The trade body British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM) is sounding caution over the availability of foam used in upholstered furniture and mattresses.

The trade body says that shortages of TDI – an organic compound that is used in production of rigid polyurethane foams with a high temperature stability – pose a threat to the supply of foam across Europe throughout autumn.

As a result, it says that retailers and customers should be prepared for unexpected delays as manufacturers face sporadic supplies.

Sean Holt, MD of the BFM, said: “There’s a significant reduction in the manufacture of TDI from the European facilities, which supply many of our members.

“The material is being imported from the US and Asia, but overseas transportation costs and the fact that not enough of it is being produced to meet demand, means manufacturers are facing unexpected sporadic supply shortages or sudden jumps in costs, which may cause disappointment and inconvenience for customers.

“The BFM is committed to encouraging consumers to buy British and appreciate the value of British-made furniture, but it also important to manage expectations.

“Manufacturers are battling extremely challenging circumstances, with national and international economic factors that are beyond their control.

“We are closely monitoring the situation and will provide members with regular updates, which will hopefully help them to navigate the situation ahead.”