Inside Sherrill Furniture’s upholstery operations

HICKORY, N.C. — In mid December, Home News Now visited Sherrill Furniture’s upholstery operations here where the company is undertaking a major expansion. This spring, it will open a 140,000-square-foot addition that focuses on private label business for its retail accounts. By doing so, the company will free up capacity in its other three area upholstery plants that are doing some of this business now, and thus lower lead times across various segments of the business.

The tour gave Home News Now an inside look at various aspects of the operations — from the cutting and sewing of various fabrics and leathers to the assembly and upholstering of frames. The tour also showed how much handwork goes into the process. While the company has invested millions in new CNC equipment to produce various parts, a lot of handwork goes into the process, particularly with the construction and finishing of frames and the construction of the seats themselves, which includes the labor-intensive eight-way hand-tied process. Below are photos of the men and women who make the high end upholstery line come together for retailers and designers alike and most importantly the consumers who are investing in the quality products that Sherrill continues to produce.

Workers here are seen cutting fabric that goes into the finished upholstery.
An employee is seen measuring various decorative fabrics that go into the finished product.
Workers also use sophisticated equipment to cut fabrics and leathers to specific sizes and shapes.
Sewers cut fabrics to various specifications for various frames in the line.
A sewer is seen working with leathers that also are used in the Sherrill upholstery line.
Sherrill Furniture President Thad Monroe looks over various hides that will be used in the upholstery line.
A worker uses CNC equipment to make various components.
Another worker also operates CNC equipment to produce engineered parts.
Chair frames are built by hand as seen in this photo.
A worker is seen building a bench frame at the plant.
Here a worker is seen inspecting part of a wood frame built and finished at the plant.
A worker is seen here sanding a chair frame.
Eight-way hand tied seats are a staple in the line. A worker here is focused on his craft.
A closer look at the eight-way hand tied process.
Here a worker is seen fine tuning the spring construction for a sofa.
Further assembly takes shape for the seat of a sofa.
A worker cuts fiber padding for the upholstery line.
Fabric is being attached to a chair frame.
A worker is seeing affixing padding to a chair frame.
Fabric is seeing being affixed to the top of a sofa frame.

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at and at 336-508-4616.

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