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She Fainted on the Davenport?! And Other Wacky Furniture Names

Young woman sleeping on the couch

(Yes, we clean it all!)

“Wait, I thought you cleaned carpets and fixed flooded basements! You clean furniture too?”

That’s a question we get a lot at K-tech Kleening Systems. Honestly, many people don’t realize professional furniture cleaning is a service anyone provides, but it is and it can really prolong the life of your furniture. After all, furniture is one of the biggest investments inside any home, and no matter the price point, it is worth keeping it well maintained so you can enjoy it in comfort and style longer. It might be summer in Wisconsin now, but it won’t be long before winter sets in Weston, and there’s nothing more you want than to curl up on your chaise lounge to relax with a good book and cup of tea.

Speaking of a chaise lounge, we got a little curious recently about how some furniture pieces got their names. To add a little pizzazz to this blog, and to your day, we thought we would share this little history lesson with you.

Let’s start off with an easy one: sofa… also called a davenport, couch, lounge, or loveseat). The term “sofa” is simply an old English word meaning a bench with arms and a high back. That makes perfect sense, right? The modern couch is truly an upgraded bench with upholstery, armrests, cushions, springs, and other comfy additions. My grandpa always called their scratchy, stiff 1970’s orange plaid couch a davenport. I now know, just like we say “Kleenex” instead of “tissue,” davenport was actually the name of a couch manufacturer in the early 1900’s: A.H. Davenport.

Another fun term is the fainting couch. Other common names for this are a chaise or Recamier. These are the fancy couches that are flat on one end, and raised on the other. Historians offer two reasons for the “fainting couch” term: corsets and “female hysteria.” The first theory is that women were fainting from their corsets being too tight, restricting blood flow. The second theory, which is the most common, is that they were used essentially as massage couches for women needing treatment for hysteria.

Lastly, let’s talk about the ottoman. If you guessed this has something to do with the Ottoman Empire, you’re right! This foot stool was brought to Europe from the Ottoman Empire in the late 18th century, and eventually widely distributed. Interestingly, the terms tuffet and hassock are also popular – and gained their names because of how closely they resemble a clump of grass. Hmm.

Each of these furniture items is upholstered and can benefit from a professional furniture cleaning! Whether it is fabric or leather, a good cleaning will draw out dirt and allergens that have set into the fabric. Thanks to special tools and solutions, technicians at K-tech Kleening Systems can also remove pesky stains and restore some life and luster to your furniture. There are few things that feel as good as knowing your home is truly deep-down clean!

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