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Jane of all trades, Master of none. Still on the search for the occupation that I can love.....

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Side Chair Upholstery

There are a few different kinds of side chairs that I usually see. The two main ones are, old but strong and the new and so not worth it. The newer ones are made from lightweight knotted pine that will buck at anything over 200lbs put on them. Also there are a lot of staples underneath and lots of cardboard where wood should be. If you were to pick them up they are more lightweight that they should be. They suck unless they are just for show not for sitting.(FYI If you have children they wont last long)
This was an older chair that Jenny was having re-upholstered for her"husband's room" in the basement. The frame is in good shape. However the suspension system had been comprised over time. The spring system had to be re-worked,which may require you to break a sweat but it is completely worth it.
Take pictures, before and during your upholstery. As much as you hate the old fabric from the sometimes stinky chair you may want to keep it for a pattern. Take detailed pictures of how it is pieced and where tuck and seams are placed. Continue taking pictures as you rip off the old fabric. You never know where some secret to securing the fabric may be hidden. I only post a few photos on the blog but I really have about 2 dozen during photos. Do not skip steps. Check out your chair fully before moving on to the next step. Get the right tools but they don't have to be new. Check out Craigslist or thrift stores.
I learned that upholstery is very little sewing and more nailing and folding. It does take planning and some creative manipulation. I lightly tack fabric as you go and then going back and secure it in place once you are sure the fabric is where you want it. Jenny no longer wanted the buttons that were on this chair. I cant say that I blame her. ( If you see something that looks like this don't instantly walk away it may have a new life ahead of it.) If you paid $20-$30 for a chair like this and spent $60 on the 5yds of fabric to cover it yourself you will have made out like a bandit. Lets say that you don't want to do the work yourself. Shop around for the labor and you may be able to find a reasonable price without breaking the bank.

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