Classical upholstered furniture is inconceivable without capitonne. This is a special upholstery technique, when the buttons seem to be “drowned” deeply into the upholstery material. Capitonne technique or capitonne stitching – has French origin, and it appeared in the 18th century. This decorative element became very popular in Europe in the 19th century.
Actually, this upholstery method was used among the masters who specialized in saddles making. A special stitching was also known as a “carriage brace” (or “carriage stitching”). Such a definition was also used because this upholstery method was perfect for design of inner parts of the carriages.
In addition to its external aesthetics this method was used for creating comfortable and soft surfaces which provided safety, when a carriage was moving.
A definition “capitonne” takes its origin from French word “capitonner”, which exactly means “to upholster furniture”.
Legendary “Chesterfield” sofa became a quintessence of using capitonne stitching for upholstered furniture decorating. An exquisite aesthetics of this object is timeless.
Capitonne stitching can be used for any classical upholstered furniture. The stitches can compose squares, rhombuses or create various compositions with changeable geometry. Instead of the buttons we can see glass, mirror or pearl elements. Shining crystals and other jewels can be also “drowned” in the upholstery.
Today capitonne stitching is used not only for upholstered furniture, but also for other details. For example, we can see furniture facades with textile or leather inserts, which are decorated with capitonne. Wall surfaces, design of the tile and even the external side of the bathtubs – could be made with using stylized capitonne elements.
Capitonne stitching is combined perfectly with all kinds of the upholstery fabrics: these could be silk or more rough textile, velvet or velour, and of course – leather. Capitonne elements complete any composition with a true elegance and a special accent of a timeless aesthetics, which is out of trends.
Photos used for this essay:
- the first photo – Savio Firmino (fragment)
- Victor sofa by Vibieffe
- The Chelsea Chesterfield sofa by Chesterfields of England
- Charleston by Marcel Wanders // Moooi
- Chester armchair by Poltrona Frau
- detail of the wall applications from Opera 30 Collection by Brummel Cucine
- Gaudi Collection by Lasa Idea
- Ceramic surfaces with stylized capitonne decorations – bathroom Class Collection by AeT Italia
- Baroque Collection by Vismara