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Sofa Rash: Don't Get Burned By Imported Upholstery

By Chris Stout-Hazard

Don't get burned by imported upholstery!

We believe in building furniture in the U.S.A. because it means higher quality. It means more customizability. It means growing our economy. But there's another reason: your skin.

Let me explain.

When upholstery is built overseas, it has to be shipped to the United States via cargo ship. Sofas are too big and heavy for air freight. This furniture will be traveling through rainstorms, crashing waves, and extreme humidity. To guard against mold growth from extended exposure to moisture - particularly during monsoon season - many overseas manufacturers resort to packaging their products with an anti-fungal chemical. No mold, no problem, right? Not exactly.

Unfortunately, this anti-fungal chemical - dimethyl fumarate or "DMF" - can cause skin ailments from mild allergic irritation to severe burns. The fine, white powder can escape its packet during shipment and coat the seating surface. When DMF warms up, it evaporates into the air, penetrating through leather and clothing to come into contact with skin and causing irritation. I'm not going to include photos of the burns. They're pretty gross.

Those with naturally sensitive skin are particularly at risk of developing a rash after sitting or laying on a sofa containing the chemicals. The use of these potentially harmful chemicals is rarely disclosed to customers by salespeople and is never included in the "features" page. But a quick Google search for "sofa rash" will bring up plenty of first-hand accounts of this undesired side effect. Again, search at your own risk.

Our line of custom upholstery is made in North Carolina, so you don't have to worry about DMF exposure. Check out our range of pieces, including the mid-century modern sofa shown above.

Our furniture in built in North Carolina by a small team of talented craftspeople. Because our furniture doesn't take a trip across the ocean, we don't need to utilize harsh anti-fungals like dimethyl fumarate to guard against mold. And that means you don't have to worry about sofa rash from dimethyl fumarate.

As a side note, many of our customers are understandably concerned about the chemicals and allergens their families are exposed to within their home. If you have skin sensitivities or allergic issues, we have a variety of options that may be beneficial. Please give us a call to discuss options including naturally anti-microbial fabrics, foam cushions without added fire retardants, down alternatives, and more.

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Chris Stout-Hazard
Chris Stout-Hazard · Founder · Roger + Chris · Sharon Springs, NY
Chris Stout-Hazard leads product design and development for Roger + Chris and co-stars with Roger in Roger That. MORE ABOUT Chris Stout-Hazard

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