The framework of a Chesterfield sofa is without doubt the most important factor in producing a quality piece of furniture. Our framework is manufactured using 100% solid beech. It is glued, screwed and dowelled, and then further reinforced at the major stress points. A Chesterfield Sofa is designed to last a life time, and without a solid foundation, this simply cannot be achieved. Our frames are 100% solid beech hardwood; they do not contain MDF, Pine, or Chipboard. We guarantee the quality of the frames for as long as 10 years, but in reality, they will last much longer. The distinct lack of inferior components and materials is what makes this guarantee possible.
All of our Chesterfield Furniture is upholstered with time proven springing systems, which include the fishmouth suspension seat and the coil spring. The coil spring has been used in upholstery for more than 150 years. It allows weight distribution to be spread across the furniture evenly, with its popularity being based on its quality of construction. The Victorians readily used the coil spring. There are many Victorian Chesterfield sofas still in existence today, mainly due to the continued performance of this spring.
When a coil spring is not appropriate, we use the fishmouth spring. This is a combination of specially formed serpentine springs which are joined with a steel wire for continuous even weight distribution. An individual serpentine spring will sag, but a bed of specially formulated springs each working in unison will hold easily. When coupled with the robust beech framework, the foundations for a solid, durable Chesterfield sofa are laid.
The next step is to apply a canvas to the sofa. This protects the foam and upholstery from the underlying springs, ensuring the foam does not breakdown with use. The first layer of foam is resilient, compressed foam used solely for the purpose of covering the springs. This allows for softer more comfortable foam to be used prior to upholstery. This foam is cut in a way so as to sink the buttons as deep as possible leaving a beautiful finish when upholstered. All of the foams we use on the carcass are tested and exceed current legislation in both durability and fire testing.
Once the padding has been completed, the framework is covered in luxurious Italian leather. It is at this stage of the manufacturing process that you see the Chesterfield sofa begin to take its celebrated shape.
Prior to the application, the hides are cut by a specialist leather worker who forms patterns with the awkward hide shapes. Our time-served upholsterers then proceed to bind each button using a traditional deep buttoning technique. As the carcass is covered with the leather or velvet of your choice, a unique Chesterfield sofa begins to take shape. Painstaking attention to detail is required. If at any part of the process mistakes are found, the leather will need to be removed and replaced. Upon successful application of the leather, your choice of individual studs are meticulously hand-tapped into place with some items requiring as many as 1200 studs.
During the final stages of upholstery, your Chesterfield Sofa will have a very dark finish which needs to be antiqued to leave the classic two-tone finish. This technique is called “Antiquing”. A special solution removes the top coats of dye, carefully rubbing back by hand to expose the brighter base colour beneath. This time consuming process is an art form, and creates individual looks depending on your desired depth of colour. The leather is then sealed to retain the depth of colour. The entire process can take up to 3 days to complete.
When you buy a Chesterfield Sofa from Chesterfield Heritage, you are buying a Hand Crafted, Hand Built piece of iconic furniture, designed to last a lifetime.