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Stuffing & Padding

The stuffing and padding of upholstered furniture not only provides comfort and longer life but also shapes the furniture into its own unique style. Techniques applied in stuffing and padding upholstered furniture are largely determined by the style but also by the kinds of materials used. Depending on how upholsterers are trained, they will generally favour certain types of materials. There are many different types of materials used in the stuffing and padding process, each with their own role to play. 

Padding

The process of stuffing and padding

  • Once the upholstery foundation (webbing, base hessian, and possibly springs) has been attached to the frame, the first layer of stuffing is put down. Horsehair would traditionally be used for this but it’s now more difficult and expensive to obtain. A fibrous fire-retardant substitute or foam is now used as the modern equivalent.
  • Hair or fibrous stuffing is secured by bridle ties, which are stitched into the base hessian and looped to hold the fibres in place. Another layer of hessian is then applied over the stuffing.
  • Any stuffing that is more substantial than a thin pincushion pad will need to be supported. Along the edges of the second layer of hessian, rows of stitches are used to keep the edges firm, which improves durability and helps define the contours of the furniture. This technique is called ‘Stitched Edges’ and can be applied to seats, arms and backs.
  • No stitching techniques are required when using foam as the foams edges are already well supported.
  • There are many various densities of foam, each used for different purposes. The denser and hardwearing foams are mainly used on the seats as an initial layer of padding. The less dense and softer foams are used more for secondary layers and on the arms and backs.
  • Cotton Felt and Wadding are other materials used as second and third layers of padding on seats, arms and backs. These layers can give an extra comfort and final shaping under the top-cover.
  • As part of Plumbs Reupholstery service we will replace any worn or damaged stuffing and padding, including seat and back cushion foam. Any padding that does not need replacing will be re-shaped to make it as good as new.

Once the upholstery foundation (webbing, base hessian, and possibly springs) has been attached to the frame, the first layer of stuffing is put down. Horsehair would traditionally be used for this but it’s now more difficult and expensive to obtain. A fibrous fire-retardant substitute or foam is now used as the modern equivalent. 

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