National Furniture and Mattress Buying Group

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Furniture Terms – T

T-cushion: cushion of an upholstered sofa, loveseat, or chair on which the arms are set back from the front edge; the cushion extends from the from edge of the seat to the front of the arm. The resulting outline is in the shape of a letter “T”.

tall boy: a set of chests that are stacked one on top of the other. Frequently the lower one consists of a large three or four drawer unit and the upper of a taller piece with smaller drawers, often crowned with a cornice and pediment. Also know as a chest-on-chest.

tambour: thin strips of wood applied to a pliable back to create a flexible door.

tambour desk: roll-top desk that employs tambours in its roll-top mechanism.

terrazzo: hard-finished floor made of marble chips set in mortar and polished.

tête-à-tête: a small bench with an s-shaped back that crosses the seat that allows two people to sit facing each other. Also known as a courting bench.

theater seating: modular reclining chairs that can be joined at the arms, either flush, or in an arch and are designed for optimal screen viewing in a home theater.

theater sofa: a large sofa curved in an arch when viewed from above. Designed for use in a home theater, a theater sofa is intended to provide all of the individuals sitting on it a good view of the home theater screen.

three-over-three: a sofa with three back cushions and three seat cushions

ticking: a heavy, strong fabric used to cover mattresses. Traditional ticking features a white ground with indigo stripes. Present-day use of the traditional ticking pattern is more common as an upholstery or drapery accent fabric.

tight back: upholstery with a padded back directly over the frame of the piece, without additional back cushions.

tight seat: an upholstered piece on which the fabric covering the seat is attached directly to the frame and does not have a removable seat cushion.

tilt top table: a table with a top that can be tilted to a vertical position so that it may be stored close to a wall. The top is laid horizontal for regular use.

toile: a white or off-white fabric printed with one color, commonly red or black, depicting classical or pastoral scenes.

Top Coat: Synthetic transparent polyurethane resins applied as a clear protective coating to make leather more resistant. May be gloss or matte depending on type of leather.

top grain leather: leather with the outermost layers of the hide left in tact. Generally considered high quality.

top stitching: a single or double row of stitching close to the seam or edge on the outer side of the fabric.

torchiere: a floor lamp that provides soft, indirect lighting by guiding light upward from a reflective bowl or inverted cone.

transitional: a furniture style in which design elements are toned down so that the piece may fit with a traditional or more contemporary décor.

travertine: a variety of stone used as a surface top in furniture. It varies in color from cream to beige and taupe.

trestle table: a table with a base that consists of two sets of legs connected by a horizontal beam.

triple dresser: three or more sets of drawers side-by-side, used for the storage of clothing in a bedroom. A triple dresser is usually wider than it is tall and a mirror is frequently placed above.

Trompe l’oeil: painting style that means “fool the eye” in French. Two-dimensional surfaces are painted to look as if three dimensional objects are resting on them.

tumbling: a process in which tanned hides are placed in drums with heat and water and tumbled to a desired softness. Also call “milling”.

tung oil: a drying oil produced from nuts of the tung tree, used in furniture finishes as a protective sealant.

turning: a furniture element that was shaped with the use of a lathe.

tuxedo arms: an upholstery style with straight-lines, or slightly flared interior edges; the arm height is usually the same height as the back, however scatter-back cushions may extend higher.

twill: a sturdy weave of fabric that is distinguished by diagonal parallel ribs in the surface.

two-over-two: a sofa with two back cushions and two seat cushions