Upholstery is the work of providing furniture, especially seats, with padding, springs,
webbing, and fabric or leather covers. The word upholstery comes from the Middle English
word upholder, which referred to a tradesman who held up his goods. The term is equally
applicable to domestic, automobile, airplane and boat furniture. A person who works with
upholstery is called an upholsterer; an apprentice upholsterer is sometimes called an
outsider or trimmer. Traditional upholstery uses materials like coil springs (post-1850),
animal hair (horse, hog & cow), coir, straw and hay, Hessians, linen scrims, wadding, etc.,
and is done by hand, building each layer up. In contrast, modern upholsterers employ
synthetic materials like Dacron and vinyl, serpentine springs, and so on.
An automotive upholsterer, also known as a trimmer,
coachtrimmer or motor trimmer, shares many of the skills
required in upholstery, in addition to being able to work
The term coachtrimmer derives from the days when car
bodies were produced by manufacturers and delivered to
coachbuilders to add a car body and interior trimmings.
Trimmers would produce soft furnishings, carpets, soft
tops and roof linings often to order to customer
specifications. Later, trim shops were often an in-house part
of the production line as the production process was broken
down into smaller parts manageable by semi-skilled labor. Many automotive trimmers now work either in automotive
design or with aftermarket trim shops carrying out repairs, restorations or conversions for customers directly. A few
high-quality motor car manufacturers still employ trimmers, for example, Aston Martin.
This is the type of upholstery work offered to businesses. Examples would be restaurant seating consisting of booth seats, dining
room chairs, bar stools, etc. Also churches, including but not limited to pews and chairs for the congregation, hospitals and clinics
consisting of medical tables, chiropractic tables, dental chairs, etc. Also common to this type of upholstery would be lobby and
waiting-area seating. Upholstered walls are found in some retail premises.
Marine upholstery differs in that one has to consider dampness, sunlight and hard usage.
A vinyl or material that is UV and cold-cracking resistant is the choice.
Stainless-steel hardware such as staples, screws must be used for a quality job that will last. Any wood used
must be of marine quality.
Usually a high-resiliency, high-density plastic foam with a thin film of plastic over it is used to keep out water
that might get by the seams. Closed-cell foam is used on smaller cushions which can double as flotation
devices. Dacron thread must be used in any sewing work. Zippers should be of nylon.
HISTORY OF UPHOLSTERY
Upholder is an archaic term used for upholsterer in the past, although it appears to have a connotation of repairing furniture rather than creating new
upholstered pieces from scratch (c.f. cobbler vs. cordwainer). In 18th-century London, upholders frequently served as interior decorators responsible for
all aspects of a room's decor. These individuals were members of the Worshipful Company of Upholders, whose traditional role, prior to the 18th century,
was to provide upholstery and textiles and the fittings for funerals. In the great London furniture-making partnerships of the 18th century, a cabinet-maker
usually paired with an upholder: Vile and Cobb, Ince and Mayhew, Chippendale and Rannie or Haig. In the U.S.A., Grand Rapids, Michigan is a center
for furniture manufacture, and many of the best upholsterers can still be found there. These craftsmen continue to create or recreate many antique and
modern pieces of furniture.
Convertible Top Replacement
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WELCOME TO TEXAS AUTO UPHOLSTERY
TEXAS AUTO UPHOLSTERY SPECIALIZES IN:
Providing the Portland Vancouver area with the Highest Quality
Auto Upholstery available with over 30 years of experience!
Here at Texas Auto Upholstery, customer satisfaction is our top
priority. Our goal is to make you happy and make your car, boat,
couch, chair or other item, look its absolute best. Here at Texas
Auto Upholstery, absolutely no job is too big or too small.
Auto Upholstery & Repair
Convertible Top Replacement and Repair
Complete Leather Interiors
Classic, Collector, and Show Cars
Fleet Service Upholstery Repair
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