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Universal Launches Special Order Upholstery Program

Sofas, chairs, benches and beds will be available in 425 fabrics.

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Universal Furniture is launching a special order upholstery program featuring 425 fabrics, 200 frames and six finishes out of its new upholstery plant in Conover, NC.

“Special order is the next step for our upholstery program, which began in 2016,” said Senior Vice President of Sales Sean O’Connor, who manages all upholstery for the brand. “We started with product that was married-to-frame, advanced to additional fabric choices and now we’re launching the ability to create special orders.”

More than 100-plus sofas and sectionals are being introduced plus 20 swivel chairs, 40 accent chairs and nine upholstered beds. Customers can try fabrics on frames using Universal’s online draping tool.

“Adding special order upholstery makes us a one-stop shop for our interior design customers,” said Director of Marketing Neil MacKenzie. “It fulfills our brand promise to be a whole-home resource.”

Special order sofas, chairs, benches and beds will be available in 425 fabrics (representing 10 fabric grades and including more than 120 performance fabrics) and 50 leathers from Moore & Giles with a few performance leathers from Crypton. Sustainability and performance were top of mind when selecting the fabrics which are inspired by fashion and include a colorful mix of prints, jacquards, plains and wovens.

The program offers three cushion options.

  • UNI-Blend (standard): a premium 90 percent feather, 10 percent down feather-blend
  • Ultra-Plush (no additional charge): a down alternative
  • Spring Down (upgrade): individually pocketed coils on the seat, with down back cushions.

All pillows are 100 percent feather blend, standard.

Universal Furniture purchased the 450,000-square-foot upholstery plant from Southern Furniture in 2019 and spent several months updating the facility and assembling a team of top notch managers and trades people. Upgrades to the facility will continue through 2020, with interior renovations and the addition of new machinery.

O’Connor and his team are working on the program’s Green Guard Certification, which should be complete by year’s end. He expects the program will begin taking orders in June, pending COVID-19 impacts on the ability to operate the plant with a full staff.

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