Lipstick coral sofa and chair – $600 on the Forum

coral-chairNeed a new/old couch and chair? Oh my heart be still — look at this set — in a super-delicious color that I would call “lipstick coral” — all original upholostery. It’s for sale currently on the Forum. The seller Douglass says:  “I actually bought this set from a lady in CA who bought it from deadstock. The CA lady used it in her “home theater” – seriously? – but, I swear, no popcorn grease! At the time I bought the set, I was self-employed and setting up a home office, but, alas, regular employment reared its ugly head and I’m taking a new direction with that room. I hope I did the listing right – I’m a newbie. Love your site!”

Thank you, Douglass. The set is in Chadds Ford, Pa. One thing to watch out for with these old sofas, I think, is whether they upholstery is all dried out.  And lifting them: They tend to be built like tanks.  coral-sofa


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  1. says

    Great pair, I hope someone gives them a happy home. Is there a definitive name for this kind of fabric, and has anyone ever run across yards of this fabric? I have a sofa and chair in more of a rose color, very similar to this. I’ve passed on one or two others because the upholstery was shot, but if there’s a source for original style fabric, I would buy any of these that come along to save them.

  2. pam kueber says

    Hi BarryR, your question is a very good one. What do we call this type of fabric? I don’t know. My generic description would be “nubbly polyester-sorta fabric usually with a woven design and very shiny.” There must be real term! Does anyone know? And, whether it can be found today, still, I don’t know. When I was reupholstering my two antique show Baker midcentury loveseats a few years ago, I looked high and low and couldn’t find anything quite right….

  3. TappanTrailerTami says

    This is what is is known as “frieze” upholstery, commonly used in the 40’s and 50’s, always a solid color, and usually patterned. Rather rough/coarse (not the best for sitting on in shorts/bare legs), and wears better than iron. Usually made of wool. If you want to upholster something and never have to do it again, this stuff was the ticket!

    As for finding it now through new sources, forget it. The only places you can reasonably expect to find something remotely similar is probably through an antique auto upholstery supplier. Some of those will even do custom weaving, see here:


  4. says

    Be still my heart…that upholstery! Looks very Kroehler. I have gotten my mitts on a box of vintage upholstery remnants from Kroehler and I am using them in my purse designs. In fact vintage upholstery fabrics are my inspiration these days. Your blog is of course a must go to source for that inspiration too. xo, suzy

  5. Douglass says

    Barry R: My grandmother had a couch in the same plum fabric! Btw, I’m the coral lipstick sofa and chair owner and (1) the couch IS heavy b/c it’s a slide open single bed, and (2) the upholstery is not dried out – it’s in gorgeous shape. Thanks for the nod, Pam!

    • Nancy Nucci says

      If you ever want to sell your sofa and chair set, I’m your girl. I’ve been looking for a long time and have a turquoise chair with frieze fabric that would look awesome with them.

  6. TappanTrailerTami says

    Barry – LOVE your cats, chair, lamp, table, haha! I’m more stuck in the 20’s-30’s-40’s end of the spectrum when things were a bit less linear/angular and a little more curlique/fancy…but I seriously wish I could afford about 5 or 6 entire houses so I could decorate each house in it’s own era. Then I would indeed have my MCM house full of the great 50’s and 60’s mod furniture, and my Queen Ann, and my Craftsman Bungalow, and my English Tudor, and my Spanish Mission, and my Colonial Revival, and…oh, sorry. Got carried away 🙂

    Douglass – gorgeous couch and chair and a really decent price. I just bought a 2 piece sectional, and 3 chairs, otherwise I’d be seriously thinking about your set. Best wishes selling it.

  7. tailfin says

    Nylon frieze (pronounced “frih-ZAY”) wears like iron. But as Tami said upthread, I have not seen any new sources for the material. All three of my sofas are covered in frieze, although one is pretty shot, but I can’t bear to part with it because it’s the first piece of midcentury furniture I ever bought — a 4-piece curved Kroehler sectional in dusty pink squiggle frieze with tailfin armrests.

    Much of the time I see sofas and chairs where the foam has hardened due to age but the fabric is in decent shape. These could be prime candidates for DYI projects for those so inclined as long as the upholstery has not fused itself to the padding.

    Douglass — your sofa and chair set is spectacular & if I still lived in the Philly burbs I would probably be all over it. Hope you find them a good home.

  8. TappanTrailerTami says

    Tailfin – I just got a quote back from SMS Auto (linked upthread) about reproducing my sofa brocade…it wasn’t cheap, but can be done. I’d shoot them an email with photos of your fabric and see what they say. I’d really rather spend twice the amount on the fabric, and have exactly what I want, that will last, and be true to the furniture than to go for something less.

    I also emailed Pam pictures of my sofa and its fabric, along with the pricing info they quoted me. Hopefully she will do a post on it!


  9. tailfin says

    Tami – Thanks for the link! Any new resource for MCM anything is ALWAYS appreciated! Looks like a cool site, and if I had the money to recover, I would definitely check with them. Right now there are too many other projects that need addressing, but I appreciate your letting us know about SMS Auto. I do look forward to seeing photos of your sofa & fabric!

    Funny thing, a couple of weeks ago at an estate sale I happened across 7 full yards of aqua, black & gold auto upholstery fabric. It would have looked perfect in my grandmother’s 1966 Impala. Because it was the last day of the sale, I got the fabric for a whopping $1.35. I plan to use a piece to recover the speaker on my blonde 1960s hi-fi and then use some to recover 6 Heywood Wakefield dining chairs. Not sure what I’m going to do with the rest.

    • pam kueber says

      Aqua, black and gold auto upholstery fabric, Tailfin? My goodness, that sounds amazing! Send me a pic, dear! I scored fabric, too, at the Adams estate sale time capsule. Yards and yards and yards of very light mint green with gold threads running through it. A wool/silk blend, it seems. We will see what project presents itself. 🙂

  10. tailfin says

    I will get you a pic of the fabric over the weekend, Pam. It’s pretty sweet. I’d also love to see the mint green/gold fabric from the time capsule house. That’s definitely something to share with us.

  11. TappanTrailerTami says

    Tailfin – awesome score on the $1.35 auto upholstery, that sounds really cool! I hear you on projects …. it seems that there is a never ending stream.

    Pam, your fabric sounds just right to recover my dining chairs, hint hint 🙂


  12. says

    Oh! I could just cry! I had a vintage Lipstick Red sofa and chair much like these – found them at a thrift store for a steal – and they were in great shape. Unfortunately, my hubby’s grandmother passed away at around that time, and he “inherited” her homely 80’s couch which he insisted we had to keep and the Lipstick Red furnishings had to go. I have been lamenting the loss of these pieces for 8 years! There was a manufacturer’s tag inside the couch and it was actually made in March of 1963 – the same month “I was made”! They were so well built (unlike the nasty 80’s couch – no longer with us!!) and the great bones made them excellent candidates for easy re-upholstery (The 80’s couch was molded with cardboard – and the first rule in re-upholstery is if you see cardboard, STOP and put it to the curb because it isn’t worth the effort).
    I am really glad I stumbled on to this web site. I am becoming obsessed! Thank you so much for the inspiration, Pam!

  13. Verna Viebrock says

    Love this fabric and had a sofa and chair in a rose color. Sold it and wish I had kept it. Looking for another set In rose beige or gold. Like one you have but pretty bright. If you fine one please let me know as I wish to buy even if only sofa. Thank you Verna Viebrock

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