This article is a chapter of a four-part series named “Anatomy of a Chesterfield”.
Here are the links to the other chapters:
The antiquer. Patient and aware. Wet work. Layer upon layer.
The natural grain. It’s essence. It’s unpredictability.
A colour can change everything.
The colouring of leather by hand is an ancient art practiced by very few companies.Just as a painter applies his brush to the stretched canvas, the antiquer will apply his rag to the hide after the upholstery. These creamy and soft full-grain hides are in their most natural state, featuring many scars and leather hallmarks.
The standard colours featured in the Heirloom collection are produced using water-based dyes that are carefully measured and mixed to formulas kept secret by Fleming & Howland.
New formulas can take months to perfect such as the Bone, Coal & Slate colours featured throughout the Monochrome collection.
The antiquer is an alchemist. He is also an artist and a tireless perfectionist. The many variations in the leather’s grain must be read exceptionally well. This knowledge only comes with years of experience, years of practice. The exact finish is dictated very much so by the grain within the leather but it is the antiquer that guides and nurtures the elements.
Approximately 6-7 layers of colour, polish and wax are applied using slow and steady strokes. Finishing touches around the studs and buttons are done by hand with a final layer of wax to seal the leather. The result is a unique, rich, three-dimensional patina that ages beautifully with time and use.
‘The Anatomy Of A Stuffed And Stitched Chair’ by Fleming & Howland
‘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.