History of the Chifforobe

Beth Rice 06/06/2017

To properly share the history of the chifforobe we have to go back in time and ask ourselves, what did we do with clothing before closets were invented?

Centuries ago humans had no need for storage dedicated to clothing since they possessed so little of it. As methods for producing clothing and desirable styles developed, the need for a storage solution was born. Some early solutions included woven baskets and wood chests. Roman soldiers used simple wooden boxes to transport their weapons and armor. The wooden boxes evolved into grand cedar chests that the wealthy used to protect their clothing. These cedar chests eventually led to the creation of the armoire during the 17th century.

The armoire, or wardrobe, was a tall, wooden, stand-alone cupboard where hanging clothes could be stored. It typically had two doors that opened to a spacious area on top with shelves underneath. By the 18th century, the wardrobe had become the most popular way for the wealthy to store their clothes.

The Amish Tucson Armoire offers a rustic style wardrobe perfect for a country cottage or cabin style collection.

Amish Tucson Armoire

The chifforobe was first introduced in the Sears Roebuck catalog at the start of the 20th century. Originating in the U.S., the chifforobe combined a chiffonier (a French furnishing featuring drawers) and a wardrobe (a large movable cupboard used to store hanging clothes). Sears described the chifforobe as an original invention since it was the first piece designed to hold both hanging and folded clothes.

The chifforobe was the perfect combination of storage space and was also transportable, unlike traditional closets.

The Amish Vineyard Chifforobe offers versatile storage options when closet space is limited.

Amish Vineyard Chifforobe

In one combined unit the chifforobe offered a tall closet for hanging clothes along with a chest of drawers or shelves, much like our popular Amish Pine Wood Wardrobe Armoire.

Amish Pine Wood Wardrobe Armoire

As closets were built and became popular, the need for chifforobes declined.

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Today chifforobes are often used for the following:

Reducing bedroom clutter

The Amish Modern Chifforobe Chest of Drawers offers multiple drawers and compartments to keep clothing and accessories off the floor and bed.

Amish Modern ChifforobeAs entertainment centers

The Rustic Barnwood Wardrobe offers a spacious cabinet behind its wood doors that is perfect for housing a television and entertainment fixtures.

Rustic Barnwood WardobeSaving floor space

The Versailles Chifforobe by Keystone Collections offers 14 drawers, functioning as a dresser in addition to a wardrobe.

Versailles Chifforobe by Kyestone CollectionsFor guest room storage

The Amish Pleasant Valley Wardrobe is just right for towels, candles, soaps, and extra blankets.

Amish Pleasant Valley WardrobeAs a playroom closet

The Amish Mission Chifforobe is perfect for hanging dress up clothes and storing toys and games in a nursery, playroom, or child’s bedroom.

Amish Mission Chifforobe

As a craft station

With various size drawers, cabinets, and a full closet, the Amish Oberlin Mission Chifforobe is the right cabinet for craft supplies, wrapping paper, and scrapbooking items.

Amish Oberlin Mission Chifferobe

Chifforobes are a great choice for apartments and townhouses with no or limited closet space, and are charming space-saving solutions. Select from a variety of Amish-made styles and custom options to create a beautiful closet dresser combo for your home.

Beth Riceby Beth Rice (110 Posts)

Beth Rice started a dream job when she began as a content writer for DutchCrafters in 2015. She has an A.A. Degree from Manatee Community College, and studied Journalism at the University of South Florida for one year. Her published work includes a short story in Chicken Soup for the Soul's "My Amazing Mom" edition and one children's book, "I"m Adopted, I'm Special." Conveying the qualities, functions and benefits of DutchCrafters furniture keeps her creative as she contributes to content throughout the website. An avid reader and devoted runner, Beth hopes to publish a novel in the future. DutchCrafters Timber to Table blog was started in 2012 to provide our customers and other readers with woodworkers stories, Amish culture information, and furniture selection or interior design tips.


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