Thursday, 24 September 2009
A little light upholstery
Many years ago, when my "bigs" were "smalls" and I was desperate for a break from routine, I joined a local Upholstery class. I learned to do simple stuff, like drop in seats, and overstuff dining chairs, and even managed a sit-up-and-beg chair, but these days, if I do any upholstery it's with my upholstery book in one hand and a hammer in the other. I can still do a passable job anyway, and have a couple of bigger challenges to get stuck into this winter. One is quite a challenge as it involves removing a hand-stitched Berlin wool work seat, washing it without it running or shrinking (eeeek!) and then carefully replacing it over a re-stuffed seat . . .
Recently, in the quest for some extra cash, I restored two piano stools we had in the back room. The biggest outlay was for the gimp to go around the edge of the seat. The material came from odd remnants I had bought from our local Fabric Warehouse (its demise is much lamented in this household). I didn't have any horsehair or coir for stuffing either, so had to fall back on a piece of quilt batting, folded appropriately, and then covered with fabric, which did the trick.
This was the piano stool as I bought it from a car boot sale for a couple of pounds. Someone had painted it cream, which saved me the job, so all I had to do was to remove the horrid rotted fabric and foam seat, and replace it . . .
. . . thus - a small piece of material (a few pence from the Fabric Warehouse) and £2.50 worth of black gimp . . . and a few brass-headed pins at 3p a time - I used less than £1 worth.
A bit more of challenge as this piano stool had obviously spent many years in someone's garage/woodshed, and had been used as a chopping block! My husband restored the base and legs, and then I merely recovered it with more batting, material and another £2.50 worth of gimp.
A couple of years ago I restored a little bentwood child's chair I had bought in a huddle of "junk" in a lot at auction. Again, it was simply a case of removing the old shabby seat covering and replacing it with new . . .
As you can see, the velvet seat had perished and needed replacing.
Here it is with the material and tacks removed, ready to have hessian strapping across the centre. I didn't take a photo of that bit, sadly.
Before I could do that, a split in the rim needed glueing and clamping. My husband did this bit. The piece of paper between the G-clamp and the wood is to stop the clamp bruising the wood.
Here is the finished article, with gold gimp and again, using just an oddment of material which was a remnant.
Does anyone else do this at home?
I've a set of 6 of these Victorian balloon backs to do this winter, but DH will have to make the drop in seat frames first.