Upholstery is the work of providing furniture, especially seats, with padding, springs, webbing, and fabric or leather covers.
The word upholstery comes from the Middle English words up and holden, meaning to hold up. The term is applied to domestic furniture and also to automobiles, airplanes and boats. A person who works with upholstery is called an upholsterer; an apprentice upholsterer is sometimes called an outsider or trimmer.
Upholder is an archaic term used for upholsterer in the past, although it appears to have a connotation of repairing furniture rather than creating new upholstered pieces from scratch (c.f. cobbler vs. cordwainer).
In 18th-century London upholders frequently served as interior decorators responsible for all aspects of a room's decor. These individuals were members of the London Upholders' Company, whose traditional role, prior to the 18th century, was to provide upholstery and textiles and the fittings for funerals. In the great London furniture-making partnerships of the 18th century, a cabinet-maker usually paired with an upholder: Vile and Cobb, Ince and Mayhew, Chippendale and Rannie or Haig.
From: 'Wikipedia: Upholsterer'
The ordinary of this society, dated July 22, 1675, constituted six Upholsterers, three Tin-plate Workers, and two Stationers, a fellowship, with perpetual succession, and ordered them to meet annually on the 25th day of July, and choose four stewards- two Upholsterers, and one of each of the other branches, who, with the society, shall have power to make bye-laws, impose fines, &c.; that apprentices should serve seven years, and no second to be taken till the first had served three; that they should not interfere with each other's callings; and that no person not free of the town and this society, should exercise their trade in Newcastle. This society holds its meetings in a room in the Guildhall.
A further ordinary of this society, dated April 3rd, 1766 said no upholsterer should employ a Taylor in his business, on pain of £5. May 14th 1716, that all suits for or against any branch of the company, should be borne by the whole, on pain of £10, to be paid by any one refusing.
On July 25th,1723, that company agreed that no brother should employ the journeyman of another without his consent; penalty 20s. July 27th, 1730, that every brother, upon his marriage, shall give to each other brother of the company, and to the clerk, a pair of gloves.
Most probable date of Incorporation: 1675
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