Furniture Facts & Tips

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What separates a good flat panel TV from the rest?

 1. The quality of the panel. There are 2 grades of panel:
  • A Grade – Top branded units which produce higher picture quality and durability.
  • B Grade – lesser known brands – normally obvious by the unbelievably low price!

2. The pixels. The number of pixels horizontally and vertically on a screen determines the quality of the resolution or picture clarity. The more ‘dots’ or pixels on a screen the better the picture quality.
 • 768p there are 768 pixels across the screen from one side to the other. This screen is HD ready.
 • 1080p (1080 pixels across the screen) means a screen is ‘Full HD’.
 • An HD screen will have 1080 pixels no matter what size the screen is. 1080 is the maximum number of pixels on a screen which means that a 32” HD screen will have the same number of pixels as a 60” screen.

3. The ‘Backlight’. A little known fact is that the only difference between an LCD and an LED is the type of ‘backlighting’ used. The panels are exactly the same.
In an LCD each pixel is backlit from behind with a cold-cathode fluorescent light. Imagine this as a thin flat fluorescent tube at the back of the panel.
In an LED model the panel is backlit using light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
The benefits of Light Emitting Diodes as a backlight over Fluorescent backlight in LCD’s:
 • Power efficiency
 • Contrast – LED’s can switch on and off all over the screen thus producing a better contrast than LCD fluorescent backlight which cannot switch-off independent sections of the screen.
 • Because it is much thinner an LED has a much better aesthetic look.

4. Power efficiency. LED models are generally more power efficient than LCD models.

5. Connectivity. The greater the number of USB and HDMI connections the greater flexibility and enjoyment for the user.

7. Features. Modern televisions now offer more and more features such as:.
 • 3D – this is the latest viewing technology which allows the viewer to see the picture in lifelike depth and clarity.
 • SMART televisions – which allow the user to connect to the internet and to interface with social networks such as Facebook, and to also be able to Skype with a high definition image from the comfort of the lounge.


  • They are called ‘plasma’ displays because the technology uses small cells containing electrically charged ionised gases which means that each pixel on the panel is individually lit as opposed to LCD panels which are backlit.
  • In a plasma set the colour pixels are filled with red, green and blue and these can combine to create billions of different colour shades thus delivering spectacular colour shades and quality.
  • Plasma TV’s can produce deeper blacks thus allowing for superior contrast ratio.
  • Because each and every pixel is individually lit in a plasma TV it means the view from any angle looks absolutely perfect.
  • Screen burn-in is where the picture retention quality of a screen is affected when an image on the screen (such as a logo) is left still for longer than an hour. This is still a problem with plasma but less and less so as the technology has advanced.
  • Plasma sets are generally only available in screen sizes over 40”.
  • Plasma is less power efficient than the LCD/LED technology.
  • The lifetime of the current generation of plasma TV’s is estimated at 100 000 hours viewing time – the same as LCD/LED sets.

Know your bed


  • Single: 91.5cm (width) x 188cm (length)
  • Three quarter: 107cm x 188cm
  • Double: 137 x 188cm
  • Queen: 152cm x 188cm
  • King: 183cm x 188cm
  • Extra long: standard width x 200cm


There are 2 types of mattresses
• Innerspring mattress
• All foam mattress

Three components of an innerspring mattress:
1. Innerspring core
 • Mattress springs form the foundation of the mattress and support the sleeper’s body
 • Springs are made of steel coil
 • Gauge or thickness of the steel determines firmness, quality and support of the spring
 • Thickness of the steel is measured in term “gauge”
 • Lower the gauge number, the thicker the spring
 • Generally, higher quality mattress springs are 14-gauge
 • Springs of 15 gauge plus give easily under pressure as diameter is thinner and generally of lower quality
 • Connections between the springs helps the mattress keep its shape
 • Most springs are connected by wires, but some mattresses have fabric encased springs which are not connected. These are called “pocket coil springs”

There are 4 different types of innersprings:

Bonnell: oldest type, most common. Knotted, round-top, hourglass shape, form simplest innerspring mattress. Examples: Comfort Sleep-o and MasterClass bedsets

Pocket coil: thin gauge, barrel shaped springs, individually wrapped in fabric pockets. Makes best quality innerspring mattress as generally far more coils per mattress compared to connected coil mattress. Allows for motion separation (one person will not feel the other move on the mattress). Examples: DreamCatcher, Boston bedsets

Offset: as with Bonnell springs, hourglass shaped spring but with flattened top and bottom which are hinged together. Hinging effect designed to conform to the sleeper’s body. Examples: Sealy bedsets

Continuous: rows of springs formed from a single wire, working together to also create a hinging effect. These are generally best type of connected coil springs, but also the most expensive. Example: Serta bedsets



  • Foam is a generic term for petro-chemical based polyurethane. In simple terms, various chemicals are mixed together in a foam factory and foam is produced from this chemical reaction. 
  • All foam has different weights and densities depending on the manufacturing process. Generally, the higher the density of foam, the firmer it is and better the quality. Higher density foam is also more difficult and more expensive to produce. 
  • All innerspring mattresses contain layers of foam placed over the inner springs. These foam layers avoid direct contact of the body with the springs for incresed comfort  
  • Foam density is measured in units from 1 (least dense) to over 60 (most dense). The more dense the foam is, the harder the mattress. 
  • As a general rule, the thickness and quality of the foam covering over the innerspring core will determine the quality and comfort of the sprung mattress.
  • It is not unusual to find manufacturers engineering beds with various different layers of foam of varying densities applied over the sprung core to create the best combination of firmness and comfort.
  • Even our entry level innersprung mattress such as a “Comfort- Sleepo” has a foam layer covering of 18 density. The more expensive mattresses in our range (such as a “MasterClass” is engineered with 22 density foam covering. 
  • Visco-elastic foams (memory foam) are some of the highest density foams available and can be in excess of 60 density. These provide excellent comfort as they conform to the body shape, but are much more expensive. An example of a innersprung mattress using a layer of this memory foam is a “Boston”.



Upholstery layers cover the mattress and give it its finished look and feel. This is ultimately the only part of the mattress that the customer ever sees so colour, texture and feel of the fabric used has to appeal to the customer or he/she will not buy the bed, irrespective of the engineering inside.

3 parts:


Insulator: separates mattress core from middle upholstery, made of mesh to keep middle in place

Middle: between insulator and quilt, designed for comfort, usually made of foam, cotton fibre

Quilt: top layer, made of light foam stitched to underside of ticking (protective fabric encasing mattress and base), soft texture. New advances in anti-microbial, anti-allergy properties have been incorporated into the quilt of more expensive mattresses, such as MasterClass, Sealy, Serta and Boston bedsets. This all enhances the hygiene of the mattress.


Common feature of high-end mattresses these days is an extra “pillow-top” (approx. 3cm of quilted foam) layer which is upholstered on either top and/or both sides. This creates added layer of comfort and is a popular choice for some discerning customers. Even more comfort is provided when the pillow top addition is replaced with a “box-top” layer (up to 5-6cm quilted foam) and this is often perceived as added value and comfort. Example of box-top mattress is our own MasterClass bedset.


 The bed base forms the foundation for a mattress
3 types of base:
Wood: usually made of softwood, with 8  support slats
Box spring: rigid frame containing heavy- duty springs. Softer, bouncier .
Grid: combination of wood and steel.


  1. Quality innerspring mattress should last 7 - 10 years
  2. Memory foam mattress should last 10 - 20 years
  3. Should be placed on top of firm base to prevent sagging
  4. New mattress should be rotated once a month for six months, then once every 3 months 
  5. Never fold or bend a mattress as this will affect the springs
  6. Avoid heavy wear in one spot (avoided by mattress rotation)
  7. Clean regularly with a vacuum cleaner, wipe with mild soap and damp cloth, leave to dry thoroughly in sun
  8. For extra care and hygiene, mattress protectors are available and should be placed over the mattress before bed linen is used.
  9. Avoid jumping/bouncing on the mattress as this will cause excessive wear and tear and reduce the life of the mattress

Lounge Suites

There are two options for lounge suites:
1. Fabric
2. Leather

• Chenil
• Suede

What is suede?

  • Soft sythetic upholstery fabric (also used for shoes, jackets, etc)
  • 100% polyester
  • Man-made fabric, designed to look like real suede (which is made from leather)
  • Durable, stain resistant fabric
  • Easy to care for: regular vacuuming to remove dust, wipe with soft damp cloth, and brush with a suede brush to restore pile

"The Rub Test"

  • TV Sales & Home ONLY buys lounge suites that have passed the Heavy or Medium Duty Rub Test Standard:
  • Determines the fabric strength
  • The rub test is a back and forth motion that approximates the wear and tear that comes from someone sitting down or getting up from an upholstered seat. 3,000 double rubs equals one year's worth of use
  • HD or Heavy Duty: If a fabric holds up to more than 15,000 double rubs it is classified as heavy duty. It will be stiffer and thicker than most fabrics, HD fabric would be a good choice for family room furniture.
  • MD or Medium Duty: Can withstand 9,000 to 15,000 double rubs. Medium duty fabrics are versatile and can be used for many purposes, and in family rooms as well as living rooms.
  • LD or Light Duty: A fabric that can take anywhere between 3,000 to 9,000 double rubs, is classified as light duty fabric. These fabrics can withstand one to three years of regular use and are generally very delicate. They are suitable for pieces that get only occasional use
  • DD or Delicate Duty: should only be used on furniture that is purely decorative, or in pillows.



What is leather?

  • Durable, flexible material 
  • Created by tanning of animal raw hide
  • Mainly cattle hide, but can also be buffalo hide,  buck and other wild animals
  • Cattle hide most common for leather lounge  suites because cattle are commercially grown  for human consumption, therefore a bi-product  of the meat industry
  • Luxurious, expensive material, leather has now  become a status symbol for the home
Why choose leather?
  • Extremely tough and durable
  • When looked after well, will last a life-time
  • Scratch and stain resistant
  • Easy to clean
  • Ultimate in comfort
  • Timeless elegance and beauty


What are the types of leather lounge suites?

Depends on the tanning and manufacturing process of the leather to leave the grain untouched (showing the natural pattern in the hide), or sand and improve the patterns in the hide. Each process results in very different feel and look to the leather:

Full grain

  • Not sanded or buffed; leaving the imperfections or natural marks on the surface
  • Natural grain remains, therefore strong and durable
  • Texture improves over time
  • Leather can breathe: less moisture = less sweating after prolonged sitting
  • High quality lounge suites (therefore more expensive) use full grain
  • Two types of finish: aniline and semi-aniline.

Corrected grain

  • Top layer of hide sanded off
  • Has had an artificial grain applied to the surface of the leather
  • Any imperfections sanded off or hidden in the artificial grain
  • Advantages: very scratch and stain resistant, very strong and durable.


Split leather

  • Made from fibrous part of hide once top grain has been separated off
  • Artificial layer applied or developed to a suede
  • TV Sales & Home do NOT sell split leather lounge suites as they are not as durable as full and corrected grain suites.

Bi-cast leather / Rexine

  • 100% synthetic fabric - with a leather feel
  • TV Sales & Home do NOT sell Rexine suites
Leather / Bi-cast leather combination (leather uppers)
  • Very common form of leather suite as is most affordable
  • Made with genuine leather for all parts that are sat on, while all other upholstery is synthetic
  • Most retailers in Zimbabwe selling leather lounge suites stock these
  • Cheaper and durable but NOT 100% leather


Benefits of leather

  1. Genuine, authentic leather is beautiful and pleasant to the touch
  2. Due to the natural fibre of leather it stays cool in summer and warm in winter
  3. Genuine leather stretches and moulds to the natural curve of your body for added comfort
  4. Leather furniture is made from cowhides and no two hides are the same meaning each suite has its own unique character
  5. All our leather products are authentic 100% genuine leather
  6. Genuine leather improves with age and if well looked after can last a lifetime
  7. Experts believe leather has 4 to 5 times more endurance than fabrics
  8. Natural flaws and grain typify genuine leather products

  Caring for your Leather  

  1. Leather is durable and easy to care for
  2. Leather furniture should be kept away from DIRECT HEAT sources such as fireplaces and heaters
  3. Try to keep your leather lounge suite out of DIRECT SUNLIGHT as this will eventually dry out the natural oils and lead to fading and cracking
  4. Surface scratches on genuine leather can often be rubbed away with your hand
  5. Dust your leather furniture weekly using a damp cloth
  6. Never use abrasive cleaners, saddle soaps, oils, detergents, furniture polish or ammonia on your leather as this will damage this natural product
  7. Vacuum your leather suite regularly to get dust out of corners and seams
  8. Areas on your leather furniture that are affected by sweat should be gently sponged on a regular basis
  9. To avoid disappointment, please make sure these leather care hints are carefully explained to the person responsible for cleaning your home  

Benefits of wood

  1. 1 year warranty
  2. Expertly crafted for strength and durability
  3. Manufactured exclusively for TV Sales & Home in the worlds’ finest factories
  4. Natural wood is a noble, beautiful material that is inherently warm and attractive
  5. Wood is resistant to heat, frost, corrosion and pollution, all that needs to be controlled is moisture
  6. Wood combines timeless beauty with robust practicality
  7. Wood suits rustic, contemporary and traditional styles
  8. Wood’s strength and lightweight stability mean wood is exceptionally durable, aging gracefully over the years
  9. Wooden furniture adds to the ambience and atmosphere of a home, making it a more congenial environment
  10. Wood creates naturally healthy living conditions, is easy to clean

Caring for Wood

  • Wood furniture is easy to maintain
  • Clean all surfaces on a regular basis
  • Don’t let dust, oil or water settle on chair arms, tables and cabinets
  • Try to keep wooden furniture out of direct sunlight or too close to heaters as this will dry out the wood leading to cracking
  • Oiled wood surfaces require only an occasional application of furniture oil. Never apply wax to an oil finish
  • Painted wood surfaces should vacuumed regularly with the brush attachment and wiped occasionally with a damp sponge to remove smudges and finger marks
  • Polished wood surfaces can be quickly cleaned with any commercial polish