My career as a custom furniture upholsterer began in 1972. Training took place in a traditional formal apprenticeship setting with one-on-one training from my teacher, who was also my employer. Living in northwest Pennsylvania afforded me the opportunity to work on a lot of 19th century antiques, over-stuffed furniture built in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, and many midcentury pieces built in the 1950s and 1960s.
This old furniture incorporates the use of animal hair, vegetable fibers, cotton batting, and hand-tied coil springs in the platforms and backs. Spring units wrapped with cotton were often used in the seat cushions. The techniques required to work with these antiquated materials is all but lost to a few tradesmen in our contemporary high-tech 21st century world. I was fortunate to have worked with my teacher and a few other true craftsmen along the way who were willing to share their expertise and knowledge with me.
My woodworking skills began as a teenager when I enrolled in a wood shop class during my middle school years. That early training served as the foundation for my skills as a professional frame maker. I continue to learn new methods in performing my day-to-day work of building a one-of-a-kind chaise lounge, reupholstering someone’s favorite chair, renovating grandmother’s old sofa, or restoring an 1860 Victorian settee to its former elegance and beauty.
Serving my clients' best interests is my highest priority. It is personally rewarding when a customer makes a special effort to call, write a short note in a card, or send an e-mail thanking me for a job well done.
I hope you will take the time to explore the various pages of my website. I believe the photos of my custom-built furniture, restored antiques, and other reupholstered pieces reflect my commitment to producing the very best job for each and every customer.
If you are considering a current or future reupholstering project or are thinking about buying a new sofa for the great room or den, I look forward to discussing your upholstery needs with you. I am available for a personal consultation by appointment only. Thank you for your interest.
Joseph S. Hlifka, Proprietor
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