Anatomy of a Cushion

What a couple of years it has been! Since I moved to the lake full time (and also moved my business here) I’ve been making cushions nonstop. Of course it makes sense. We live at the lake and there are plenty of docks, porches and decks to furnish and refurnish as the cushions blow away, swept up in the water or just don’t hold up and are ready for an update.

As I deconstructed the old cushions and built up the new ones, it got me thinking about all the pieces that go into the construction of a cushion and all the questions I get asked when someone is considering new cushions…or should be asking. Many of the cushions you and I have bought over the years are the big box variety, the ones from Lowe’s, Home Depot, Target, Walmart or online. We get hooked by the reasonable price but soon realize that they often put the money in the frames and not the cushions! I have one of those on my back porch now that is just two years old and it is already time to redo the cushions.

At first the cushions appear to be decent. They are clean and comfortable but after just a season or two, they become faded, flattened and dirty. Some have zippers so you can remove the interiors to clean them. But that can be tricky if you don’t know about what type of fabric it is and how to clean them. You can end up with covers that shrink and are still not clean. Even a clean cover can’t mask the whimpy deteriorating foam that is happening on the inside.

Foam inside is compressed and old. Covers are discolored.

Replacing the fabric, foam or both on your existing cushions can be a daunting task with all the decisions and choices to be made. After all, it is a big investment and one you might decide to invest in if you love your furniture but not the cushions.

There are several factors to consider when looking to replace your old cushions. I started this post with the intention of addressing all of them but quickly realized it would be too long! So I decided to break it up into three posts. Over the next several weeks I will address each of these as we gear up for the warmer weather that will eventually come back.

Part one will be about fabric. I will go over the qualities to look for in outdoor fabric, educate you on the different types of outdoor fabric, provide some basic care of your cushion covers and provide resources on where to look for quality fabric.

So many fabric options!

Part two will be about the interiors of cushions, covering things like foam and Dacron wrap. Do you you need specialty foam for outdoors? Trust me…it’s a page turner!

Foam options depending on your need.

Lastly, in part three, I will cover the different style options you might consider. This includes cording options or no cording, back cushion style, zippers, and accent elements.

It is not too early to start thinking about cushions for this spring and summer season. I just completed my first cushion job for 2022 and I am starting work on their second outdoor furniture set of cushions. This client is on the ball! When the weather turns warm, they will be ready. Will you?

Sunbrella outdoor fabric in Linen Stone

All you wanted to know about outdoor fabric coming up next week! Until then, stay warm.