Frequently Asked Questions
How Our Furniture is Different
Who manufactures Roger + Chris furniture?
Unlike most furniture brands, we actually own and operate our own factories in Hickory, North Carolina. And unlike an even larger percentage of furniture brands, we build our own sofa frames. By hand. Out of real lumber.
We build the frames. We make the cushions. We cut and sew the leather and fabric. We do the tufting, upholstery, nail head trim, and everything else. We answer the phones, package up the sofas, and load the shipping trucks.
We're DIY in the old school fashion. Again, and I want you to fully understand this: The vast majority of furniture brands you've seen do just some or none of this work themselves.
Why do you manufacture your own furniture?
Because we care more about quality than profit margins.
Look, we are absolutely doing this the "wrong" way. Every business consultant has told us that we should outsource manufacturing as a way to reduce risk, lower our workload, and give us market flexibility.
Unfortunately, we started our business by using a contract manufacturer and learned the hard way that doing so means a lower quality product and reduced control. With our prior contract manufacturer, we discovered theft, quality lapses, and shocking mistreatment of employees.
This was obviously not acceptable. So we built our own factories. Sure, it's the "wrong" way, but we couldn't be prouder of what our team has accomplished and aren't changing course anytime soon.
How are your frames made?
Our frames are hand-made in our own factory in Hickory, North Carolina.
We build furniture the old-fashioned way, starting with a hand-built frame designed to last a lifetime. Our frames are truly handmade. Each piece of poplar is cut on a bandsaw, doweled, pinned, and screwed, the way traditional furniture frames were made 100 years ago. They take about eight times as long to build as machine-cut frames, but we believe it's well worth the extra attention. They're heavy, sturdy, and long-lasting. So long-lasting, in fact, that we warranty them for life.
Note that many manufacturers use jargon like "kiln-dried" and "hardwood" when describing their sofa frames. Kiln-dried applies to virtually all wood used in furniture construction and says nothing about quality or durability. Hardwood is a term that can be applied to plywood as well as dimensional lumber. A good rule of thumb: Unless a company specifically mentions that their frames are hand-cut lumber, assume that they are building them from CNC-cut plywood or OSB.
Also keep in mind that very, very few furniture brands actually make their own sofa frames. We know, because we build frames for plenty of other manufacturers. Oopsie.
What kind of suspension do you use?
We use what is called a pocket coil suspension system in our sofas. Our US-made suspensions provide more working wire per square foot than any other system, giving you a seat that is comfy, sag-free, noiseless, and guaranteed against manufacturing defects for life.
Here are the most common forms of suspension and some information on why we feel that pocket coils are a superior option.
- Web suspension: The least desirable form of suspension on the market, this is commonly found in low-end products, small-scale applications where minimal support is required, and in situations where the design provides minimal space to contain a suspension mechanism. Webbing can be formed using a range of materials, with the most common being cotton straps. Many mid-century designs updated this with the use of rubber straps. There's really no justification for a modern sofa to utilize this form of suspension (other than cost-cutting, of course).
- Sinuous spring suspension: When you lift up the cushions on a sofa and see a couple of metal wires snaking back and forth beneath the black decking fabric, you're looking at a sinuous spring. Low-end, inexpensive, saggy, and failure-prone. No quality sofa should use this form of suspension.
- 8-way hand tied: The long-running "premium" option among suspensions, 8-way offers obvious benefits over sinuous and web suspensions. Large coil springs (usually about a dozen) are positioned under the cushions in a grid, with each being tied in place by twine in — you guessed it — eight directions. Yes, this is the option you find in most high-quality furniture, but it is not without faults. Not only are the knots a potential point of failure, but the industry's leading twine manufacturers have gone out of business and the alternative twines have proven to be far more prone to breaking. (I know that sounds like minutia, but it matters.) Anyway, if you absolutely, positively have to have a sofa with an 8-way suspension, we're happy to build yours with it. But we don't think there's any reason to do it.
- Fake 8-way hand tied: A weird new entry to the market is what is called a "drop-in" 8-way hand tied system. This is a manufactured, self-contained unit that technically utilizes an 8-way configuration and can be rapidly installed into a sofa frame. This gives furniture companies the opportunity to advertise that their sofas utilize an 8-way suspension without needing a skilled craftsperson to assemble it. It is inferior to both true 8-way systems and pocket coil systems. We believe that the majority of companies advertising 8-way suspensions are now utilizing these units.
- Pocket coil: Obviously, this is the system we believe in. Instead of a dozen or fewer springs, pocket coil gives you a hundred or so on a sofa. The performance of the suspension is identical from the edges of the sofa to the center, with no sagging or hard spots. The flexibility of this system permits us to offer an industry-leading range of sizes and has been battle tested in our customers' active households and even more active commercial spaces.
How are your cushions constructed?
Our seat cushions utilize a high-density foam core, with softer foam laminated on top and bottom. This is wrapped in batting, and then wrapped again in a quilt of down and feathers. This hybrid cushion provides an excellent combination of support and comfort and is included in the standard pricing of our sofas. We consider the level of softness provided by this type of cushion to be medium, with our goal to provide maximum comfort and longevity.
Many of our competitors utilize lower-density foam to reduce production costs. This lower-density foam results in a softer seat on day one, but degrades more rapidly. If you know you want a very soft seat, we are happy to accommodate but recommend sticking with our standard cushions.
A higher foam density is an available option on all pieces. You may want higher density if you know you prefer a firmer seat, have pain or mobility issues, need to support a higher bodyweight, or will be using the sofa in a high-traffic setting like a hotel lobby or restaurant.
Want to avoid down and feathers? We can easily build your sofa without down and feathers upon request. We utilize premium down alternatives that will not compromise performance or longevity.
The foam in our seat cushions, as with the vast majority of upholstery products on the market, is petroleum-based. We utilize high-quality, domestically-sourced foam for our furniture. Should you prefer an alternative, we can build your sofa using natural latex foam. Note that performance and longevity of this product is not something we can guarantee and that the material carries a substantial upcharge. But we can certainly do it.
Furniture with loose back pillows include cushions filled with a blend of down and feathers. We in some circumstances utilize Trillium fiber as a down alternative due to its superior performance with certain leathers and fabrics. This synthetic alternative to down is available on request for any sofa should you want to avoid down in your furniture.
Why is your furniture so heavy?
Because it's good.
Real sofas should have some heft to them. Because we use real lumber for our frames and bracing, serious suspension systems, dense foam, and so forth, our furniture is heavy. Thankfully, our hand-built frames are more than up to the task of handling that weight.
In Internet parlance, you might describe our sofas as "heckin' chonky bois."
Or not. Your call.