Is Horsehair Used In Upholstery?

If you own an old settee or upholstery piece of furniture, you may find that it looks to have horsehair as the stuffing for the furniture when you open the furniture. As this was used a long time ago, finding a sofa with horsehair is not common.

Horsehair is found today in mainly antique furniture that has been restored. You can still purchase horsehair or a combination of horse and hog hair to upholstery your antique furniture piece. Today most sofa and cushion manufacturers will use polyurethane foam, down and feathers, and not horsehair.

Using Horsehair In Upholstery

Today, only a few suppliers are still using horsehair as stuffing for upholstery. It was a stuffing used long before other materials were available as the better-quality polyurethane foam used in cushions today.

If you find a sofa that still has horsehair for the stuffing of the couch or chair, then it is probably an antique piece. Today, using horsehair would be costly and cost-prohibitive. 

In the 1950s, most furniture started to use polyurethane foam instead of materials such as horsehair. Horsehair was never the perfect solution for furniture as the cushions had to be fluffed up, but it did clump less than cotton.

Using horsehair for stuffing in upholstery is considered an antiquated production method. Today, many better furniture companies will use small amounts of down and feathers in their cushions in furniture production.

Some companies will avoid using down and feather in their production as people have allergies to down or feathers. A very few companies may use exclusively down and feathers for their cushions.

Facts About Horsehair Used In Furniture

Many people wonder if horsehair is still used in furniture as they may remember an antique piece of furniture their grandmother had that used horsehair. During this time, horsehair may have been a lot more popular padding material than today.

Before polyurethane foam became famous for cushion production, people would have used padding such as horsehair or hay to pad their furniture pieces. Horsehair was considered the better and more expensive choice.

A piece stuffed with horsehair usually marks that the antique piece is made with quality production.

Here are something to remember about horsehair:

  • Newly Produced Furniture – Very little, if any, newly produced furniture would use horsehair for its production as it is not common and costly.
  • Used To Restore – Horsehair or the combinations of horsehair or hairs such as hog hair is usually used to restore antique furniture.
  • Technology Advances – The furniture industry has undergone technological changes and advances like other industries. Things like the foam used in cushions continue to get better. Most people want to have a sofa or settee with comfort, so they look to new materials and techniques.

Reasons To Use Horsehair In Upholstery Or Padding

One of the main reasons someone may want to use horsehair or a combination of horsehair and other hairs in furniture would be to keep antique furniture close to its original state and keep its value of the furniture. Modern sofas and other cushions you purchase would not use horsehair for their padding.

A lot of the horsehair used today is used to restore the furniture to its original state. For example, if you have an old settee and want to reupholster it and keep it as close to the original as possible, you may continue using horsehair for the padding.

In a case like this, the upholster would replace the old horsehair with some new horsehair. You can find supplies online that still supply horsehair or a blend of horsehair to be used for upholstery.

These suppliers will go the extra steps to ensure the horsehair or the blend of horsehair they offer, such as a horse with hog hair, is 100% sterilized and washed. The mixture would retain its curly shape.

Today a lot of the horsehair being sold is sold as a blend of horsehair and hog hair. Some suppliers make a synthetic blend of hog and horsehair for padding.

Here are some reasons why you may want to use horsehair or a combination of horse and hog hair for upholstery of antiques:

  • Lasting History – An old piece of furniture is like a piece of history. Through the years, people have sat on that chair. Restoring the furniture piece will keep the history intact.
  • Keeps Intreigrity Of Piece – If you have an old piece of furniture that has padding with horsehair keeping the horsehair stuffing will help ensure the integrity of the piece is intact.
  • Keep Value Of Piece – Some antique pieces of furniture can be valuable, as long as you keep the piece’s integrity intact and do not try to use materials that will hurt the value.

If you are going to use horsehair to reupholster a piece of furniture, you need to ensure that you also check the following:

  • Structure Of The Piece – Some old sofas or settees may not be structurally sound, even if they used horsehair as a stuffing. They could have used wood that was not appropriately dried or wood that was not strong enough. It may not be worth using horsehair to reupholstery if you have a piece like this.
  • Period Of The Piece – Not all antiques have the same value, and the value can depend on how old the piece is and how rare it is. Some pieces may not be worth the cost to restore.
  • Other Restoration Concerns – Many antique furniture has things like wooden legs and parts. If the legs and parts are not original, they may not be worth restoring the entire piece of furniture. For a piece to have value, it needs to be authentic.
  • Recovering – The fabric you choose to recover the piece can also help determine the value.

As the cushion and sofa industry has changed over the years, new materials are constantly being developed and used. Because of this, most manufacturers would not use horsehair as an option. Horsehair is used mainly to restore an older piece of furniture to keep its integrity and value intact.

Find out more about how Mondoro can help you create, develop, and manufacture excellent home decor and home furniture products – don’t hesitate to contact meAnitaCheck out my email by clicking here or become a part of our community and join our newsletter by clicking here.

Mondoro gives out a FREE Lookbook to anyone interested. You can receive a copy of our latest Lookbook by clicking here.

Listen to our Podcast called Global Trade GalYou can find it on all major podcast platforms. Try out to listen to one of our podcasts by clicking here. 

Subscribe to our Mondoro Company Limited YouTube Channel filled with great videos and information by clicking here.

Is Real Wood Furniture Worth The Extra Cost?

Real wood furniture costs can vary due to the types of solid wood being used and the grade of the wood. Not all real wood furniture is worth the extra cost, especially if the wood they are using is substandard and the furniture is poorly constructed.

You can discover more by reading Is Real Wood Furniture Worth The Extra Cost? by clicking here.

What Color Is Expresso Furniture?

The Expresso color in furniture is a black-brown color with some red and gold highlights showing through the color. The expresso color furniture can look more like indirect brown light and more like a black in a dimly lit room.

You can discover more by reading What Color Is Expresso Furniture? by clicking here.

Rubber Wood Vs. Maple Wood, Disadvantages And Advantages Of Each

Rubberwood and maple wood produce floors, furniture, cabinet, and other objects. Rubberwood comes from southeast Asia, and Maple wood grows worldwide but is predominately found in North America. Both rubberwood and maple wood have advantages and disadvantages.

You can discover more by reading our blog Rubber Wood Vs. Maple Wood, Disadvantages And Advantages Of Each by clicking here.

Anita Hummel

Hi, I am Anita Hummel. I am the President of Mondoro. I am passionate about helping you CREATE, DEVELOP, and MANUFACTURE home decor and home furnishing products. I am also an avid blogger with a love of travel and riding my motorcycle around the streets of Hanoi, Vietnam.

Recent Posts

Is Horsehair Use In Upholstery?