This article is a chapter of a four-part series named “Anatomy of a Chesterfield”.

Here are the links to the other chapters:


With a heritage dating back to 1780, British upholsterers Fleming & Howland decided it was time to chronicle, in step by step format, how an object of beauty and great design is lovingly crafted. Celebrating British furniture making, these sections give a rare insight into a brand known for their modesty.

THE INGREDIENTS OF A PERFECT CHESTERFIELD

The smell of sawdust. The fragrance of leather.
A stimulation to the senses.

Grain. Fibre. Twine. Hessian. Copper. Brass.

These are the raw ingredients that make an extraordinary sofa.


TWINE

Twine is a strong thread composed of two or more smaller strands or yarns twisted together.

The natural fibres used for making twine include cotton, sisal, jute, hemp & coir.

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WOOD

This is where it all begins.
The internal frame is the foundation of all furniture. The strength from the timber, the durability from the joints, the design from the cut.
Patterns for all shapes and sizes at your fingertips. Our pattern room is your playground.

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METAL

Over 1000 metal components are individually tapped, fixed and screwed into the framework.
Some for structural purpose, some for the delicate finishing touches.
Complete attention to detail.
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HESSIAN

Layers of various fabrics are wrapped, covered and interwoven throughout the cavities of the frame.
Cotton felt, hessian, fibre, foam, decron, horse hair….

Choosing the correct combination of layered stuffing makes all the difference to the comfort and longevity of the seating.
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Horsehair

Horse hair was commonly used in the 19th century as upholstery stuffing. It became popular due to its durability but, after time, will inevitably lose moisture (hence the tell-tale ‘crunch’ when you sit down). Today, due to technology advancements, fire regulations, and expense, specialist upholstery foam is used.

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Coils

Coil springs are individual coils, open at both ends. They may be knotted at one end. When attached to webbing and twine-tied at the top, they form the ‘springy’ platform on which the loose cushion rests. An alternative number of suspension systems are also used. The most common assembles for sofas today are a series of serpentine or zigzag springs, or elasticated webbing made from either rubber or fabric.

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‘The Anatomy Of A Stuffed And Stitched Chair’ by Fleming & Howland

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‘The Anatomy Of A Stuffed And Stitched Chair’ by Fleming & Howland is a book designed to offer a behind the scenes artistic view of traditional upholstery. An endorsement of British manufacturing, the book captures, in step by step format, how an object of beauty and great design is lovingly crafted. An image led book, it depicts how labour intensive and time consuming the process is with each chair taking 258 hours to create from start to finish. Click here to purchase online.

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