UpholsteryPosted: June 1, 2015
At the recycle center in Newport i have got lucky that day and have been given this amazing wing chair for free. It wasn’t in brilliant condition however and it seemed like it has been in the rain for the passed week but i was more than happy to take it, as underneath all the junk i know there was a brilliant chair structure. Just what i needed, i felt like hitting a jackpot or saving a Cinderella and turning her into a princess.
Once i managed getting the chair home i had to act fast as it had very unpleasant smell also i wanted to dry it so i didnt want to leave the chair outside. I stripped the fabric off the same evening.
As i am inexperienced in doing upholstery and also i have tendencies not to think ahead. I Stripped the old fabric of the chair the way i could and didn’t exactly follow the pattern. Also after i stripped the fabric i throw the fabric away as it was wet and was smelling bad.
Once i have stripped the old fabric i noticed the sponge underneath isn’t so bad with a good clean and steam it can be reused which was even better for me. As i didn’t really know what i was doing i done research online how upholstery s done. On youtube there are plenty videos of how to do it also online there are some instructions. I relied on youtube as all guides are on there.
First i bought the fabric that i liked. I wanted to create a fancy chair so i found myself affordable white upholstery fabric that really suited my image of what i wanted to do. I was going to do a screen print of tiger on the back of a chair and then stitch over it so it have more detail to it than just a print. I also bought a heavy duty staple gun which i was planing to use to attach the material to the chair as that what is shown int he guide videos.
Before starting the chair, i measured the back of the chair and i cut a piece out of fabric so i could do s screen print n top which would ideally go on top of the chair at the front. Once i completed the screen print and stitched into it like i planned i realized i don’t really like it that much as i thought i would. It didn’t seem good enough to go on the wing chair which i wanted to do quite glam. So my pan B was to do a button back chair, as though out my researched may chairs i liked that also was wing chairs had a button or diamante backs.
First i cleaned and steamed the foam which helped to get the original shape of the foam, I learned a brilliant trick on youtube.com
Then i measured where i want my diamante buttons to go, I googled to get a rough idea of how its done however i took it back into my hands and decided to to it the way i think it would work for me.
I also fixed a piece of carpet at the back of the chair so when i tie the buttons to a char there will be something to hold it and tie onto.
First i wanted to cover the back as the wings fixes in better after. I measured the front and cut the material out then started to fit the button in the right places. i made a small hole in each cross where the buttons needed to tuck in. The string i have bought wasn’t as strong as i thought it would be so i couldn’t stretch as much as i wanted to however it still looks good so it didn’t bother be that much.
I found it a bit hard to use staple gun also once i have reached the stage of all front covered i realized its going to be very had to cover the arms of the back of a chair, so with some advice i come up with the idea of using pieces of plastic and hard glue which is usually is used for shoes. Measure the plastic the right size of the chair handle inside and so the side of the chair, and then simply using the glue, glue it in place. I used couple screws to hold the plastic board on top.
The solution worked really well however the glue weren’t sticking well to the plastic. i decided to use the same technique to cover all over the back chair but decided to find some slim wooden sheets instead, as the glue would stick better than to the plastic i used for the arms.
Also looking at the buttons i have done at the earlier stage, i have noticed the string was breaking off of some of them as i used cotton tread. I had to re do the buttons with different string. Second time i have used plastic based string. I have also decided (as i had to re do buttons anyway before can cover the back of the chair) to fix wooden panels at the back of the chair so i can make more tension for the buttons as the plastic based string wasn’t going to snap as the previous one.
The result of the buttons has improved and i am happy with it. Then i finally made a stencil of the wing on the piece of paper and cut it out out of the sheet of wood. Once i was happy with it i cut a bigger version out of the fabric and glued it using ordinary spray divisive (so the fabric wouldn’t move out of place) the fabric to the wood. Then i used the strong glue (which are usually used for shoes) for the edges and to actually stick to prepared panel to the back of the chair. The same method i have used to cover both wings and the back panel.
I doubt anyone has ever done it like me 🙂 on one hand it seems that the way i have done is way more difficult than as original way is actually should be done, however i couldn’t manage to do it the way other people do it and as it should be done.So I have improvised as the time was running out.
If i ever decide to do upholstery again i will look into and spend as much time as i need to figure the original technique of how it is gone.