Flattened Down Sofa Cushions really means flattened DOWN sofa cushions. Literally, down feathers. This is the second time I’ve wrangled with my brother’s flattened down leather sofa cushions. On the first go round, I unzipped and removed the down filled cushions, which you probably know are boxed forms with stitched channels that are stuffed full of down, I opened them up, removed the filling, fluffed up the down and added more down to each channel and restitched the cushion forms. Which, by the way, was no east feat! This was one tedious job, one only a loving little sister would do for her big brother.


It wasn’t long before he called me, whining again. There is just no way around it, down filled cushions go flat, especially when the cushions get lots of wear and tear from big, tall men.

Here’s what happens. Down feathers, with their barbs, get tangled and twisted together, which eliminates the air or space between them. It’s that space that theoretically gives you the cush you need under your behind for a comfortable seat.


You can remove all the down, put it in a big trash bag and then get your hands in there and separate all the feathers to restore the fluffy volume. I tried that. Word to the wise: You can refluff till the cows come home, but unless you replace the feathers, all or part, this vicious cycle will never end. If you can’t possibly live without the look of down, there are ways to fake it. You can spend the big bucks and have down wrapped foam or spring cushion inserts custom made for your cushions.

We opted for a less expensive solution. Big Brother wanted to solve this down problem once and for all, so I ordered three pieces of 5″ firm foam, cut to size and then went to work. The reason I ordered the foam already cut to size was because the cushions on his leather sofa were wider than the standard 24″ width of foam slabs you get at Joann or even an upholstery supplier. We paid $107.00 for three custom cut 5″ thick pieces of foam. Not bad.

In addition to the foam, I used dacron batting, and spray adhesive. Of course you need scissors.

1. Determine the length and width of the foam you need by measuring welt cord to welt cord, both directions and adding 1″ to the length and width measurements.


2. Unzip and remove the old down inserts




3. Line up the new foam


4. Cut pieces of dacron to cover the top, front edge and partial bottom, or the full bottom of the foam inserts. Apply spray adhesive to the foam and dacron, let it get tacky and then press to secure the dacron in place.




5. Then get ready to ride the bronco and get those new inserts stuffed into your leather cushion covers.

Stuffing new inserts into cushion covers is not easy. You can try to fold them in two and work them into the cushion cover, or you can place them into a plastic bag and stick a vacuum hose up against the foam, holding the plastic around the hose, suck the air out of the foam, which will shrink the foam, to allow the foam to slide into the zipper opening very easily. If you do this, try to pull as much of the plastic bag out after the cushion is in place. Remember this, it’s perfectly fine to grab a handful of dacron pillow stuffing to fill in the corners. You want your cushions looking smooth and full.