Upholstery Guide: 10 Interesting Facts about Upholstery

What is Upholstery?

Upholstery Guide: 10 Interesting Facts about Upholstery
10 Interesting Facts about Upholstery.

The basic Upholstery definition
is related to padding up and covering of the furniture in your vehicle, home, offices, shops.

This is used to protect the furniture from external elements as well as beautifying their appearance and outlook.

The earliest elements used for upholstery were springs, wool, cotton, animal skin and hair, linen etc. These were called traditional upholstery. Modern upholstery includes cold foam, injection molded frames, cushions, mattresses, leather covers, fabric, plastic and synthetic materials.

They are manufactured with highest quality materials for ensuring absolute protection to furniture and making them look attractive and appealing. The technologies and methods used for the processing of upholstery materials are constantly improving with time.

A Guide on Furniture Upholstery

Sofa upholstery definition includes cushioning of sofa; installation of springs, covering with leather and fabric materials, stuffed pillows, fabric covered cording, arm bolsters and frames etc. Sofa springs with corrosion resistance material, optimum wire and top diameters, height, number of turns and weight bearing capacity per square inch per minute are to be selected to make the sofa upholstery last longer and protect the seaters better. Once the quality of related parameters is ensured, it is possible to make the sofa strong, soft and durable.

10 Interesting Facts about Upholstery
10 Interesting Facts about Upholstery.

What is Upholstered Furniture?

  • Dining chairs upholstery definition includes cushioning, decoration, steel and wooden frames addition, design enhancement, glass, plastic or wooden top designs.


  • Seaters upholstery definition includes covering with fabric materials, foaming, casting of frames, supports etc. Most of the modern seaters are molded with plastic, stainless steel, fiber and other cold fused materials. Seater upholstery is fast undergoing revolutionary changes in their appearance, color, materials.


  • Bed upholstery definition includes mattresses, pillows, bed sheets, pillow covers bed covers, linen etc. The materials are cotton, silk, polyester, wool, leather etc. Common functionality of bed frames include stress and weight withstanding capacity, expandability, multipurpose usage (bed, storage space for other upholstery, foldable nature to be used as sofa.


  • Kitchen upholstery definition includes fabrics for tea set cover, towels, ovens, heaters, refrigerators etc, cushioned chairs and tables, kitchen cabinets and more.

Similarly, you can go on expanding the upholstery list to include bathroom, living room, drawing room, sports room and so on.


What is Auto Upholstery / Car Upholstery?

They include internal carpets, seats, roof covers and tops, door and window panels, dashboards, multimedia device covers. The carpets are highly flexible, stress-resistant and waterproof in nature. Seat upholstery is normally made of leather, cushion, metal springs, vinyl, cotton, silk, velvet.

  • The types of covering on each furniture and utility determine the quality and long life.
  • Panels are made of highest quality materials which can withstand frequent and rough usage. They are normally made of stainless steel with rustproof coatings. In some cases they can be made of alloy metals consisting of copper, iron and steel.

Office Upholstery

Office upholstery definition is an extension of home upholstery. This includes added features for conference halls, workplaces, reception hall, stairs and lifts, corridors etc. Professional touch to the office upholstery definition makes it highly corporate in style.

Top 10 Upholstery Facts You Need to Know

The top 10 upholstery facts listed here starts from the era of the Roman Empire and cover some interesting aspects till today. The earliest upholstery object is said to be the chair made of raw wood. Classical crafting of furniture and beautification with designs, fabrics and ornamentation started from here. Bronze couches, tables, stools, cupboards, chests and many other pieces of furniture followed the chair. The dawn of Silk Road in the 2nd century BCE enhanced the applications of upholstery to a great extent.

1) History of Upholstery

The popularity of upholstery increased all over Europe in the 13th Century AD. Initially the coffee makers were involved in upholstery making. Bedding, linen, tapestry and cushions were added to the list of upholstery. Access to the expensive items was mostly restricted to the royal families, rich business persons and those working for them. Most importance was given to the royal throne and the court room furniture. The antique pieces of furniture and upholstery from this era reflect the rich set of ornaments, pearls and fabric used in those times.

Most of the upholstery was in the form of cushions and carpets. The house plans were mostly based on the peristylium (center) of the house. Most of the rooms faced this direction. Hence the ventilation systems were also created in such a manner that they allowed maximum air circulation through all the rooms. This was supported by the types of upholstery they had for each room. The bedrooms had large size beds at the center with life size curtains and drapers on all the windows. They were mostly made of cotton until the arrival of silk. Later they seemed to have switched over to silk and velvet upholstery.

2) Furniture Upholstery

Professional upholstery came into existence after the end of the war of roses in 1487 in Wales, England. Richard II promoted the first ever Upholsterer Chair. This was the time when coverings with handmade stitching were provided to furniture. Fully upholstered Sofa “The Knole Settee” was made in the early 1600s in Kent. This is one of the most interesting upholstery facts. Later the Victorian era upholsters seemed to receive lot of patronage from the royal family. They were encouraged to try out innovative methods of furniture and upholstery designs.  They also borrowed many ideas and concepts from India, which was their principal colony. This enabled them to enhance their library of upholstery designs taken from different parts of India. They even tried fusion of Indian and Victorian styles to bring out innovative patterns and architectural designs into the upholstery.

3) Upholstery Sofa

The first designer upholstery started with drop in cushioned seats in the Victorian era. This was followed by pastels, cabinet upholstery, cushions and leather upholstery. The revolutionary concepts were quickly captured by many upholsterers and the art was made popular in all the British colonies.

4) Upholstery Tacks

Needle pointed upholstery was the most popular art to emerge from Europe with the invention of sewing machines in 1790. Pillows, Trim wraps made of cotton, silk and velvet were provided around wooden furniture. The fillings were mostly made of cotton. This machine increased the efficiency of upholstery making process. The effects were clearly reflected in mass production of upholstery fabrics in Europe, especially Sweden in which the upholstery revolution took over to establish many workshops which could supply finished upholstery to the different countries of Europe.

5) Upholstery Foam

The addition of coil springs to the upholstery started in the USA in 1857 and it was patented. Spring based mattresses were made in the year 1871 by Heinrich Westphal for the first time in the USA. The average cost of upholstery was reduced considerably by the mass production. This was the first time when common folks could afford to buy upholstery for their homes.

6) Leather Upholstery

The simulated suede fabric is the other most popular leather materials for modern upholstery which has all the characteristics of Crypton, but it is less expensive. This is one of the most interesting upholstery facts of today

7) Upholstery Designs

Knoll and Retro types of upholstery are among the most popular designs in the world today. Knoll uses abstract designs from the modern art while retro type still combines the 20th-century styles with the traditional Victorian era designs.

8) Upholstery furniture

Upholstery furniture filled with Memory foam made of polyurethane is the most recommended material to relieve physical and mental stress. This is said to be better than the spring based furniture since springs can create unevenness of support which has been eliminated in memory mattress.

9) Upholstery Fabric

Crypton fabric used in modern upholstery is said to have the best resistance property to mold, moisture, break, stain, wear and tear. This technology is now patented.

10) Upholstery Today

Today the global upholstery industry is dominated by the USA, Germany, Japan and China who hold more than 50% of the market share together.

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