Professional traditional and modern upholstery services in East London. By appointment only.

Traditional and modern upholstery

A traditional upholstery service in East London

At Charles of Lloyd, we proudly immerse ourselves in the world of traditional upholstery — our practice intertwines craftsmanship, precision, and creativity to revive and transform worn-out heritage furniture. Traditional upholstery involves a meticulous and handcrafted approach, emphasising quality craftsmanship and durability. Here's a breakdown of some key traditional upholstery elements and techniques.

Upholstery Frame

The upholstery frame serves as the fundamental structure for most upholstered pieces. In traditional upholstery, it's typically crafted from sturdy hardwood with joints secured through dowels, glue, and occasional reinforcement with screws or corner blocks, ensuring robust and durable construction.

Our traditional reupholstering service begins with a thorough review and restoration of the upholstery frame. Whether it's repairing woodwork and joints or reviving waxed or polished finishes, Charles of Lloyd will ensure that your furniture receives the care it deserves.


Webbing is often used to provide base support. Strips of webbing are interwoven across the frame, creating a flexible yet supportive base. A webbed based forms the key foundation to a traditionally upholstered piece of furniture. 

Hand Springing

Hand-tied springs, also known as coil springs, are a hallmark of traditional upholstery. These individual springs are tied together with twine in a process called lashing and then attached to the frame. This technique provides a supportive and comfortable foundation for seats, backs and arms. In contrast to traditional upholstery's springing process, a modern alternative employs foam for support or modern serpentine springs.

Fibre and Filings

Natural materials are commonly used for padding. Loose horsehair is a traditional choice, known for its resilience and durability. Coir fibre, derived from coconut husks, is another natural material used for padding. These materials are often layered to achieve the desired level of comfort.

Hessian Layers

Hessian, a coarse woven fabric, is frequently used to cover the loose fibre and create a casing for teh next step of stitching. It provides a strong and breathable layer for the subsequent layers of materials and a firm surface for stitching into.


Intricate stitching is a distinctive feature of traditional upholstery. Skilled artisans use hand-stitching techniques to create the desired shape and structure. A series of different stitching techniques are deployed to achieve height, depth and strength in creating good foundations. This not only adds to the aesthetics but also reinforces the structure.


The final layer is the decorative outer fabric. This can range from various types of textiles, including cotton, wool, or silk, depending on the design and desired look of the piece. Charles of Lloyd source upholstery materials from a variety of upholstery fabric suppliers renowned for their commitment to exceptional quality.


Traditional upholstery buttoning, often seen in tufted designs, involves meticulous handcrafting. Buttons are precisely secured to create elegant patterns, enhancing both the visual appeal and structural integrity of upholstered furniture.

Finishing touches

Traditional upholstery often involves additional details like braiding, tufting, fluting or decorative nails, adding a touch of elegance and individuality to the finished piece. All of which we can talk you through and inspire those important design touches. 

A Sustainable Choice

Traditional upholstery emerges as a sustainable choice, employing natural materials like horsehair or coir with minimal environmental impact. The longevity of furniture crafted through traditional methods reduces the need for frequent replacements, showcasing a commitment to eco-friendly practices and enduring quality.

Upholstery as an Investment

Traditional upholstery, with its meticulous craftsmanship and durable materials, serves as a long-lasting investment. The quality construction ensures that upholstered furniture stands the test of time, maintaining both aesthetic appeal and functionality.

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