The ‘Process’ take 2

I am currently fizzy with rage at one of 3 things…myself, the internet or wordpress…either way the post that I spent about 2 hours perfecting has literally disappeared. I thought I had posted it and it does not exist. Not in my drafts or on my page….NOWHERE!!! 

I was basically concerned with getting a wider audience for my blog and had read that lots of photos and an explanation of the process of how you make what you make is more interesting than mere boring ramblings. So i thought i would give brief rundown of the processes involved in re upholstering my nursing chair. I will now attempt to do that …again.ahhhhhh so annoying. What is most annoying is the fact it constantly tells you its saving your work… clearly not, anyway, i digress.

My nursing chair seemed to be in good condition until stripped when it became clear it required some tlc i.e.alot of gluing and clamping. Whilst still being clamped the webbing can be applied. Webbing is the foundation for the construction of the seat and the number and layout of webs depends on the size and shape of the chair. In a sprung seat such as this, the webs must be closer together in order to hold the springs in position. In this instance I used 3 webs front to back and 4 side to side. From there the springs can be applied, positioned correctly and tied down with twine to prevent them from moving around. The number and size of spring again depends on the size and shape of the seat. Springs must then be ‘lashed’ down meaning that they are tied front to back and side to side in a complex series of knots and ties. This is so the springs stay in place, hold the shape of the chair and they must be forced downwards and held there to provide the ‘bounce’ associated with sprung chairs. These are then covered with canvas which is tacked down and the springs once more attached with twine to this canvas. From there a series of loops called ‘bridles’ are created with the twine to hold the stuffing of the seat in place. In this instance I used 50/50 hair/fibre as I wanted a softer seat. There are many types of stuffing which I will cover in later blog. The hair is teased into small balls or hedgehogs as we call them in our class and applied all over the chair. This first stuffing should be fairly large as this is the format of the seat pad. At this point more canvas is applied over the top and from there blind stitching and top stitching is used to created the drawn up edge. This is the roll around the front of the seat which forms the shape and look of the chair. This has to be neat and precise and evenly maintained around the whole chair. I like to think I do this well, its pretty much my favourite part of redoing the chair. After this a ‘G’ stitch is sewn into the seat to pull all the layers together and keep the seat pad firm. Yet another series of bridles is added and a further light skimming of hair, the second stuffing. This has to be no where near as much hair as the first as too much can cause the chair to look overstuffed. This is then covered with calico which is pulled taut over the hair and must be carefully applied and then stapled down creating the final shape of the chair. I am aware this is hugely simplified version of doing a chair. Putting the calico on alone takes me about 3 hours at present. The corners of chairs and cutting the fabric to go round legs and arms is just too hard to go into right now!!!After the calico is in place a layer of Dakron or skinwadding is cut to shape and placed on top. This adds an extra layer of comfort and also covers any teeny lumps and bumps on the chair (of which there are none of course!). Then we are ready for the final fabric which is placed on in pretty much the same way as the calico, temp tacked, pulled taut and then stapled in place. The final flourish is the braid/studding/piping which runs round the chair to complete the look. In this chair I have a back as well which has literally be done in exactly the same way, minus the webbing and springs. There we have it….my incredibly simplified rundown on how to reupholster a chair. I have included several million photos.Lets hope I am actually allowed to publish this blog now. Enjoy.

madebybracken x


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