The front rail may be tilted backward at first; if so, pull the top forward firmly as you push at the bottom, to straighten it up. (If you ordered the semi-attached cushions, start the other instruction sheet for those, at this point, and note that the next two paragraphs below do not apply if you are inserting semi-attached cushions.)
Then lower the seat deck(s) or webbing suspension(s) into place, with the protruding pieces of oak on the underside extending off toward the rear, as follows: First lay the deck onto the ledge at the bottom of the back, then lower it onto the front rail. The seat decks should nest into place about 1” below the top of the front rail. One deck piece should go to about a thumb’s width from the rail at each end of a sofa, and a middle deck piece on a three-seat sofa should be about centered in between. Loveseats or sofas with 30”-wide cushions: There may be narrow, covered plywood insert(s) with velcro on the back side, which should be placed onto the edges of the seat decks that are in the middle, to bridge any large gap(s) there.
Now grip a back cushion support so that an angled cut in a corner is at the top, with the fabric covering facing forward. There should be a support panel with an angled corner at each end of the back, with the top edge tucked in under the ledge at the top of the back. Push the bottom of this panel toward the rear until it becomes snug, ending up a few inches farther forward than the top edge. It could be placed a little farther forward for a loungier angle of support. For long sofas, there should be a support panel without angled corners, which goes in the middle. Models with open sides: Push these panels toward the middle, to minimize exposure from the side view.
Once all seat decks and back cushion supports are in place, the cushions can go on. The seat cushions are the larger cushions, which should be put on with the zippers at the rear. Line up the fronts of the seat cushions just slightly forward from the front of the rail. (The seats don’t have to push back against the back cushion supports.)
If your fabric is a velvet, a soft cotton, a chenille, or certain other fabrics, you’ll probably notice that one or two cushions will look darker or lighter than others (or different in sheen or texture) at this point, because of the fabric’s nap. Just turn the odd ones, keeping the zippers in the same location. They should then all look the same. When you turn and rotate the cushions later, keep this in mind.
Virginia model arms: There are pieces of polyurethane foam tucked in just inside the bottom edges of the arm covers, which are the best, easily adjustable way we've found to anchor those bottom edges. If you see foam hanging down from one of those edges, just push it upward firmly. If the fabric covers on your arms don't look neatly contoured as you receive them (as a result of the commotion of the shipping process), it's easy to improve them. If the fabric needs to be pulled tighter, just reach under to pull out one or more foam pieces, pull the fabric a little tighter (but pulling too tight might make the fabric look too flat), then reinsert the foam. Next to the ends, if pushing the foam too hard causes a bulge at those flexible locations, retract the foam a little.
Comfort adjustments: Your cushions might feel too firm at first. Like a new shoe, they will break in with use. But you can speed up the breaking in greatly by having the heaviest available person sit up and down on the cushions vigorously (including putting the back cushions down on the seats and sitting on them). Also, if you put one or both hands behind your back at any place where you feel too much pressure, then lean back for a slow count of ten or fifteen, then bring your hand(s) out from behind, you will probably feel more even, comfortable support right away. Would you like the seat to be deeper (more sitting space front-to-back)? (1) Thoroughly soften the back cushion(s) by putting them on the seat and sitting on them; this will allow you to sit back farther; (2) Pull the seat cushion(s) forward an inch or two. (3) If you have puffy cushions, unzip and reach inside the middle and remove some of the clustered filling (not the long-fiber filling), then smooth it out.
Maintenance: To prolong the life of your fabric and to help the cushions keep their shape, rotate the positions of the cushions occasionally and turn them over. Rotate and turn the cushions frequently (even every couple of days) if you see mis-shaping resulting from really heavy use at the same location (retirees, please note). And avoid sitting on edges of the cushions for long periods of time.
Frequently vacuuming the fabric will help keep soil from causing permanent stains. For general cleaning, use of upholstery shampoo while the covers are still on the cushions is the recommended method. Fabric manufacturers recommend having this done by a professional cleaning service, but from our experience doing it yourself at home should give satisfactory results with all but velvets or light-colored fabrics. Stain repellancy treatment can be re-applied after cleaning, if you want such treatment to keep its effectiveness.
The wood surfaces have a polyurethane finish, which doesn’t need maintenance. Dusting with a damp cloth, and an occasional coat of paste wax on arm tops, should suffice. Most sticky soil can be removed with soap and water; crayon marks, shoe scuffs and skin oils can be removed with paint thinner or turpentine, and most inks can be removed with alcohol (without damaging the finish if used sparingly). Silly Putty or similar substances can damage the finish if left to sit on the surface. Use coasters under glasses of liquids.
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