When you look underneath the upholstery, antique sofas and chairs could not be more different from modern pieces. A new sofa, even from a high quality supplier, will be constructed of chipboard, stapled together and covered in foam. They are not built to last.
A piece such as this beautiful maple wood setee, dating from the mid 19th century, has a solid frame constructed of beech. Each joint is handmade, and the frame skilfully shaped to support the upholstery. Modern furniture makers talk about “ergonomics” – the Victorians were already practising it!
When we removed the upholstery on this sofa, we found that the frame was stamped “Gillows”, confirming it as a top quality piece from one of the most famous names in 18th and 19th century cabinet making.
All our upholstered pieces here at Thakeham Furniture are stripped back to the frame in the workshop, so that we can check for any loose joints, and treat for woodworm if necessary. They are then dispatched to our master upholsterer Louis, who has over 50 years experience in the business! He uses all traditional materials, such as tacks and horsehair rather than foam and staples, so the upholstery will last for years.
We only choose the best quality fabrics – this is a new range from Zoffany called “Archive Prints” that take classic designs and give them a modern twist. It gives a contemporary feel to the sofa, while complimenting its colour and form.