Finishes and Fabrics : Fringes

Fringes can be great fun and can completely change the look of your furniture. We’ve recently seen some highly sophisticated, and really bold trims. As a purely aesthetic addition, a fringe can be added onto the base of almost any type of furniture to create a unique design statement.

Fringes come in a myriad of different sizes and weights, and are available with various embellishments, such as ties or balls (pom poms!). The most common types are the chunky and bold bullion fringe (which is also sometimes called a rope fringe), the more delicate tassel fringe which is frequently tied, and the shorter, perkier, brush fringe.

Fringes were particularly popular in Victorian and Edwardian furniture, where they were abundantly used around the front faces of sofa arms, and along cushion edges. The fringe is, however, much older than this and originated as a way of finishing unhemmed woven fabric. To create this original fringe, a number of weft (horizontal) threads would be removed, and the remaining warp threads could then be braided, twisted or tied together, preventing the fabric from fraying. Interestingly, the fringes of woven garments in ancient Mesopotamia were especially elaborate.

Today the fringes we use are made separately and hand sewn onto furniture. They can be made of wool, linen, synthetic fabrics, or even luxurious silk, which retains colour and naturally hangs flat.

A fringe is best when it almost brushes the floor - we recommend 13mm or ½” above the surface. Do consider the location of your furniture; if it is sitting on a deep pile rug, the skirt needs to sit higher than if it’s on hard flooring.

To give you a better idea of what fringe trims can do for your furniture, here’s a small collection of some we’ve made recently…

Fringe details on Lorford Contemporary's sofas

Two bayswater chairs, both with bright contrasting fringesThe Elmstead sofa with an elegant contrasting cream coloured fringeBright furniture fringes in a highly decorated room