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.

“Victor” sofa by Vibieffe

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.

fragment of the carriage interior with capitonne

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”.

The Chelsea Chesterfield sofa by Chesterfields of England

Legendary “Chesterfield” sofa became a quintessence of using capitonne stitching for upholstered furniture decorating. An exquisite aesthetics of this object is timeless.

Charleston Chair by Moooi

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.

“Chester” armchair by Poltrona Frau

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.

detail of the wall applications from “Opera 30” collection by Brummel Cucine
Gaudi Collection by Lasa Idea

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.

ceramic surfaces with stylized capitonne decorations – bathroom Class Collection by Aet Italia
Baroque Collection by Vismara

Author: Marina Schultz

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