How it's made

Making an S.W. James Chesterfield

The Chesterfields luxurious, deep buttoned style has become internationally recognised. At S.W. James we are proud and committed to supporting an English manufacturing institution, keeping this handmade art form very much alive.

Making an Icon

Strength, Style, Comfort

Starting the process

Our Frame

All our frames are made of 100% solid hardwood. Some manufacturers will use a cheaper wood to reduce production costs or even use a mix of wood and man made fibre boards in the frames. It could therefore be possible by clever wording to buy a part Beech frame with MDF arms.

Every S.W James is manufactured with a 100% heavy duty hardwood Frame, that is slowly kiln dried for the strongest finish, ensuring that the frame literally lasts a lifetime.

Build quality

Expert craftmanship

At S.W. James, we insist on creating every Chesterfield we make in the most original, time-honoured manner as possible. Every S.W. James is hand made using over 80 individual processes, by team members and partners with decades of experience and knowledge.

What's Inside

Foams & Fillings

Furniture must look good in our homes but must also be comfortable. What most people don’t know is that there are many many different types of foam that offer varying degrees of comfort and ‘return’ (the extent, speed & the amount of times that a cushion moves back into is original shape once you have stood up).

In general each S.W. James has 2.5 inches of foam wrapped around the frame and a further 3 inches of softer foam on top of that. All foam is combustion modified high resilient foam.



At S.W. James no corners have been cut when it comes to the selection of the cushion fillings for our Chesterfields and sofas. We have worked very closely with cushion manufacturers to create what we believe is the perfect blend of comfort and longevity.

A lot of our competitors use cheaper fillings for their cushions. Over quite a short space of time these cheaper fillings start to compact and the cushion loses its shape and becomes less comfortable. This is not an option for us - we only use the very best ingredients.

Making an Icon

A Lost Art Form Reborn

S.W. James Chesterfields are handcrafted by a small team of seasoned expert tailors working from production houses based in Greater Manchester, UK. At S.W. James, we insist on creating every Chesterfield in the most original, time-honoured manner possible and every S.W. James is hand made using over 80 individual processes

Our goals are simple, how we achieved them is not.

A tactile experience

Fine upholstery

Every leather and fabric chosen for the S.W. James collection has been hand-picked by us, and has had very little in the way of treatment. Our leather is as they say in the industry ‘Closest to the cow’. Meaning that every leather hide that comes into our workshop is of the highest quality possible.

Selecting the perfect leather and fabric ranges to represent S.W. James has been a true labour of love. We have spent countless hours perfecting our choices.


The Hand Crafted Details

At S.W. James our meticulous handmade manufacturing process makes every Chesterfield we create, unique.

The detailing added to the Chesterfield throughout the handmade production process defines its character. From each individually hand-tapped stud to the time honoured stitching and piping. Each S.W. James in our range is meticulously crafted.

The buttoning on every S.W. James is painstakingly completed at the hands of master craftsmen. These craftsmen have been hand making Chesterfields for decades. Buttoning in such manner is becoming a dying art in the furniture industry and is a very physically demanding job. There are now very few people who have the skills to do this properly. Doing this by hand rather than on a machine is the only way to ensure that each and every button has been inserted deep inside the sofa correctly and firmly.

Every stud on an S.W. James Chesterfield is tacked by hand. This is done one at a time to get an authentic feel and spacing. This is an incredibly painstaking task. Over 700 finishing studs are applied by hand to complete an average 3 seater Chesterfield to the S.W. James standard.

Confused? Studs, Buttons, Piping?

Our Terminology Guide

See our 5* Reviews

talk to the team

If you have questions, talk directly to Warren

Try our free swatches to experience first hand the quality of our upholstery


S.W. James co-founder

If you are considering an S.W. James, I feel picking a selection of swatches is the best place to get started. You can experience first hand the quality of our upholstery. If you have any questions, call me on 0161 359 5462 or email us

Why order Swatches

Touch and Feel

To truly understand how inviting our leathers and fabrics are, let your senses explore the textures for themselves.


To get an accurate sense of our colour range, you need to experience them first hand. (We have been as precise as we can to represent accurate colour on our website, but it's always best to see colours for yourself.)

Wear, Tear & Characteristics

Touch them, scratch them, spill on them. Try out the resilience of our fabrics and leathers for yourself to judge if they right for you.