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Church Pews and Church Kneelers
The versatility of foam means that it is found in a range of environments and applications. One not as commonly thought of is its use in church pews and kneelers. First appearing in churches in thirteenth-century England, church pews were usually made of stone and focused more on their decorative appeal rather than their comfort. In the modern day, church pews are generally made from wood and some have cushioned seating and footrests, though older more conservative churches don't tend to adopt either.
To the modern church goer, church pews are acknowledged as being notoriously uncomfortable and often cold. Many religious congregations and other organisations now seek to offer peaceful environments that combine both tradition with comfort. As a result, they have adopted the use of foam to accommodate the needs of attendees.
The most popular types of foam used in church pews and kneelers are often very high density polyurethane foams, known as reconstituted foam. As pews and kneelers are often covered in intricate or specialist fabric, reconstituted foams offer the longest lifespan for the item in question, minimising the number of times the foam needs to be replaced or for the fabric to be tampered with. This foam is rigid yet comfortable. Not only does this help maintain a premium appearance for the pew and kneeler at all times, but the density of the foam ensures it can resist the weight of the equally as heavy and dense embroidered outer material encasing it.
Using specialist foams in pews, kneelers and other soft furnishings in such environments is also part of the effort to make community buildings more accessible and accommodating for those with disabilities. For example, many elderly people or those with medical conditions would find sitting on hard surfaces difficult for prolonged periods of time. This means that modern church settings (and particularly those with an older average age of attendees, for example) are investing in other foam-based seating supports. These include, though are not limited to, angled footrests, back supports and leg raisers. For this reason, these organisations are now often investing in various types of comfort supports, including memory foam seat pads, medium density polyurethane wedge cushions and foam bolster cushions.
The popularity of the pew has also expanded outside of religious and communal environments. Their long-standing adoption and influence in Europe mean that they are now also found in court rooms and other religious settings such as Jewish synagogues. With congregations in courtrooms often being seated for prolonged periods of time (similar to that of church goers), the adoption of the traditional pew is a natural one. These courtrooms tend to use the same high-density polyurethane foams to ensure the longevity and retained shape and comfort of the seat.
eFoam is the UK’s leading supplier of foam products, specialising in the provision of cut to size foam in many shapes. We also offer precut 'off the shelf' reconstituted foam pads that can be used for prayer mats or kneelers.
Should you wish to discuss your foam requirements, please contact us.