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Nail head trim was first used in upholstered furniture to actually assist in the securing of the fabric to the frame. The nail heads were generally made of copper or brass. The earliest furniture using nail heads are known to be from around 1600, during the period of King Louis the 13th in France. The first chair is called Os de Mouten and had a flame stitch patterned fabric. Here are two photos to show you what that looks like:

Os de Mouten chairs

As you can see, the nail heads are simple and yet decorative. They can be placed in a way to disguise the areas where the fabric is attached to the frame as well as adding character. Mainly the arms and rails were accented. Chairs and sofas were the normal furniture pieces using this trim, but today we use nail heads on other furniture pieces like headboards and even cabinetry. Most of the nail head accents we use today are for decorative purposes and embellish the piece of furniture. Swirl patterns are very popular for the cabinetry pieces.

Below is a photo of one of our customer’s chairs from a few years back using upholstery fabric and the nail head accents around the edges:

A Rowland chair

Leather is a wonderful choice for using nail head trim as it allows the trim to bring the sophistication to the piece. Nail heads of today come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and composition, however we used modern simple nail heads on a headboard just last week:

Shannon Headboard

Also recently while visiting the Cincinnati Design Center, we came upon these great pieces in the Singer showroom we thought we should share, all with nail head trim:

Singer showroom at Cincinnati Design Center

After seeing those nail head trimmed pieces on display we got more excited and checked with some of our vendors. We found some great nail heads that are new, look old, chic, ornate, colorful and everything in between. Take a look at these gems for yourself (pun intended):

d'kei nail heads

Those great nail head trims are from our friends at


If you would like more information on reupholstering a piece for your home or nail head trim, call or email Kim at 513-398-5798