Upholstery Paddings

Paddings Used in Upholstery

(This page is in process of being written, and am adding pictures)

Modern Upholstery Paddings


Cotton cotton

For many years cotton has been one of the most common upholstery paddings, although in recent years newer types of padding are used more. Cotton is one type of padding that we use on some upholstery jobs, as needed or ordered. It comes in rolls of about 27" wide, about 1" thick, about 1 yard per pound, 18 to 22 pounds per roll.

Upholstery cotton is available in several grades:






Blend of first cuts and picker/binder cotton



Blend of first cuts, gen flues, and binder



Blend of first cuts, #1 staple, and polyester

*Blend and description information taken from the Hoch & Selby supply catalog. Blends and descriptions from other sources may vary.


Polyester polyester

 Polyester (Also called Dacron) is another common upholstery padding. It comes in many different forms, among them being loose fill, stitched in rolls and bonded dacron. We currently use bonded dacron to wrap polyfoam cushions on both sides.







 Polyfoam comes in many different grades and firmnesses.

Natural Paddings

For those who have alergies or who are interested in more environmentally friendly upholstery alternatives, These Paddings may be available. They are all very expensive.

Latex Foam

Latex Foam

Latex is a natural product. It is very expensive.

"Latex is the milky sap that is drawn from the bark of the Hevea Brasiliensis "rubber" tree.*"



*Info taken from Latex / Visco Foam Sleam Systems www. perfectionmattress.com/Learn_More.htm








We have worked in the following types of wool padding. Generally, when a client wants wool padding, they want natural upholstery paddings (otherwise known as green upholstery paddings). If this is the case, if the furniture is padded with, then the wool pad would be used first as the under (base) padding, with the wool roll as the top padding.

Wool Pad

This wool carpet pad is very dense, well suited for the base padding of the furniture frame, with the wool roll padding (see below) used over this.

Woolpad samplewoolpad arm

wool pad cushion














Wool in the Roll

Wool in the roll

This wool roll padding is very light and fluffy. It needs an under (base) padding, such as the above wool pad. When we used this padding, after putting the wool pad down, we then put about 6 to 8 layers of this padding over the top. This needs a lot of layers to give it some bulk.








Loose Wool

loose wool

This loose wool padding is suited for filling pillows and other uses that need an adjustable filling. This has a similar feel to "chopped-cotton". It is much denser than the wool in the roll. This needs no other filler because it has sufficient bulk by itself.









Kapok seeds"The fibre is light, very buoyant, resilient and resistant to water. The process of harvesting and separating the fibre is labour-intensive and manual. It is difficult to spin but is used as an alternative to down as filling in mattresses, pillows, upholstery, zafus, and stuffed toys such as teddy bears, and for insulation. It was previously much used in life jackets and similar devices until synthetic materials largely replaced the fibre. The seeds produce an oil used locally in soap and that can be used as fertilizer." source: Kapok: Wikipedia.org

Kapok was more available in the 20th century, but in recent years it is more expensive and harder to find. When processed to be used in upholstery, it is loose and fluffy, much like down feathers.





Paddings Used in Antiques and Older Furniture




Tree Moss


Dried Grass



Here is some old horsehair that we took out of a wing chair that we reupholstered. In the past horsehair was often used as a base padding in upholsterered furniture.





Tow (made from flax straw) has been used as padding in upholstery. The flax fibers are separated during processing so that the fibers are finer than hair.


Wood Wool (Excelsior)

WoodWool Wood wool (wood shavings) has many uses, including the stuffing for teady bears. In the upholstery trade wood wool is called excelsior and was used as padding in many types of upholstered antiques.

Excelsior is also used wherever the padding needs fill bulk and yet be firm, such as filling leather ottomans (that have no wood frames, but rely entirely upon the filling for support. In this case, the excelsior fills most of the interior, but an inch or two at the top, which is usually cotton or foam.)