Materials Used by the Upholsterer

Upholstery materials

SPRINGS  All springs are coil springs, and include "hour glass", "single cone", "barrel" and "tension" springs. Heavy gauge springs are used for seats, while the lighter gauges are used for backs

FIBRES  Coconut fibre (coir), made from the outer husk of the coconut, can be used in its loose form, curled to give resilience and bulk. Fibres are used for the initial stage of padding in some seats, but will break down in time

TWINE  Upholstery twine is made from flax or hemp. For sewing springs to the webbing a stronger springing twine is used, while a heavier (laid) cord is used to lash the springs in position. The twine used for stitching up is of finer quality

COTTON WADDING  A material made from raw cotton, spun onto a tightly woven backing, which comes in a variety of different weights and grades

COTTON FELT  Made from undyed materials, it is manufactured in layered form, from raw cotton, unspun cotton waste, raw cotton linters or any combination of these
CURLED HAIR  A traditional filling, consisting of horse mane and tail, cow tail and hog hair. Curled to give resilience and bulk, the best horse hair is white and is longer than the 80/20 grade used today

CALICO  A plain woven cotton cloth, used for covering top filling materials as a supporting cloth to the main cover

WEBBING  Enlish black and white is made of flax and cotton and is much stronger than jute or hemp webbing. Webbing is 2 inches wide, and the black and white is used to support the springs and filling used in upholstery

HESSIAN  A coarse woven material, made of jute, its quality is determined by its weight. 10 oz is much stronger than 8 oz, the yarn being much thicker and more tightly woven. Hessian is used for covering springs and supporting fillings

SCRIM  A tightly spun, open woven jute and cotton material similar to hessian, used for covering stuffing where a neat stitched-up edge is required. The best scrim is linen - actually made of a mix of cotton and linen - and has quite an open weave