Monday, 19 April 2010

My dining chairs

I promised some pictures of my first upholstery project so here they are. Our upholstery classes finished for the year at the end of March. Our teacher is having an operation on her shoulder this summer so she will be out of action for a good few weeks. You do need a lot of muscle power to pull and tighten when upholstering...I am pleased to hear her injury it is not upholstery related.

I started with this. These chairs ( and dining table and welsh dresser ) came from A's mum & dad and we've had it for nearly 20 years. They bought the chairs at auction. They enquired about having them re-upholstered but decided against spending £200 on just 2 chairs. I hate to think how much an upholsterer would charge nowadays but I have to say, I wouldn't begrudge them their does take a long time to do them properly. We have 4 chairs like this, 1 matching carver and 2 smallers chairs to make the numbers.

The chair is now strippped down. This chair didn't have a traditionally built seat to begin with. It was basically a few layers of wadding on top of the wood, a layer of calico followed by hide. I was adamant I didn't want leather to replace the top cover.

After stripping, I started putting the layers back on. I started by building up the seat ( called first seating ). There is about 2lb of fibre under there that I stitched and cajoled into shape. Originally you would have used horsehair but animal hair is very expensive so I resorted to coconut fibre.

Here is the finished chair. In between all the stuffing and stitching, A also put in a lot of work to remove the dark varnish. He finished the oak off with clear wax. I have covered the chairs with some left over from the curtains that I made for the dining room. A little bit too matching for my taste but at least I didn't have to go out and look for some new fabric.

Here is a layout I made about my new found hobby.

My journalling says, "Upholstery isn't quite as they make out on Changing Room, armed with a staple gun, you could do anything. You could, but it would take you longer than a weekend. These 5 (+2) chairs took me two terms."
My sofa is now with a man who is replacing some woodworm infested tack rails and french polishing the whole should look amazing.


Sian said...

Wow, my MIL has done a bit of this, so I know how much work is involved. That's an amzing transformation!

Sarah xx said...

Well done Ifa - those chairs look fantastic, you must be really pleased and the LO documents it so well!! Am very impressed and your sofa sounds like it will be stunning too!! xx

Kathy said...

wow cool job! Great that you have made a lo for it too!