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How to Buy Quality Furniture : Furniture, household
Once it was thought that hard wood was hard and soft. Hardwood simply means "deciduous tree" and softwood means "pine", and some wood (for example, Aspen) are softer than some coniferous trees. What you need on exposed surfaces is a relatively scratch resistant wood. You can easily test it by drawing a thin line on the wood with the nail; if it is visible impact (use flashlight if necessary) then you know you can not use much.
How To Buy Furniture : Upholstered furniture - composition
In the case of a sofa or chair with removable cushions, undo the seat covers and look inside. You should see a block of foam wrapped in dacron, cotton or (for high quality pillows), preferably with a protective lining (usually muslin). Cushions containing only foam are less durable and less comfortable. When buying new furniture, ask for the foam density of the seat: you are looking for 1.8 kg or more. Removable back cushions may also contain foam, but are more fre- quently loose. In the latter case, several internal compartments are preferred because they prevent the filling flow.