Case Study

Case study chair before reupholstery

Before

Chair with Over Stuffed Seat Pad

An over stuffed seat pad is so called because the seat stuffing goes over the frame. It is used on chairs to make them more comfortable. The seat is stuffed twice. The first layer of stuffing is held in place by several rows of blind stitches which creates a flat, firm wall around the seat. This is followed by another row of stitches to create a rolled edge which produces a strong platform to sit on. A second layer of stuffing is then added.

The case study below details the steps required to transform the chair on the left into the one you see pictured on the right.

Case study chair after reupholstery

After

Picture of chair stripped back

Step 1

Because the webbing of this chair had lost it's elasticity, everything had to be removed and the chair stripped right back to it's frame. The holes from the old tacks then had to be filled using a mixture of wood adhesive and sawdust.

Picture of stripped chair with bottom lining

Step 2

Black bottom lining was attached first with the edges folded upwards. Tacks are only banged halfway home to start with, until you are happy with the tension all the way round. 

Picture of stripped chair with webbing attached

Step 3

Next the webbing was attached, using a web stretcher to pull the webbing really taut; the horizontal lines are weaved in and out of the vertical lines.

Picture of stripped chair with hessian being attached

Step 4

A layer of hessian is then attached. Loose bridal ties are then created with a backstitch, around the edge of the seat and in lines across it, using a curved needle and upholstery twine.

Picture of stripped chair being stuffed with horsehair

Step 5

I saved the original horsehair and washed it with fabric softener. The hair was then stuffed under the bridal ties, from the centre outwards.

Picture of stripped chair being covered in scrim

Step 6

The seat was then covered in a layer of scrim and temporarily secured with a few tacks on either side. A square was chalked onto the centre of the seat and using a long double ended needle and upholstery twine the square shape was stitched taking the needle right the way through all the layers.

Picture of stripped chair stuffed with horsehair

Step 7

More horsehair was stuffed into the front of the seat, and the scrim was tucked under and tacked in place all the way round. Using a regulator (long metal tool) I worked my way around the edge of the chair, moving the horsehair from the back to the front to ensure that the hair was evenly distributed without any lumps.

Picture of stripped chair with stitched edge

Step 8

Another larger square shape was chalked onto the scrim, and I started to build up what is called a stitched edge.  This gives the chair  it's square shape and a firm edge. Using the double ended needle and upholstery twine, I stitched around the edge of the chair taking the needle from just above the line of tacks, up at an angle to the chalked square and straight back down again, twisting the twine around the needle three times and pulling it to the left and then the right.

Picture of stripped chair with stitched edge

Step 9

A third square was chalked out on the outside of the previous one, and again I stitched around the outside of the seat, creating a second line of stitches about an inch above the previous one. This time the needle needs to come right out on the top side, to make a stitch, before going back down and out again. Again the twine is wrapped around the needle three times and pulled to the left and then the right.

Picture of stripped chair with rolled edge

Step 10

A final row of stitches creates what is known as a rolled edge.  Here the needle comes right out on the top in a back stitch.

Picture of stripped chair with bridal ties

Step 11

Tighter bridal ties were then stitched on the top of the scrim, around the edge and in rows across the seat. It was then given a second stuffing of horsehair.

Picture of stripped chair with white felt seat attached

Step 12

A layer of soft white felt was laid on top and over the sides of the seat.

Picture of chair with fire retarded calico attached

Step 13

The seat was then covered in a layer of fire retarded calico.  The front and back are secured first and then the sides, which all need to be pulled really taut. The corners are then folded in a neat v-shape, and the edges trimmed and folded up.

Picture of chair with top fabric added

Step 14

Top fabric is then placed on top and the pattern centred. It is attached folding the edges under, with coloured gimp pins.  Again the front and back are secured first, then the sides, and finally the corners folded into a v-shape.

Picture of chair with edging added

Step 15

Finally the edges were trimmed with some double piping that I made from the top fabric, cut across the bias of the fabric. It was attached with a hot glue gun, covering the gimp pins.