Gold –leafing a leather table top
The final inspection
Before a piece leaves the plant, it is thoroughly inspected to ensure that drawers slide with perfect smoothness, locks and hinges work with ease, and the finish is flawless. Upholstery is inspected as well, focusing on features such as welting, tacking, cushioning and the fall of the skirt on a chair or sofa. If even the smallest feature fails to meet Kittinger’s strict standards, the piece is routed back to the proper department for correction.
It is not always desirable for a piece to look new. The Kittinger Furniture Company aims to reproduce the finishes of fine 18th and 19th century furnishings with historical accuracy.
Aging to perfection
When creating an ancient or antique finish, the wood must be aged before the stain is applied. Corners and edges are sanded to replicate the time–softened look of an original period chair or table. The surface of an antiqued piece may be physically marred, glazed and highlighted, then color–distressed. “Ancient” pieces may be scraped or marred with stones, chains and awls at the points where the surface would naturally wear the most. A “crackle” surface may be created by spraying on a special clear lacquer that cracks to
The allure of gold
Gold–leafing, a delicate art, can be used to enhance beautiful
details on table tops, cabinets, chair legs and mirror frames. This
ancient process has been performed at The Kittinger Furniture
Company since the late 1940s. Square sheets of gold leaf are
affixed by hand and then varnished. Covering a tabletop can
take hundred of leaves of gold.
Gold–tooled or blind–embossed leather tabletops or desks are crafted to meet customers’specifications. Hides are selected for durability and cut and applied by hand. A combination of tooling wheels are used to create delicate designs on the leather and to adorn its edge.