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Behind the Scenes at Gil’s Upholstery: Settee Edition

We at the CDC learn new things all the time as we work with businesses all along the Avenue. We have some very skilled business owners that call Frankford Avenue home, and over the years we’ve had the pleasure of learning the tricks of a whole variety of different trades.

One of those trades is upholstery. We sat down with Gil Pons of Gilbert’s Upholstery again last week to talk about another project he’s currently completing – a settee that dates back to the late 1800s. Gil’s client received the piece from her grandmother in Ohio, but the loveseat was originally constructed in Chicago. The piece is a unique one for Gil because of its age, and the number of times its been reconstructed before ending up right here in Frankford.

Gil and his brother Rick had to completely strip the settee down yet again, and used hog hair – commonly used by those in the trade on older pieces to fill in the cavities – to re-stuff the chair. This particular customer wanted a softer feel to her seat, so foam was added to the mix. When we spoke with Gil about the piece, he was in the midst of a second round of work on the chair: this repeat customer had wanted the back to have more curviture, so Gil was busy ensuring his client got exactly what she wanted.

As we’ve said before, every piece of furniture has a story, and those histories are being written and rewritten right on the 4500 block of Frankford Avenue. Who knows where this settee will end up in twenty years – maybe right back on Frankford Ave getting another makeover!


Getting the job done on Frankford Ave: