History of upholstery

History of upholstery

History of upholstery

Nowadays, when we want to improve the look of chairs or armchairs, when we need to fill one of these, when we want to change the face of a room in the house, when we need new fabrics for different purposes, the first thing we think of is the upholstery. It is the profession from which we improve the appearance and the functionality and comfort of practically all the objects that we use daily in homes, offices, gastronomic and commercial spaces, among others.

Usually, when we talk about upholstery, we refer to a task that deals primarily with the upholstery of furniture, armchairs, sofas, and chairs. The professional upholsterer is in charge of the restoration and renovation, the filling, and the change of image of this type of furniture. In addition, he repairs and restores everything that can be found in bad condition.

Uses of upholstery

In addition to the uses mentioned above, many people turn to upholstery for automobiles, motorcycles, among other things. Office workers also come to this profession for work seats or in gastronomic or entertainment spaces where people remain seated. Taxis and airplanes do it.

Upholstery. How did it come about?

Tapestry has its origin around the year 5.000 B.C, being then the Egyptians the oldest pioneers in this art. Through the studies that have been carried out, it is said that in Egypt, when a pharaoh or leader died, he was buried with belongings of great value, in their tombs have been found the first upholstered chairs. It is proven by paintings and remains that they made assemblies to box and tenon.

Later, the nomads were the forerunners of the Egyptians. Through super ancient engravings that have been preserved until our times, it is evident that they created the first folding chairs and tables, covered the tents' floor with carpets, and sought to satisfy their need for comfort by designing and making their cushions.

Presumably, the Egyptians were not the only ones to use chairs first in those times. According to data, the Near Eastern peoples such as the Byzantine, Greek, and Chinese empires used the chair many millennia ago.

In the Middle Ages, it is already known that there were people dedicated to this work. At their service, the kings and nobles had craftsmen upholsterers who made armchairs or wooden chairs (first) with leather seats and backs; sometime later, they used them to stuff vegetable fibers or animal hair.

A duo during the Renaissance: cabinetmakers and upholsterers.

In the renaissance period, during the modern age, sofas, chairs, and armchairs boomed and gained more refinement, sophistication, and elegance than in earlier times. During this period, upholsterers worked for hand in hand with wood designers, better known as cabinetmakers.

The cabinetmaker has been known for years as a person who specializes in making unique pieces. In addition to producing all kinds of furniture such as chairs, tables, cabinets and adding nice finishing touches to his works. It was then during the Renaissance when cabinetmakers and upholsterers worked together to achieve the desired goals and to be able to realize the extraordinary commissions of the nobility.

Many years later, from the contemporary period onwards, upholsterers used synthetic foams for the upholstery of sofas, armchairs, and stools; however, natural fiber and goose feather upholstery continued to have prestige. Years later, with the advances in the textile industry, the use of fabrics, their color, texture, and versatility reached its full splendor for the whole world.

20th century to the present day.

With time, the professionals in the area have been updating and adapting to the new inventions of materials that they are destined to use. Likewise, designers have driven the emergence of new styles much more modern.

In the art of upholstery, it is demonstrated that the people who have dedicated themselves to this work use their hands and brains to achieve the objectives of their work, to elaborate functional, pleasant, and comfortable pieces. They also seek the satisfaction of their customers.

In recent years upholstery has spread everywhere: hotels, automobiles, airplanes, yachts, homes, and any other space where it is necessary and required to repair or replace the upholstery.

Some of the most famous types of upholstery are:

Furniture upholsterer

A furniture upholsterer specializes in upholstering furniture for the home and other domestic or industrial facilities, such as restaurants, hotels, and hospitals. The furniture upholsterer has experience and skills to upholster and put covers on chairs, armchairs, sofas, stools, headboards, and other standard pieces in the domestic environment. He also makes and installs curtains. There are specialists in classic or period furniture within this category, much sought after by antique dealers and antique restorers.

Motorcycle seat upholsterer

The profession of motorcycle seat upholsterer is a specialty within the upholstery trade. The main characteristic is that he makes and mounts upholstery on motorcycle seats and saddles. The materials he uses are resistant to adverse weather conditions. They are usually upholstered in vinyl with unique treatments to not deteriorate in sunlight, rain, or sudden temperature changes. The upholsterer of motorcycle seats also performs works of modification of foams to improve the rider's comfort, depending on his anatomy. The foams used in these modifications are high-density polyurethane foams so that the result is a comfortable and firm seat.

Car upholsterer

The automotive upholstery trade is another specialty within the upholstery.


The car upholsterer upholsters and repairs car seats with fabric or leather. He also covers all interior parts such as doors, roof, dashboard, gear lever dust covers, and interior trim with these materials.

Boat upholsterer

The boat upholsterer's trade is a specialty within the upholstery trade. The boat upholsterer makes upholstery for the seats and cushions of boats. He also makes canvas covers to protect them when not in use and lines any interior area that needs it, such as walls or ceilings.

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