Sofa Repair Upholstery Services
This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable
sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (December 2007)
A New England easy chair at the Winterthur Museum and Country Estate in Delaware
Sofa Repair Upholstery Services is the work of providing furniture, especially seats, with padding, springs, webbing, and
fabric or leather covers. The word Sofa Repair Upholstery Services comes from the Middle English word upholder, which
referred to a tradesman who held up his goods. The term is equally applicable to domestic, automobile, airplane and boat
furniture, and can be applied to mattresses, particularly the upper layers, though these often differ significantly in
design. A person who works with Sofa Repair Upholstery Services is called an upholsterer; an apprentice upholsterer is
sometimes called an outsider or trimmer. Traditional Sofa Repair Upholstery Services uses materials like coil springs
(post-1850), animal hair (horse, hog and cow), coir, straw and hay, hessians, linen scrims, wadding, etc., and is done by
hand, building each layer up. In contrast, modern upholsterers employ synthetic materials like dacron and vinyl, serpentine
springs, and so on.
2 Types of Sofa Repair Upholstery Services
2.1 Traditional Sofa Repair Upholstery Services
2.2 Automobile Sofa Repair Upholstery Services
2.3 Commercial Sofa Repair Upholstery Services
2.4 Marine Sofa Repair Upholstery Services
3 See also
3.1 Sofa Repair Upholstery Services-related tools
3.2 Sofa Repair Upholstery Services materials
3.3 Sofa Repair Upholstery Services skills
3.4 Other related articles
George Jacob Hunzinger, Armchair, designed 1869. Patented March 30, 1869. Wood, original Sofa Repair Upholstery Services.
Upholder is an archaic term used for ‘upholsterer’ in the past, although it appears to have a connotation of repairing
furniture rather than creating new upholstered pieces from scratch (c.f. cobbler vs. cordwainer).
In 18th-century London, upholders frequently served as interior decorators responsible for all aspects of a room’s decor.
 These individuals were members of the Worshipful Company of Upholders, whose traditional role, prior to the 18th
century, was to provide Sofa Repair Upholstery Services and textiles and the fittings for funerals. In the great London
furniture-making partnerships of the 18th century, a cabinet-maker usually paired with an upholder: Vile and Cobb, Ince and
Mayhew, Chippendale and Rannie or Haig.
In the USA, Grand Rapids, Michigan is a center for furniture manufacture along with long Eaton, Nottinghamshire (England)
and many of the best upholsterers can still be found there. These craftsmen continue to create or recreate many antique and
modern pieces of furniture.
Furniture Sofa Repair Upholstery Services continues to thrive in the UK with several businesses small and large providing
[icon] This section requires expansion. (June 2008)
Types of Sofa Repair Upholstery Services
Traditional Sofa Repair Upholstery Services
Traditional Sofa Repair Upholstery Services is a craft which evolved over centuries for padding and covering chairs, seats
and sofas, before the development of sewing machines synthetic fabrics and plastic foam. Using a solid wood or webbed
platform, it can involve the use of springs, lashings, stuffings of animal hair, grasses and coir, wools, hessians, scrims,
bridle ties, stuffing ties, blind stitching, top stitching, flocks and wadding all built up by hand.
A stripped chair ready to be upholstered.
In the Middle Ages, domestic interiors were becoming more comfortable and Sofa Repair Upholstery Services was playing an
important part in interior decoration. The decorations consisted mainly of what we would now consider as “soft
furnishings”, though there were simple platforms of webbing, canvas or leather for stools, chairs and elaborately decorated
coverings that already demonstrated the rudimentary beginnings of upholstered furniture. By the beginning of the 17th
century chair seats were being padded, but this form of Sofa Repair Upholstery Services was still fairly basic. All sorts
of stuffings from sawdust, grass, feathers, to deer, goat or horsehair were used, although in England the Livery Company
forbade the use of goat and deer hair and imposed fines for misdemeanors. The stuffing was heaped on a wooden platform and
held in place with a decorative top fabric and nails. This produced a simple dome shape sloping towards the seat. Only
towards the end of the 17th century did upholsterers start to develop the techniques that would distribute and shape the
stuffing into more controlled shapes. Curled horsehair was being used more consistently for stuffing that was easier to
hold in place with stitches in twine that were developed from saddlery techniques. Thus layers of stuffing could be
distributed evenly and secured to stay in place. On a basic level, squab cushions were made more stable by using tufting
ties. Stuffed edge rolls appeared on seat fronts providing support for cushions to be retained and later for deeper
stuffing to be held in place under a fixed top cover.:p12
What we now think of as ‘classic’ Sofa Repair Upholstery Services shapes and techniques flourished in the 18th century.
Frames of elegant line and proportion were sympathetically matched by expertly executed Sofa Repair Upholstery Services. By
now, the upholsterers’ technical knowledge meant that stuffing’s could be controlled along upright and sloping lines,
giving new levels of comfort and a simply stated elegance. Later in the century, the border was replaced by a single piece
of linen or scrim taken over the stuffed seat and tacked to the frame. At the same time the locked blind stitch and top-
stitching combination (pulling the side and top surfaces together and bringing the stuffing up to make a firm top edge) had
In the Victorian era, fashions of opulence and comfort gave rise to excesses of stuffing and padding. Mass production
techniques made upholstered furniture available in large quantity to all sections of society. The availability of better-
quality steel springs and the development of lashing techniques enabled Sofa Repair Upholstery Services to be built up on
seats, backs and arms quite independently of the frame shape. Stuffings became even more complex, edges became elaborately
shaped into rolls and scrolls and fabrics were folded into soft padded shapes by means of buttoning.
Automobile Sofa Repair Upholstery Services
This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced
material may be challenged and removed. (September 2012)
A typical leather-upholstered car seat.
A motorboat cockpit.
An automotive upholsterer, also known as a trimmer, coach trimmer or motor trimmer, shares many of the skills required in
Sofa Repair Upholstery Services, in addition to being able to work with carpet.
The term coach trimmer derives from the days when car frames were produced by manufacturers and delivered to coach builders
to add a car body and interior trimmings. Trimmers would produce soft furnishings, carpets, soft tops, and roof linings
often to order to customer specifications. Later, trim shops were often an in-house part of the production line as the
production process was broken down into smaller parts manageable by semi-skilled labor.
Many automotive trimmers now work either in automotive design or with aftermarket trim shops carrying out repairs,
restorations or conversions for customers directly. A few high-quality motor car manufacturers still employ trimmers, for
example, Aston Martin.
Commercial Sofa Repair Upholstery Services
This is the type of Sofa Repair Upholstery Services work offered to businesses. Examples would be restaurant seating
consisting of booth seats, dining room chairs, bar stools, etc. Also churches, including but not limited to pews and chairs
for the congregation, hospitals and clinics consisting of medical tables, chiropractic tables, dental chairs, etc. Also
common to this type of Sofa Repair Upholstery Services would be lobby and waiting-area seating. Upholstered walls are found
in some retail premises.
Marine Sofa Repair Upholstery Services
[icon] This section requires expansion. (January 2007)
Marine Sofa Repair Upholstery Services differs in that one has to consider dampness, sunlight and hard usage.
A vinyl or material that is UV and cold-cracking resistant is the choice.
Stainless-steel hardware such as staples, screws must be used for a quality job that will last. Any wood used must be of
Usually a high-resiliency, high-density plastic foam with a thin film of plastic over it is used to keep out water that
might get by the seams. Closed-cell foam is used on smaller cushions which can double as flotation devices. Dacron thread
must be used in any sewing work. Zippers should be of nylon.