Capitoné: Discover the most contemporary side of the traditional upholstery.
Innovative solutions to banish the classic connotation of this warm and comfortable textile upholstery have been able to reinvent themselves.
The capitoné is a particular type of upholstery for seats and backrests, characterized by the fact that the padding is fastened with buttons, forming regular patterns in relief. It is an upholstery style of French origin, made fashionable by the English at the beginning of the 19th century, whose greatest exponent is the famous Chesterfield sofa. Nowadays, it is still in force through new approaches that incorporate it in armchairs, chairs and stools, bed headboards, coffee tables, and even closets or walls. However, new applications, techniques, materials, and finishes still retain their notable soft appearance, conveying elegance and comfort. Perhaps you have inherited an old sofa or armchair upholstered with this particular quilted upholstery dotted with buttons. Don't let it sit in your storage room because you don't know what to do with it. With these suggestions, we will convince you that the capitonné is more than a trend and you will indeed look at your old furniture with different eyes. A straightforward way to update it would be to cover it again with brightly colored fabrics, fun prints, or technical materials, although if you are afraid of getting tired of them. On the other hand, if you are looking for something more discreet but with a different touch, you can choose a neutral color for the base and play with colored buttons or striking shapes.
Warmth and comfort are two properties traditionally associated with quilted textiles: those made by placing cotton, wool, or other soft materials between two fabrics, which are then stitched together. The capitoné is a variety of them, characterized by the presence of buttons holding the padding, as is the case of the well-known Chester sofa. This technique can also be used to cover a bench around a table, either in the kitchen or in the dining room. Although the Chester is usually the first example that comes to mind when we think of capitonné, this finish was also chosen by great masters of the modern movement for some of their designs, such as Mies van der Rohe in the case of his famous armchair and stool for the German Pavilion at the 1929 Barcelona Exposition. The upholstery of both pieces-consisting of individually cut squares and buttons, all from the hide of a single cow-is a tribute to craftsmanship and reveals meticulous attention to detail.
More recent is the Mah Jong model by French firm Roche Bobois. It was designed in 1971 by Hans Hopfer and was initially made of simple fabrics, while today, it bears the signature of great couturiers such as Missoni. It is made up of modules formed by seat cushions and straight and angled backrests, which allows a great variety of compositions. A typical element that has traditionally been covered with capitonné is the bed's headboard. This finish provides a smooth, soft surface to rest the head. Thus, it functions as a comfortable backrest, ideal for reading or watching TV in bed. If you are looking for a contemporary style, go for unusual colors, prints, and fabrics.
The capitonné upholstery made of leather is exquisite, as seen on the coffee table in this multimedia room. In addition, the walls have been soundproofed with soft padding. It may also be appropriate for finishing off a side cabinet, such as the one in this spacious dresser. The lower part of the piece has two platforms to store its owner's shoe collection. The upper one has a seat lined with quilted upholstery. If you thought this upholstery had no place in the bathroom, look at the practical and elegant leather upholstered stool in the image. Sofas, armchairs, benches, and headboards are the decorative elements where it is easier to find this type of finish, but it can also be very nice to use it to cover walls, as in the case of this small attic niche. In addition to providing a comfortable rest, the different layers of textile covering considerably improve acoustic insulation.
Cushions, mats, or pillows made with this padding are also very decorative. You can use these elements to give a new look to sofas and armchairs or on wooden or masonry benches to increase their comfort. Finally, the softness of this type of quilting makes it particularly suitable for children's rooms, where safety is a significant factor. This fun-colored cabinet cushions any possible falls. To not break the aesthetics of the set, the central button of each compartment serves as a handle.