This post I did back in January of 2012 gets more comments than any other post I’ve ever done. People must be suffering terribly with cushion troubles. Here’s my best piece of advice: Investigate! When we bought our first new sofa and chair, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. I felt so fancy and rich. Ha!! If I had known then what I know now!! It wasn’t long before the innards of the back were completely sagging down towards the bottom of the cushion. At least the bottom half was sagging down to seat level, the top half of the cushion had sagged down to the halfway mark. What in the world was going on? I’ll tell you what was going on-the inserts that are made for overstuffed chair backs acre constructed out of a flimsy liner that has a divider sewn right across the center. Before stitching the channels closed, they fill the top and bottom sections with polyester fiber fill and then stitch it closed. They probably then throw it over in a pile and wait for the cushion covers to be finished so that they can insert the insert ? and zip the cushion cover closed, plop it on the chair and ship it off.
When you see these chairs, they look big and comfy and lush, but the truth is that they don’t hold up over time. There are a few things you can do to fix the problem. One is to take out the insert, rip out some stitching that will open up the top and bottom channles, pull out the old fiber fill, re-fluff it, add more, and then stitch it back up. The sagging will eventually happen all over again.
The other solution is to remake the entire back cushion. We did that with our ‘fancy pants’ chair. Back then, I had the chair sent out to be reupholstered and I told them I needed that flimsy back cushion fixed. So, they just cut a big old slab of hard foam and wrapped it in dacron and plugged that into the cushion cover. Needless to say, that’s never been right either.
Honestly, loose back cushions are not good design. But, if your chair has to have one, I’d order up an insert that will probably cost you an arm and a leg. It will be constructed of down proof ticking (so the pointy ends of the feathers can’t poke through), and it will consist of several channels from top to bottom that are really filled up with a down/feather mix. It’s easier to redistribute the fill by just fluffing up the cushions. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than fiberfill. (The photo below isn’t perfect, but you get the idea).
Then, if all else fails, with down or fiberfill, stitch on some covered buttons that hold all of the stuffing in place like this.
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