Last week Designer Allie Hyzak and Assistant Showroom Manager Mary Goodwin traveled to Hickory North Carolina to visit the headquarters of CR Laine, one of Saybrook Home's favorite furniture manufacturers. The ladies enjoyed a tour of the production facility and got an up-close look at the daily operations at CR Laine. Allie recently took the time to recap her experience with us.
SH: This wasn’t your first visit to one of our manufacturers’ facilities, so what really impressed you about your visit to CR Laine that really makes it stand apart?
AH: I loved how dedicated CR Laine is to education about their brand and their products. Just as Saybrook Home puts an emphasis on empowering its designers through experiences such as these, where we get to learn more about where the furniture comes from and how it’s made, CR Laine is very into educating employees, customers and visitors. While we were there, Mary and I learned so much about the brand, and even more so about maintenance of the products, fabrics and leathers.
SH: What is something interesting you learned about the manufacturing process at CR Laine?
AH: I knew that CR Laine is all American-made furniture and that they use the 8-way hand-tied method of securing the springs, but what I did learn was how they use both hardwoods and engineered hardwoods to create their furniture. The engineered hardwood, believed to be stronger than ordinary hardwood, is the result of combining 7 layers of hardwood together using glue and pressure. This, along with the use of mortise and tenon jointing (as you would see in house framing), creates a framework that is nearly indestructible. It’s very impressive.
SH: Did you learn anything specific that you feel will benefit your current and future clients?
AH: Yes, absolutely! So, at CR Laine, there are about 1100 different frames and 800 fabrics from which to custom design your piece of furniture. What I wasn’t entirely aware of is that each frame has been rigorously tested for what the experts at CR Laine refer to as ride. As they would say, “It’s all about the ride.” Each piece is constructed for optimal comfort based on pitch (the slope of the seat back) and ride (the sit). And, pieces can be tweaked as they move through the construction process to make sure these two features are in harmony with one another. So, when you’re looking at the CR Laine catalog, and a certain frame calls for a certain type of fill/cushion, it’s because that inner material resulted in the most comfortable combination of pitch and ride for that particular style.
SH: Did you fall in love with any CR Laine styles in particular?
AH: I have always loved the Austin Sofa. It’s classic, versatile and, as someone who is shorter, it sits just right for my height. I think I earned a greater appreciation for the Murphy Swivel Chair on this visit. It’s such a great style, and so very comfortable.
SH: So, what would you say your favorite part of the trip was?
AH: Besides getting to know Mary Goodwin(from our Glastonbury showroom) much better, which was an absolute treat, I would say that I really enjoyed learning more about the construction process. I also thought learning about the maintenance of the products was amazing and could be very useful for my clients. It was also very fun to get a sneak peek at the new collection that will be featured at High Point in a few weeks.
SH: What was the biggest takeaway from your visit to CR Laine?
AH: You know, I’m always amazed at the people who work there. CR Laine has been around for 65 years. It’s a family-owned and operated business, and what you can really tell is that the employees are cherished as an integral part of the business. These people are here doing the same tasks - whether it be sewing, building, staining or quality control checking - day in and day out and they are doing it with such pride. It’s really awesome to experience and gives you a greater appreciation for American-made furniture.
To book a design consultation with Allie and to learn more about CR Laine furniture available at Saybrook Home, click here.