2 August 2009

my second upholstery project...

Taaa DaaaaAAAA!!!
Do you remember this chair that I bought in the market? I found out that it was an Arts & Crafts design for Liberty's, around 1900, but it looks way older than that to me! It very worn out sadly, and suffered a lot of woodworm :( It's therefore not worth much anymore, so thought it would make a nice project for me! I know very little about upholstery (just got basic idea from a book) but I'm always up for a challenge! So this is my second upholstery project (you can see my first here) and it went like this...

before & after!
Here is how I (with plenty of pain & suffering) did it...

First to go on are the straps, made of linen/hemp herringbone webbing. These are hammered into place, woven through each other then pulled really hard over the frame and hammered down on the other side.
On top of that goes a hessian covering to stop stuffing coming out from underneath.

Then, put a huge amount of wadding on top of the hessian. This is made of pure new cotton, and looks a bit like porridge I think...

A covering of fabric then goes over the wadding to keep it in place, this forms the under-fabric and won't be seen.

Once the under-fabric is all nailed down and the stuffing is in the correct position, then you can put on the top covering which does have to be neat as it will be seen! Start tacking it down from the back and pull it tight on the front, then do the sides. With this chair I had to fit the fabric around the arms which was very tricky!

Usually, you are mean't to glue some trimming around the edge to hide the tacks and raw edges, but I hemmed my fabric as I hammered it down, and I quite like the look of the tacks showing so I might leave it like this!?
I added some buttons, this was really difficult as my needle was way too short to pass through to the underneath of the chair! All in all it took me about 4 hours...I glugged down some red wine afterwards and had a serious nap.

I got a few more upholstery projects on the way, soon!


  1. wow! very clever! would love to be able to do this. where did you get the stuff for the hessian stip thingy's?

  2. Ebay! there are a few ebay shops specialising in upholstery supplies...its quite a lot cheaper.

  3. Ta Da indeed. Well done it looks wonderful and very comfy. Plus the seing case is just so cute. I've been meaning to make one because my needles seem to like solo adventures too. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. err I meant sewing!

  5. Your chair looks so great!

  6. This is fantastic! I have always wondered how to do it. I have an old chair that I have to warn guests about incase they sit down too hard on it and end up on the floor...this has inspired me to sort it out once and for all!

  7. I do love your blog. :)

  8. That's a really nice chair

  9. Love the chair. Looks inviting and cozy. A few weeks ago I purchased a set of four old chairs at a thriftstore here in Nebraska. Each cost only one cent. I refabbed another chair sometime back using linseed oil and varnish. After reading your post I'm once again inspired to get at it again with the new chairs using some of the techniques you used. Your chair looks so plump and soft! Thanks for the post.