Upholstery materials and structures
Although upholstery conservation is generally separate from furniture conservation, many objects that the furniture conservator has to deal with are upholstered. Frequently, liaison between furniture conservators and upholstery conservators is required. Understanding the nature and behaviour of upholstery materials and structures and their significance in a piece of furniture is a prerequisite to understanding the deterioration, care and conservation of upholstery presented in later chapters. It is the purpose of this chapter to provide basic information that will lead to better appreciation and care of upholstery and better liaison with other conservators.
It is outside the scope of this book to give details of upholstery technique. Indeed it would be counterproductive, as there are national and regional differences in style. The reader is advised to consult upholstery technique manuals appropriate to the type of furniture, e.g. French manuals for French or French Colonial furniture and period manuals where possible (see Bibliography).
The chapter begins with an introduction to the classification, terminology, historical development and technical examination of upholstery. This serves as a foundation for the systematic exploration of upholstery materials and structures that forms the bulk of the chapter.
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