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Handmade Chesterfield Furniture

Handmade Chesterfield Sofas and Chairs


The Chesterfield Sofa was originally designed somewhere in the 17th-18th century, supposedly by Phillip Stanhope, the 4th Earl of Chesterfield, who had a hand tufted and buttoned sofa made, supposedly. This is of course a rumour; no one knows exactly where the term "Chesterfield" was derived, though it became a very fashionable sofa in the reign of Queen Victoria.

The Victorian Chesterfield is still available in original and re-upholstered conditions throughout CLS. This sofa is a dramatically different from today’s Chesterfield. It is similar in shape only. The Victorians built things to last, it really is that simple. The frames were built with mahogany and other hard woods, ensuring longevity. The arms, backs and seats were all coil sprung. The stuffing would be "horse hair", ensuring the sofa does not flex and remains firm. There were layers of Hessian and other covers, before a fabric would have been upholstered. The staple gun was not invented; all of the upholstery would have been tapped into place with nails, a very tedious and time consuming process. The sofas would occasionally have a drop arm - not all would feature "buttoning". You can buy Sofas of this nature today, but they run into thousands of pounds, and can take 40-60 hours of dedication to build, each.

The Chesterfield as we know it was born somewhere at the turn of the century, and became popular with Gentleman’s clubs and Military offices. Many of these sofas featured horse hair and leather, most of which were buttoned - machines would have been used to help cut the frames, steadily standardising the way the Chesterfield sofa looked. Today’s Chesterfield Sofa slowly took shape. Up until the 1960s, horse hair and the coil sprung production were commonly used, a Chesterfield was a very prestigious sofa, and was built to last. Then, the serpentine or zigzag spring came along. Throughout the 60's and into the 70's the serpentine spring replaced the coil spring, the staple gun would have been in common place too. Building the sofas became cheaper, and faster, the sofas were being purchased by regular families, with regular incomes, it was no longer a thing for the wealthy. Only the prestigious manufacturers of the Period would use the Coil Spring in their sofas - most notably (and still around today in Harrods) was Wade Upholstery, who consistently used the coil spring mechanism as opposed to the serpentine spring.


British Made Chesterfield Sofas & Chairs

All our Chesterfield sofas, chairs and footstools are handmade in the UK to ensure the highest standards of build quality, style and durability. Your comfort is our priority which is why we use reliably sourced fabric and leather in all our sofas. At CLS we strive to provide a wide variety of Chesterfield leather sofas and chairs at the best possible prices – we can do this because we don’t employ commission-based sales people in our showroom, we pass the savings directly onto you.


Buy Chesterfield Leather Sofas Online

Take a look at the Chesterfield leather sofas and chairs we have to offer online and if you would like any more information, please call our sales team who will be more than happy to help on 0800 085 1422.