Since 1902

Charles Edward Gerken and John R. Galpin became partners and founded Galpin & Gerken, an upholstery company specializing in repairing and reupholstering furniture. The company was located on Washington Street in Toledo, Ohio.


A vibrant fabric collection is the foundation of any custom upholstery program.


Curating Our Collection

Norwalk is highly regarded for the breadth and depth of our fabric offering. Our fabric buyers travel the world and nation to find the best mill resources, beautiful designs, color trends, and compelling values for our customers.


When curating a functional and beautiful fabric collection, we think of each fabric’s primary decorative use. Will it be used most often on sofas, accent chairs, ottomans, headboards, or decorative pillows? And does it effectively coordinate with other fabric’s color themes, decorative trends, and price points? Do the selections include varied constructions, fibers, pattern designs, and performance capabilities? The final choices are always a rich mix of all these elements. And then just for a little “surprise and delight” we consistently include a few completely otherwise unexpected fabrics in the collection.

Fresh on Trend Fabrics

To keep the offering fresh and on trend, semi-annually we add to and purge from about 100 fabrics in the collection. Similarly, our leather collection of 100 hides, undergoes the same review and reimagining as the fabrics. Our fabric collection is the single biggest financial investment we make of all the many materials in each piece of upholstery. But we maintain significant inventory of all our fabrics and leathers, to manage a very high “in-stock” position, and to keep our 35 day delivery target.

Visual Marketing

To assist our customers in making their final selections we present a semi-annual fabric and trends presentation, that highlights the “whys, and therefore” of each collection. Additionally, on our website we provide “draping” software that aids in visualizing a fabric on a frame, and a “360 design tool” that greatly simplifies the process of configurating complicated sectional layouts.

Fabric & Leather Cutting

Many of our furniture designs require hand cutting the fabric pieces to correctly align patterns. Our CNC leather cutter ensures better yield and maximizes cutting time. This video features fabric and leather cutting by our talented teams.


Our Leathers


• Uniform in color & texture
• Durable
• Less likely to fade
• Easy care
• Great for families

This semi-aniline leather has a pigmented finish applied to the surface for protection from stains and consistency of color. The natural grain is still evident.


• Rugged
• Waxed
• Color variation
• Natural markings very apparent
• Antique in appearance
• Will age gracefully

Otherwise known as distressed leather, waxed leather ages beautifully and develops a soft patina over time.


• Supple
• Naturally finished
• Dyed
• Also called full-aniline
• Shows lots of character

Like a fingerprint, each hide is unique. Surface marks document the animal’s life and testify to the leather’s authenticity. Every hide accepts dye different.


• Unique
• High fashion
• Exotic in appearance
• Pattern or design on surface
• Makes a statement

Specialty leathers are for the person who wants unique, one-of-a-kind leather furniture.


High Performance 

Kids, pets, food, drink, light - some of the best parts of life - can wreak havoc on upholstery fabrics. With today's more relaxed lifestyles, we like to live in every room of our homes.


We appreciate fabrics that resist stains, resist fading and clean easily. 

Our Performance Covers

Norwalk's Performance Fabric Collection has hundreds of fabrics and leathers the meet industry standards for durability, soil resistance, colorfastness and cleanability.


Crypton Home technology is sealed into every fiber through patented technology and woven to pass heavy-duty requirements.


Revolution fabrics are woven with 100% Olefin yarn, stain resistant, anti-microbial, exceptionally durable and lightfast, yet soft to the touch.


Sunbrella fibers are saturated with highly UV stable pigments for colorfastness, resistant to fading, and cleanable with mild soap.


Unisuede captures the irresistible softness and texture of real suede, with exceptional performance and great durability.


These fabrics pair superior design with unmatched performance. Fluorine-free technology makes them an environmentally conscious choice.


The technology in these leathers reduces scratches, fading, staining & color variation. You don’t have to sacrifice soft, luxurious leather for performance.

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