Perhaps new church chairs are being considered by your church. If so, the choice of fabric for your church chairs is very important both from a durability perspective and from an aesthetic perspective. Let’s walk through some church chair fabric information that we have found to be of value to churches on many occasions.
- First, almost every church chair manufacturer or importer will have a “Standard” line of fabrics. These tend to be very basic fabrics and often church chairs will be stocked in some of these fabrics. For instance, with one leading manufacturer of chairs Comfortek Seating, the “Standard Line” of fabrics and “Alternate Line” of fabrics begin with the two letters “AW”. There are about 40 fabrics total of which some are noted as “Standard” and most are noted as “Alternate”. In this case most of the Standard Collection denotes fabrics that chairs are stocked in and ready to ship in. The Alternate Collection denotes fabrics that church chairs can be ordered in for close to the same cost, but with a substantial production time needed. We would say that probably about half of all churches will order from this level of fabrics for budgetary reasons.
- Second, most church chair manufacturers will have some “In-House” upgrade fabrics. These are fabrics that have more of a “Designer” sense to them. They are readily available for chair orders, carry a small up-charge, and add an additional level of “class” to the chairs. Once again using Comfortek Seating as an example, all the fabrics here that begin with “JB” or “DS” are Designer Fabrics that are readily available for chair orders. (We should mention that this sort of availability really is more from a true manufacturer than a chair importer which tends to have only a few standard fabrics available).
- Third, most church chair manufacturers will have some additional “Designer” fabrics available. Most often a true manufacturer will have a partnership with a prominent fabric mill through which they can acquire one line of very nice Designer Fabrics at an attractively negotiated price. Again using Comfortek Seating as our illustration, they have such a relationship with Culp Contract which provides an extensive designer line for their church chairs. While there is an up-charge for this line of fabrics, it is not nearly as large as it would be if the church attempted to purchase this fabric themselves. Please also be aware though that often this extends the production cycle as the fabric most often needs to be produced. Also, we want to reiterate that this sort of arrangement is essentially non-existent with any importer but is available with true manufacturers.
- Fourth, most church chair manufacturers will have an “COM” program. “COM” stands for “Customer’s Own Material” which simply means that the church purchases and acquires the fabric and then ships the fabric to the manufacturer. This is normally a fairly expensive proposition as the church does not have great buying power with the fabric mill and also because extra shipping costs are incurred. This option is actually one that few churches choose but it is certainly available from a true manufacturer of church chairs.
At Church Furniture Partner we now have over a dozen church chair manufacturers that our ministry works with to save churches dollars on their seating needs. We would love to do the same for your church! Our ministry focus and almost non-existent operational overhead makes possible our ability to do so. Please contact us and we will do the same for your church!