Raft takes sofas seriously. Each sofa is handmade to the highest standard – combining comfort, style and longevity. Our team of skilled craftsmen make each fabric sofa by hand, to order, at our factory in London and the same goes for our leather sofas which are made in Manchester. Raft’s specialised skills in sofa making mean we can cater to customer’s specific needs when it comes to design, size and finish. Sofas can also be built on site when access is difficult. As part of our commitment to being environmentally friendly, we only use solid hardwoods which have been managed in Europe for our sofa frames, which means that our wood has not contributed towards deforestation. Our leathers and fabrics are also ethically sourced and chosen for their style and practicality so that you can create the perfect home.
How we make our sofas
Experience and expertise are key to Raft’s sofa creation. Our team of skilled British artisans at our factories in London and Manchester consist of upholsterers, frame makers, cutters and machinists who all work to the highest specification. The techniques used to make Raft’s sofas are tried and tested – our team has more than 100 years’ of combined experience.
Raft’s sofas and chairs are built with care, built to last and built to be comfortable. Our in-house designers work closely with the craftsmen – combining their skills and ensuring a high standard of manufacturing and final design.
Our customers choose exactly how they’d like their sofa to look – design, size, fabric or leather – and Raft’s can-do attitude means a specialist technician will evaluate access issues and work out how to get the sofa you want into the room you want – with a skilled team ensuring delivery is as smooth as can be.
Raft’s commitment to creating the highest quality furniture with the least environmental damage extends to our choice of leather.
Not all leathers are the same. Raft’s leather is selected as it improves with age, lasts for years and is easily cleanable. It’s a great choice for homes with pets and children.
Our hides are sourced only in North Europe, where the cattle are reared to high ethical standards. These cold climate hides are also thicker and therefore of superior quality to leathers from other parts of the world.
At Raft we are concerned about how tanneries can be potentially damaging to the environment and we are constantly monitoring our procedures and making improvements. Our leather is treated in environmentally-friendly tanneries which meet strict European regulations. Our tanneries only use the best materials to cure, preserve and tan leather, with the process taking anywhere from 5 weeks to 12 months.
We try to keep the leather we use close to its natural state – it’s such good quality we want it to speak for itself. The leather is either aniline or semi-aniline – which means it’s treated exclusively with organic soluble dyes, keeping its natural beauty. Like all organic products, our leather shows its uniqueness. Some people might think small marks are imperfections – but we know this is rather an individuality which proves that the leather is the genuine article.
Find out about our fabrics
With Raft fabrics, versatility is the name of the game. As manufacturers of our own furniture we are able to upholster in thousands of different fabrics so you can make your home exactly as you’ve always dreamed.
And our combined team of in-house designers and skilled artisans means that we are able to get our designs spot on – stylish, comfortable and made to last. For example, all our sofa cushions are reversible to spread wear and tear.
Raft’s range of classic fabrics includes 100% natural fabrics such as cotton, linen, unbleached linen and wool. We also have a wool range made from 50% recycled materials. The majority of our fabrics come from European weaving sheds.
Of course, all Raft’s materials are flame-resistant treated to meet the UK legal safety regulations.
Raft’s philosophy is for quality through and through – and that goes for the mechanisms, frames and filling used in our sofas and chairs. You might not be able to see it, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter. Top-of-the-range materials constructed by experts means that our products are built to last and made for comfort without compromising on the design.
We push the boundaries when it comes to innovation in manufacturing the right comfort for customers with specific needs – making sure people with allergies, back pain or food preferences are entitled to the comfort and style they deserve.
Frames: What your sofa is made of can be the difference between it lasting a short time or seeing you through years of family life. Each Raft frame design is fully scrutinised and comes with a 10-year guarantee.
Our frames are made from kiln-dried solid hardwood – usually beech or birch. These woods are tried and tested for their durability and stability both during construction and within the varying conditions they will encounter when in use. We use kiln-dried timber because this is light but long-lasting. The kiln process removes excess moisture from the timber so that the frame will not move but stay strong and rigid.
Raft tries to use British home-produced timber wherever possible from well-managed temperate forests. We never work with timber from endangered, tropical or rainforest species.
Interiors: Depending on the design, different densities of foam are chosen for use and then wrapped in feather or hollow fibre to ensure ultimate comfort and create the end design – whether shabby chic or a clean-cut finish.
We use bio-cleaned feathers from the nearest sources we can find, often France, and when we use other fibres and foam, we use UK-based suppliers. We ensure all our products are fully labelled so your furniture can be cleaned correctly.
Mechanisms: Raft uses the best of the best to make sure our sofas and sofa beds are made to the highest standard.
We use D’arc Serpentine springs for durability and quality and top-quality Pirelli seat webbing for comfort and longevity.
Raft’s sofa beds are made to be luxuriously comfortable as both a sofa and a bed – and they also look great. We are able to incorporate a sofa bed into most of our sofa designs!
What’s more, our sofa beds have an ingenious two-fold action, using both slats and webbing. This clever design means when you use it as a sofa it feels like a sofa – and when you use it as a bed it’s as comfortable and robust as a free-standing bed.
With our own London-based craftsmen we can manufacture up to a king Size sofa bed with a chunky 10cm spring interior or memory foam mattress – perfect for peaceful nights.
Delivery made simple
We want to take the fuss out of delivery – to keep things simple and use our expertise to ensure a smooth service.
To deliver the best customer experience possible we have a dedicated delivery team who will work with you to ensure a prompt, efficient service. Sofas and chairs are securely packaged to eliminate any possible damage – and we deliver to the room of your choice where your new items will be unwrapped and assembled for you.
If you’re concerned about getting a sofa into a tricky part of your home, then let us use our expert knowledge to work around the problem. All our sofas, even the largest and deepest, are cleverly engineered to fit through small spaces and be assembled by our craftsmen without compromise on the quality.