Upholstery Instructions

Upholstery Instructions

If you’ve got old (even antique) furniture in your home the chances are sooner or later you’re going to have to re-upholster your chairs or settees. Simply because the fabric becomes worn. In fact furniture can get upholstered several times during its lifetime.

So you can either have a local upholsterer do the work for you. Or you can do the re-upholstery yourself.

The first job is to remove the old fabric, the stuffing, the springs and webbing. You’re then left with just the frame.

Webbing is then cut and tacked onto the back of the chair stretched towards the front. And then from side to side. Onto the webbing new (or the existing) springs are sown. The springs must be carefully aligned otherwise the piece may end up looking unsightly. Also the springs are tied together.

Next the webbing and springs are covered with a canvas which is then tacked along the sides. Then a series of large stuffing loops are attached. Under these horse hair is stuffed.

Now here’s a tip for you. Before stuffing the horse hair make sure you tease it out so you increase its volume This emphases the spring. When you start stuffing the horse hair do it a little at a time making sure you get an even stuffing.

Then the horse hair stuffing is covered with scrim and tacked down, making sure all bumps are removed. The scrim must have stuffed overlaps on all four sides of the chair.

Stitching in is next whereby the stuffing is sown in. The needle is inserted through the rolls at an angle of 45 degrees. The needle is not pulled out but just as the end reaches the top of the seat, the angle is shifted 45degrees. And is then pushed out the side of the chair. A series of stitches is then made around the chair. Another series of stitches can be repeated around the chair.

After stitching some more stuffed loops are applied along with a thin layer of horse hair and unbleached wadding. The seat should then be covered with unbleached calico. This cloth needs to be smooth with no folds showing.

Finally the fabric is put on by tacking around the outside of the chair. One thing. Make sure your fabric is 5cm longer than it needs to be.

And there you have your chair. Ready to take pride of place in your home.

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