How to buy a glider rocker
Engineering and Design
Rocking gliders should be made of quality, durable materials and have a good design. To meet the needs of today’s demanding consumer, the secret is in precision and quality construction. More than thirty different parts are used to assemble a glider rocker, which is why professional designers and engineers, supported by sophisticated computer design programs and special templates will design products so that exact uniformity will provide quality and stability. The best glider rockers are made from a solid state construction process that “knurls, glues, and locks” each piece into a tight-fitting and perfectly engineered connection. Knurling is the process by which many small grooves are embedded into the surface of the wood. This guarantees that the glue will cover all surfaces and that a perfectly tight and solid fit will result.
Quality cannot be manufactured. There is a large amount of hands-on craftsmanship that goes into a rocking glider. Holes should fit tightly and should go together with the accompaniment of glue. Joints should be tight fitting as well as glued, screwed or stapled which guarantees stability and durability in a perfectly engineered connection. The product should be properly sealed and finished to prevent moisture (which will loosen the joints due to expansion and contraction) and add extra beauty to the product.
Balanced Gliding Motion
The gliding system is what makes “glider rockers” unique from regular rocking chairs, and balance is critical in order for a glider rocker to function correctly and comfortably. The ultimate system provides not only smoothness in the rocking motion, but also, superior rocking comfort. Perfect configuration will provide balanced and effortless movement.
There are two types of glider rocker mechanisms. The first type gives an actual “rocking” motion as well as gliding motion. The second type glides without rocking similar to a porch swing with a straight plane movement.
Padding and Cushions
Quality cushions are a result of demanding technical and visual requirements. Foam must be CFC-free and should meet California flammability standards, the highest in North America. The higher the density of the cushion, the longer it will retain its shape. This guarantees lasting shape, appearance, warmth and comfort.
The seat “decking” or webbing that supports the cushion should be made of only the best material, such as spunlene, and tested to thousands of cycles which will not only guarantee comfort, but strength as well. Some manufacturers use no sag springs on the deck which will not sag after time if they are well attached to the wood frame.
“Mass market” products use low-quality seat support. Upholstery that is sewn using templates and special “seamlock” techniques will assure quilting that is durable and consistent.
Selection of Fabrics and Finishes
There is an endless selection of fabrics and finishes that are available to make a glider rocker blend into any room decor. After all, it is a piece of accent furniture.
You have dozens of beautiful, rich fabrics from which to choose: cotton, vinyl, leather and more. Be sure to choose a fabric that is protected with a fabric protector such as Scotchgardв„ў and a flame retardant such as UFAC.
The styles and finishes available in today’s glider rocker offer you an abundance of choices. These include contemporary, traditional ,country, manufactured from wood, metal and rattan.
The important features to look for in the protective finish are thickness and solidity. If it is thin and easily scratched, the protective finish will fade. The more thick and solid protective finishes have a larger number of solid particles. The easily scratched finish has more volatile particles which will dissipate into the atmosphere causing the protective finish to fade. All formulas should be environmentally safe and non-toxic. If the varnish is UV proof, it will not yellow.
A glider rocker is not complete unless it has a matching ottoman. A matching ottoman will add beauty and warmth to the room as well as optimize the motion of the glider rocker. The ottoman should ideally be the same style, finish, and fabric as the glider. For best use and maximum comfort, the ottoman should also have the same quality gliding system that is found on the glider rocker.
John Couturier is the Marketing Manager at Dutailier Inc.