Adventures in Reupholstery
As quilting has evolved from my hobby, into my passion, and then my career, I realized I needed to explore new hobbies. With that in mind, both Susan and I signed up for Reupholstery class through our county continuing education department last Fall. Rather than start with one of the many pieces of furniture at home that desperately needs updating, I bought an inexpensive chair at Salvation Army.
The chair was sturdy, I could paint the exposed wood arms and legs, and I liked the bamboo-like detail of the arms.
Over the course of the next few months, I discovered why it costs so much to have furniture reupholstered! I knew that I would be removing the fabric (thank goodness, that pink was awful!). But then there are all those layers underneath, and each has an overload of tacks or staples holding it in place.
First the fabric,
then cotton batting, adhered to some disintegrating foam, burlap, and then the springs.
It’s a little scary in there…
Oh, and the webbing underneath needed to be replaced – what’s with the copper strapping?
My springs were definitely sprung!
Thanks to wonderful instruction from Sarah Ginter, I slowly learned to rebuild this chair:
The famous “8-way hand-tied” springs, using Italian hemp – doesn’t that sound fancy!
Somewhere during all this, I painted the exposed wood on the chair. Not once, but three times before I got the color I really liked. Note: you can get custom -mixed paint colors at your local home improvement store in 8 oz. sizes for under $3.00!
Add a layer of burlap,
and there is a layer of Dacron, then finally the fabric.
There’s surprisingly little sewing that happens during reupholstery. I did make a few yards of cording, and some double cording, but there is a lot more stapling than sewing. The fabric is in my favorite colors – blues, greens – anything beachy.
Getting all those fabric pieces cut and fit properly is trickier than it appears – and I did sign up for this class again, to finish my chair. With some patience, and lots of assistance and encouragement from Sarah, I completed my chair a couple weeks ago.
I haven’t found the perfect spot for this chair in my house yet. It needs to be somewhere that my two little dogs are not. My 21 year-old son moved out, into an apartment, last weekend and he just finished emptying his old room. I’m thinking this could be the new guest room – and I can decorate around my new chair!
Well, one chair down, and I’ve started on another. As this one is in better shape internally, I’m already to the rebuilding stage. Stay tuned for further reupholstery adventures!