthetic material, attached to the wood frame of a sofa. It is typically used in place of support springs.


Find Your Perfect Leather Sofa at Currier’s

Currier’s always has a wide variety of high-quality, 100% real leather sofas in stock. You can browse at you own pace, or one of our team members will be happy to show you around. Many of our sofas are priced at 40% – 60% off every day. And if you see something you like, you can bring it home the same day. (We also can special order from any of the brands we carry). Stop in today, and bring home a great quality leather sofa at a great price.