Design Heritage


The Chesterfields Trade Association was founded by the Fleming & Howland family in 2015.

The English design heritage of the chesterfield sofa dates back to circa 1780. The family tradition of upholstery work continued throughout the 19th century, in particular, the covering of chair frames for the various fashion houses of London. It was during this period that a technique developed to hold the stuffing within a chair frame using a pleated, deep buttoned back and arm synonymous to what is known today as a ‘chesterfield’ sofa design. This highly-skilled hand work set a new benchmark within the trade and the chesterfield upholder became a distinguished craftsman amongst his peers.

More modern 20th century production methods soon took over and by the middle of the century many of the older techniques had unfortunately become obsolete. At this time, the chesterfield name was in some danger and the furniture making heritage of various families would have all but vanished if it wasn’t for a small number of apprenticeship schemes.

The Chesterfields Trade Association is a company limited by guarantee incorporated by one of the above family descendants to defend the design heritage that chesterfield has come to show.

Made in the UK

The chesterfield is a British design and its heritage lies within the United Kingdom.

The certification outlines that chesterfield sofas must be manufactured within the United Kingdom with at least 90% of materials sourced from UK based suppliers.

Why a Chesterfield?

The chesterfield is a traditional design and incorporates traditional finishing techniques that are rigorously observed. For this reason, chesterfield sofas are a symbol of exceptional quality.

The most striking feature of a chesterfield is the intricately pleated and buttoned back and arms. Deep-buttoning is an upholstery term describing a technique that originated during the early 19th century, a distinct diamond shaped, pleated fold pattern. The pattern was originally used to prevent loose stuffing from moving around within the upholstered frame, but it is now used primarily as a design feature and is symbolic and iconic of the chesterfield.