What is upholstery?
Upholstery is a term used for anything that involves making covers, putting in new foams, springs, padding and trimming work.
It’s not limited to furniture, a trimmer in an automotive shop is an upholsterer as well. The job of an auto upholsterer is the same as a furniture upholsterer, it involves many tasks with the production of leather and fabric items. From sofas, to saddles, to car seats and so much more. The more common term for anyone in the automotive trade is a trimmer rather than an upholsterer.
A very early upholstery workshop producing chairs
Automotive upholstery in the 1900s was becoming a big business with the invention of the motorcar and this required skilled people to produce car seats for the vehicles being produced.
Early 1900s automotive upholstery workshop.
Modern workshops are more compact today than they were a hundred years ago with smaller machines capable of doing even more. Methods and traditions remain almost the same, it’s just advanced with smaller machines and tighter spaces to undertake the tasks in hand.
Chair stripped down ready for re upholstery.
A traditional modern upholsterers workshop still looks a busy place with plenty of modern machines and materials to undertake the jobs in hand.
A modern upholsterers workshop.
Upholsterers workshops are not limited to cars and furniture. Boats are a big part of the upholstery trade as well.
Boat being re upholstered
Most modern leather used on cars is the same as that whats used on leather furniture, the majority are pigmented leather, then on sofas you also get aniline, and bonded leather used, bonded is classed as a fake leather.
Modern upholstery workshops are still as busy today as there were 100 years ago, the skills are still the same, just techniques have advanced and become more complex.