Supplier Spotlight: Birchwood Furniture
At Birchwood Furniture Galleries, we help our customers shop our extensive inventory to select the perfect home furniture and decor accessories. Today, we want to take you on a tour of one of our top Canadian upholstery suppliers – Birchwood Furniture.
Since 1978, the Birchwood factory has been manufacturing quality fine furniture from its home in the southeast of Calgary, Alberta. The folks at this family owned production facility see to it that every article is made by hand with care.
Not a single piece of furniture leaves the plant without the Birchwood seal of approval. They won’t deliver anything to you that they wouldn’t feel comfortable using in their own homes.
When your order reaches the plant, a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine is programmed to cut the hardwood forms that will shape the frame of the furnishing. Factory engineers design the form prototypes to use every possible square inch of material, dramatically reducing waste. Local sourcing is important to the folks at Birchwood; all of the lumber is manufactured in Golden, B.C. and then shipped to the Calgary plant.
Once the furniture frame has been assembled by hand and secured with glue and nails, the support for the seat and back are attached. Every aspect of the frame undergoes careful inspection to maintain Birchwood’s super standard of quality and excellence.
Depending on the style of furnishing, either springs or webbing will be added to the hardwood frame. These will help counterbalance the weight and pressure of a body seated on the furnishing and will maintain the shape of the piece longer.
Foam and Fiber
Next, the seats and upholstery material are cut. The eco-friendly Qualex brand foam cores that will become the seat and back cushions are hand cut from large blocks. This high quality foam offers lots of support and is very resistant to sagging with use. Layers of batting are attached to the arms and back of the piece for added comfort.
Now comes the meticulous process of upholstering your new furniture. Sewing patterns are hand drawn onto rolls of fabric or leather hides. All of the leather hides are cut by hand, while any fabric patterns are cut using a precise Gerber Technology cutting machine. Regardless of the cutting method, workers take care to ensure that they create as little scrap material as possible.
Expert seamstresses use the cut fabrics and leather to stitch together cushion covers. These covers are fitted over the cushions using a machine that crumples the foam cores down to a size that allows a worker to maneuver the covers onto them. While this happens, another craftsman carefully attaches upholstery to the body of the furniture frame.
Every opportunity to upcycle and repurpose scraps is taken- these cube ottomans were upholstered using bits of leftover fabrics and leathers and foam scraps are resold and transformed into carpet underlay. This local Calgary furniture maker takes pride in maintaining a green process and a small carbon footprint.
Quality and Service
Now that the furniture is fully assembled, it undergoes another careful inspection. If the Birchwood family deems it passable, the piece is securely wrapped and stored in the plants’ warehouse until its new owners are ready to give it a good home.
After this rigorous 4-6 week process, your pieces are not ‘out of sight, out of mind’. After these new furnishings leave the Birchwood Furniture warehouse, their design specs are kept on file for future reference. That means that when you’re well-loved bench-made sofa needs a little TLC, this Calgary manufacturer can pull up the details of each one of their pieces for easy repair or reupholstery!
Keep in touch…
Have more questions about this reputable local furniture company? Visit our showroom and let our furniture and design experts teach you how to buy quality fine furniture! And be sure to like us on Facebook and subscribe to our monthly newsletter for more insider supplier details.