Three individuals who were committed to specializing in the finest quality 18th century upholstery reproductions founded Southwood in 1973. Since those early years the company has expanded their offering to include an extensive line of skirted and leather upholstery complimenting the now 17 historic style periods drawn from the 17th, 18th & 19th centuries. A Chronology of these historic furniture periods appear under heading “Historic Style Periods”.
From the very beginning, there was a determination to become nationally recognized as the very best at authentic interpretations of historic designs. The achievement of this objective was accelerated by licensee agreements with two historic museums, Historic New England and Historic Deerfield. The association with historians and curators, the availability of documented antiques, the access to an extensive furniture reference library, and over 45 years of exposure to numerous museums provided the critical expertise to identify and correctly reproduce the finest pieces from the “golden age of furniture.”
Southwood has become the manufacturer of choice by professional designers specifying both classic designs and traditional fashion for some of the most prestigious residential and commercial applications domestically and around the world. This is due in part to the highest quality construction standards assuring strength and durability for each chair and sofa. The frame is carefully assembled with seasoned kiln-dried hardwood and secured with double doweled joints, heavy-duty corner blocks, extra strong webbing and sturdy double cone coil springs tied eight ways with reinforced twine.
One of the tests for the comfort factor of fine upholstery is the experience of sitting “in” instead of “on” the furniture. The development process begins by establishing the precise pitch for the seat and back. The comfort equation is completed with the most appropriate cushion for each style. With reproductions, a mixture of 40% down and 60% feathers around a Marshall unit achieves the industry’s highest quality standard. With deep seating lounge pieces, Southwood offers a variety of cushions for exquisite seating comfort.
The importance of the hand-rubbed finish on exposed wood upholstery is a critical part of the quality story at Southwood. Most Southwood finishes require 23 separate steps to achieve the appropriate luster with the appearance of beautifully aged patina and captures the effects of light and sun over time.
The Southwood Story is about a vision to become America’s premier maker of classical and traditional upholstery. It’s about how that vision of 35 years ago led to the development of one of the most versatile and extensive upholstery lines in America. It’s about a passion for the magnificent designs of the past with the desire to recreate the spirit and form of these treasures. It’s about the kind of pride that motivates the hearts and hands of talented craftsmen. It’s about a group of caring men and women who are quality fanatics and demonstrate every day.