If you're ever given the opportunity to visit Hickory Chair in North Carolina.. take it! They offer this wonderful program called Hickory Chair University where people who work in the design trade can learn everything behind building some of the most well sought after furniture pieces in the world. The tour is divided into 2 parts, the first day you visit the wood/casegood factory and the second day you tour the upholstery factory. I honestly thought I knew it all about this company since I work with them on a daily basis, but I learned so many incredible things that I can't wait to share with you all.
All Hickory Chair employees keep all of their tools labeled, color coordinated, and super organized.
Here is an area for making certain leg styles, they only make enough to cover the chairs that are currently on order.
Adjustable glides are added to all legs of any skirted upholstery, this allows you to adjust the height of the skirt based upon the pile of carpet or floor surfaces that are not level. Don't you wish all companies offered that option?
Like a can of hairspray you must hold the paint sprayer upright to get that perfectly even coat of paint.
Each item gets its shape from the wooden frame and not from the padding.
All padding will pack and shift over time.
Upholstery made from Hickory Chair will have years of support and comfort all due to the fact that they use a true 8-way hand-tied custom engineered spring-up system. They even go the extra mile on some of their chairs and sofas by using 4-way hand-tied springs in the back of the chairs.
Hickory chair offers over 800 fabric options in their line, yet they receive about 150 different COM's a day. The great thing is that they open and inspect the COM the very same day they receive the fabric, unlike other companies who don't check the fabric until its time to cut it. This avoids the stress of finding out your fabric may be damaged, the very same week you were promised a ship date.
This upholsterer has been with Hickory Chair since 1970, she was going to town on this sofa, I was amazed at how quickly yet flawlessly she was working.
Although they use a nail gun on some of their pieces rather than hammering each nailhead one by one, it takes a real expert and a ton of concentration to line them up perfectly.
Can you believe all of this time and labor goes into getting this final result?
The ever popular Kent Sofa takes 8 hours just to tuft!! This fact alone makes me realize the true craftsmanship that goes into building each and every piece.
One of the most interesting parts of the tour was the handpainting room. I already knew you could request a custom painted artwork on any casegood, but I was surprised to learn that they get many requests to paint artwork on leather as well!