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Brief History Of Upholstery
Tools And Workshop Requirements
Types And Styles Of Frames
Springs And Spring Units
Stuffing Materials
Cover Materials
Measuring, Cutting, And Preparing Covers
Basic Principles Of
Types Of Stitched Edges And Fronts
Making An Easy Chair With Cushion Seat
The Arm
The Back
The Seat
Second Stuffing-Calico Covers
Pin-Cushion Seat-Stools
Dining-Chairs-Loose Seats
Cable Springing And Latex Cushions
Occasional Chair-Cable Sprung
A Bedroom Chair
Modern Tensile-Sprung Easy-Chair
Adaptable Settee Unit
Upholstery Repairs
Upholstery Terminology

Making An Easy Chair With Cushion Seat

( Originally Published 1961 )


Although frames do not come within the scope of the upholsterer an illustration shows an average type of easy-chair of an orthodox style. This should not be too difficult to make if the reader thinks he would prefer to make his own frame or perhaps feels he would like to complete the whole of the chair himself. Birch or beech timber is preferable to construct a frame of this type. They are hardwoods and although they may be tough to work from they give a sound job when properly constructed. The `softwoods' whilst being more manageable also have disadvantages. They are not suitable for dowelling which is without doubt the biggest drawback. And also the holding of the tacks cannot be guaranteed with a softwood frame.

The main seat and back rails are joined by means of dowels which should be 3 in. diameter. At least three dowels each are required for the above main rails but four are better. Blocks or braces should be screwed into the corners to give additional strength. These blocks should also be glued when fixing them. Two or three dowels for the lesser rails and the tacking rails will do, with sometimes one and nailing. When all the rails have been cut and prepared, glue up and cramp. Do not start to do any upholstery work before it is well set.

This frame is designed for a cushion-finish seat and this is known as a `platform seat', the main-body part of the seat being level after leaving the spring edge, as opposed to a more rounded or balloon-like finish to a non-cushion seat. The back will be sprung in the centre only with a stitched edge around its top border. There will be no springing in the arms but there will be a firm first and second stuffing with a stitched-up scroll facing.

In a preceding chapter it was said that there is a variety of ideas regarding the priorities of upholstering the different parts. In this case we shall start with the arms, continue to the back and lastly the seat. Each of these parts will be taken to the stage of scrim stuffing. After this is reached it can be a matter of choice as to how the second stuffing and covering of the parts is carried out. A preference for doing the seat first, followed by the arm and lastly the back, is justified by enabling one to finish tacking each of these covers completely. When it is pointed out that all the `flys' are tacked on to the base foundation rails, the reason for doing the seat first becomes more clear. For not until the seat flys are tacked in place can the arm and back flys be completed. Of course if there is a preference for doing the covers in another order, then it only means that the flys are temporarily tacked up on the tacking rails, and after the seat is finished brought down and tacked home.

When the main parts or inside covers have been put on, the outside arms follow and then the outside back; the very last bit of tacking being a piece of black canvas or linen which covers the underside of the suite.

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