Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
We have a small showroom at our main office in Bellingham WA, but otherwise, we don't have any factory showrooms now due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are contemplating a large order for a lobby installation, please contact us regarding ordering a sample peice for inspection.
This is perhaps our most popular question. We make some of our products here in Bellingham, Washington and the rest is made in our overseas factory, located near Hong Kong. Working directly with this factory under an exclusive agreement, we send them leather, fabric and other components so they make our products to our specifications. We employ our own on-site manager to oversea production. As much as possible, we control all aspects of production; from the creation of the frames, to sewing, to shipping to the USA, final inspection in Bellingham and then shipping to you, the customer. This business model allows us to customize the upholstery on any item, customize the wood finish, the metal finish and to have shorter lead times.
Another popular question. Unfoturnately, purchasing furniture in the Modern Classics genre is difficult due to the many copycat producers of this product niche. You can be assured that if you find a product at a lower price, it is not made to the same quality standards as ours, nor it not made to the designers dimensions. Some of the quality differences:
- real #304 stainless steel tubing and bar stock (ours) vs. chrome plated tubing and lower quality stainless flat stock (theirs);
- top-grain italian leather (ours) vs. lower grade Chinese leather (theirs);
- German made high-resilient foam (ours) vs. lower grade Chinese foam (theirs);
- USA made fabric with 250,000 double rubs (ours) vs. lower grade wool blends from China (theirs);
If you see a product that appears similar to ours, even with the same product name, we can guarantee that those products are not ours. Our products are sold exclusively by us and are only available through our website. For more information about comparing our products to others, see this page modern classics comparison guide summary we have put together. If you wish to purchase a fine piece of furniture that will last through the years, at a price that is within your reach, our products are the best choice.Then ask those other sellers, "why are their products priced so cheap?", if you can even reach them on the phone or find out where they are located.
Our leather quality is excellent, from the Italian tanneries. Some key points:·
- We use only the top grain leathers. Full grain is the same thing as top grain. This is the top part of the hide. The best part. Most furniture manufacturers use the bottom part (called a split hide) and then spray it and emboss it to make it look like top grain. But is easily scratched and looks awful after a few years of light use. Go to Room and Board for examples of this.
- Our Standard Leather is Semi-Aniline Dyed leather, a term which means the leather has been vat-dyed (meaning the whole hide is dyed) with vegetable dye that contains moisture guard, stain guard and UV protection. There is also some correction of the hide here, to remove grain imperfections that can come from insect bites, fences, disease, etc., so the leather has a slight pebble effect.
- Our Premium Leather is called 100% Aniline Dyed leather, which in our case is very similiar to the standard leather in the dying process, however, there is no correction of the leather hide so more of the natural elements of the hide remain, and this makes the hide softer too. Please note that our premium leather still has a moisture guard built into the dye, so there will not be the natural patina of the leather over time, but that is not necessarily bad, because moisture and other spills will not permanently stain the leather if they are properly cleaned up.
- Leather Grades. Grade A leathers are the best, and that is what we source and use.
- Genuine vs. bonded: Bonded leather is sort of a recycled leather approach. Not the same as genuine leather, but it is leather. We don’t use this.
Modern Classics Furniture has been a leader in manufacturing furnishing products that are sensitive to environmental awareness, human safety and as least threatening to Earth’s natural resources as technically possible since our original manufacturing of the modern classics product line commencing over 15 years. We simply have not advertised nor quantified as a marketing vehicle our strong commitment to manufacturing products that are produced as harmoniously sensitive to the environment as others. There are many grey areas in many furniture manufacturers statements of “Sustainability / Green”.
Considering scientific and technically accurate observations, many manufacturers claim complete chain of custody sustainability statements that are unfounded and completely absent of documentation and actual manufacturing processes accuracy or possibility. For example, it continues to surprise us how many of these furniture manufacturers make such broad based “green” claims yet continue to offer chrome flashed metal products, third generation recycled plastic components and side step the factual realities of how harmful these kinds of products are to the environment, workers and customers alike. Meanwhile, here are some specific information about our materials:
Steel: approximately 98% of all the metal components we offer in our finished products are stainless steel that is produced in highly efficient, environmentally compliant with American, European and Asian environmental law metal production facilities. Leathers: Our leathers are supplied by Italian tannery facilities that are world leaders in producing the most environmentally safe leather tanned products in the World. Woods: All of our hardwood and wood veneers are sourced from American or European suppliers that are certified for not only sustainable forest stewardship, but documented from individual forests worldwide. Foam: All of the foam products used in our upholstered seating products meets or exceeds American and European regulations and standards for furnishing foam user safety and environmental safety. Fabrics: Our fabrics are made in North America, and contain 100% post-consumer recycled plastic.
Each and all of our furniture components are tested on a regular basis by our supplier factories by registered and certified third party testing laboratories such as SGS, Intertek, Radco, etc. These tests are required to meet the strict governmental compliance measures established by the authorities in the United States and Europe.
The foams we use are made of polyurethane and are supplied from a German and USA suppliers, two of the world’s largest and leading manufacturers of seating and bedding foam chemical products. Performance testing for density conformity, wear longevity, flame / smoke spread safety and environmental compliant chemical formula content is regularly completed on all of these foam products by an internationally recognized and internationally certified third party testing laboratory approved by numerous governments and industry associations worldwide. The foam we use in our products meet the qualification standards for Denmark, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, UK and the USA.
We primarily use softer, high-resilient, low-density foam. The international standards for lower density (softer) foams generally cost as much or more than higher density (harder) foams. This is due to the requirement that molecular cellular properties / chemical formulas of the softer foams must meet the same performance criteria specifications as the harder foams. Therefore the actual material formulations of the softer foams for commercial grade seating are generally more or as costly than the harder density foams. Sometimes scientific physical properties appear to go against common logic assumptions, but this is the instance in foam manufacturing. We make every effort for our products to not only have upper market appearance and specification levels, but we also work to engineer our seating to provide the best comfort that may be achieved for a specific model range that will accommodate a wide range of people (weight, height, etc.).
Flame retardants are no longer used in the foam according to the new California Carb II specifications. The foam we use is inherently flame retardant and non-gassing. The foam is also certified by CertiPur-US.
The short answer is yes. Broken down, there is the foam and the upholstery material:
Foam: Flame retardants are no longer used in the foam according to the new California Carb II specifications. The foam we use is inherently flame retardant and non-gassing. The foam is also certified by CertiPur-US.
Fabric: The flame retardant issue is now focused on the upholstery textiles used which must be tested individually in accordance with Cal Carb regulations and stated separately and independently by the textile manufacturer. Our fabric is manufactured in North America and passes the state of California Technical Bulletin 117 of June 2013
Leather: Flammability studies of natural leather have shown that natural leather is safer in case of fire because of longer time to ignition. But typiclly, there is not flame retardant chemical used in the dying process.
Right now, we are making and selling about 100 different products in the iconic modern classics genre. Many other competing websites sell hundreds of modern products, sourced from a variety of manufacturers for which they have no control over and where there is no consistancy in quality, or materials. The difference is simply due to our desire to only sell iconic modern classic, that we make, and to make faithful prototypes of each new classic takes time. We don't want to sacrifice quality simply to boast we have the most SKUs...we would rather boast that we have the highest customer satisfaction rating, or the highest number of repeat customers, or that our products don't fall apart in one year, etc. You get the idea.
For items in stock, we can ship within three days or so, and that puts an order about 7 to 10 days to the East Coast, half that time for the West Coast. If you are purchasing a large items such as a glass table or live upstairs in an apartment, we would suggest a "white-glove" delivery for an extra charge - and that will include setup and garbage take away too. The shipping companies we use are the same people that DWR, Herman Miller and Restoration Hardware use, so they are pretty good. Before we ship, we will contact you to see if you are ready for the furniture. Once we ship, we will send you tracking information. Once the carrier is ready to deliver, they will call to make a deliver appointment with you.
When you sign up for wholesale or trade pricing, it can take at least a day for us to review your information and make the change to your account at our website. So it is not automatic. We will send you an email when you are approved, and if you need faster service, give us a call or send an email.
Yes, we recommend lexol cleaning products. For more information, we have put together a page of tips, so go to this link. Leather Care Instructions.
Yes, we occasionally have discount codes active for use my direct consumers. Go to this link. Modern Classics Discount Codes for the latest one.
Over the years, a few of our customers have had trouble snapping the snaps on our exhibition chairs and sofas. The lower quality chairs on the market don't have this problem because they use inferior snaps so in their case, they probably get the feedback: "your snaps don't stay snapped and come undone when they sit in the chair". Ha-ha. This is why we use marine grade, stainless steel snaps which have a higher shear factor. Thus, they are not like the kind of snaps used on a jackets or shirts. They require the snapper to 1) snap one at a time; 2) align up the two parts of the snap directly over each other; and 3) squeeze together using the palms of you hand and/or the two thumbs at once. Leaning over the chair back using both palms is one technique. The other is grabbing the back cushion with both hands with your thumbs positioned over the leather side of the cushion and squeezing.