Home » Home and Family » Arts and Crafts

A Brief History of Upholstering

Aug 17, 2007
It is widely thought that the craft of upholstery evolved from that of the tent-maker. And it does seem a likely development. Although tent-making is now quite a separate and a very prosperous trade, it is not so many years ago that many branches of that trade were carried out by the upholsterer.

The Upholsterers' Company was granted a charter in the year A.D. 1626 and is one of the oldest of the City of London Guilds and Liveries Companies. Its coat of arms being a shield with three tents. It was first emblazoned in A.D. 1465.

One of the first developments from tent-making was 'wall hangings' and draperies at windows and around beds. This is a branch of the trade that has almost died out. At least the wall hangings and bed draperies. The window drapery has since grown enormously, incorporating jobs like blind fixing, loose-cover making and bed-cover making.

The first signs of comfort for chairs came with the making of cushions, but it was not until the reign of Queen Elizabeth I that the stuffing of furniture began to evolve. From then on the craft of upholstery increased and was in great demand, reaching its zenith probably in the late Victorian era and early Edwardian days.

By this time the standard of workmanship and versatility in England was really magnificent. It may well have surpassed the art of the French and Italian craftsmen who were considered supreme.

At this point it may be as well to point out and consider the numerous jobs that came under the proud title of 'journeyman upholsterer'.

Basically of course he was a 'stuffer', which really means an upholsterer as the layman knows it. In other words, he built up from a frame a piece of furniture padded with stuffing. He also undertook to measure, cut and fix curtains, blinds, draperies, loose covers and pelmets and swags. This included things like mantelpiece drapes and bed draperies which were very popular in those days. Indeed all types of draperies for furniture became most elaborate, as did the window dressings. Deep swags and tails for the window headings suited the tall windows of the wealthy client's house. These were usually heavily trimmed and sometimes surmounted by elaborate wooden cornices.

Floor coverings came under the upholsterer's jurisdiction. These included carpets, linoleum and art felts. And on a more macabre note, he lined coffins. Until the turn of the century hanging wallpapers was yet one more task in the furnishing trade that was carried out by this craftsman.

This may sound a pretty comprehensive list in these days of mass production and prefabrication and probably strikes one as being in the dim past. But I can still recall doing all these jobs, with the exception of wallpaper hanging, during my years of apprenticeship. My grandmother used to tell me that her father, who was an upholsterer, went to work in his top hat and spats which was a symbol of the prestige in which this craftsman was held.

The all-round upholsterer still exists today I'm glad to say, and is found usually in the good-class furniture retail stores of the provincial towns.
About the Author
For The People Who Want To Upholster Their Own Furniture But Dont Know Where To Start!

Click here for FREE online ebook!

http://www.furnitureupholstery.org/
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 197
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources