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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

Upholstery - A Bedroom Chair

( Originally Published 1961 )

Here is another very simple type of chair that can be used in almost any room in the house. It is mainly seen, however, in the bedroom or bed-sitter and is the right dimensions for use as a nursing-chair. The frame is made of hardwood and the legs are french polished. The front legs can be varied by fixing a `cabriole' type of leg. Note that the top back rail is slightly curved to take the shape of the shoulders and make a more comfortable back-rest. It is on the back where we commence this time. On the inside of the back rails stretch three or four webs each way, interlacing as usual. Stretch the long webs first, that is from top to bottom, keeping the tacks in the centre of the rails. Now rasp the edges of the back rail on the inside making a facet about 4 in. Cut off a piece of spring canvas 6 in. longer and wider than the area of the back. Tack this against the facet allowing three inches to hang over on all sides. Tack closely, every 2 in. through the single thickness of the canvas. The extra canvas, overlapping, is for the construction of a thumbroll. With the chair still on its back on the trestles, lay some wool or fibre along the edge evenly, then bring the surplus canvas over and form a roll. The edge of the canvas is turned in and made as firm as possible, pulling it to the edge before tacking it off. This thumbroll wants to be about 4 in. in diameter, firm and even all round. The corners usually require a little extra time to make a neat job making sure that the roll protrudes over the frame edge just slightly. If it is only the same level the pulling-over of the cover and other materials will cause it to go in and consequently it will lose its proper shape, and the cover will also touch the wood edge.

Sew in two rows at least of twine bridles and fill in with the chosen stuffing. Black wool is quite suitable for a job of this kind but do spend that extra time in `teasing' it out to get an even surface but with the density of wool slightly more in the centre than elsewhere. This applies to almost every area of stuffing. Tack a piece of hessian over this stuffing, fixing the tacks on to the sides of the rails. Because hessian is that much more open than a canvas it is as well to turn under the edges when tacking. The back is now left and work on the seat begins. A suitable spring unit on metal webs is the seat base. It will consist of about nine springs from 4 to 5 in. in height and have a wire edging around the perimeter. The springs are kept in an upright position by a wire mesh that completely covers the top. This mesh takes the place of lacing. The spring unit is placed in position on top of the seat rails and made secure by driving clout nails through the holes of the wire webbing. A piece of spring canvas is put right over the unit and tacked on the seat rails making a neat corner pleat at the front. This is sewn up at the same time the canvas is looped to the wire edging with twine. Bridle the top of the unit around the edges and a row down the middle. Fill in with fibre stuffing to a depth of about two inches with plenty of overlap at the edges. Cover with a piece of scrim which is held in place by skewers under the wire edge of the unit. Put in the holding ties in the middle of the seat and then commence to build out the edge ready for stitching a roll around. The scrim is turned under when skewering it ready for stitching. A blind stitch is put in which at the same time ties on the scrim under the wire. The stuffing is regulated again and a top stitch inserted to form a roll about 1 in. thick.

The covers for the chair can now be cut off and prepared. If the cover has a pattern, ensure that the motif line continues down the back and along the seat. The inside back will require no flys or piping but is put straight on to the back over a layer of wadding. It is tacked underneath the bottom back rail and stretched up to the top and then the sides are tacked temporarily. When the cover looks right and no further adjustments are required' it is tacked off. Upholstery buttons covered with the same material (or a contrast if wanted) can now be put into the back. From two to four buttons can be put in a back of this size, depending on which design appeals-two in the centre, side by side, three in a triangular shape or four making a square or diamond shape. These buttons also act as holding ties for the back stuffing. Mark off where the buttons are going and with a needle and fine twine start from the back by pushing the needle through so that it comes out on the mark on the cover. Take the needle right out and then pass it through the cloth bos on the back of the button. The button is now on the twine and the needle is passed back through the same hole to come out a half-inch away from the point of entry on the back. A slip knot is made and pulled tight and then knotted off securely.

The seat cover has a 5 in. border piped and sewn on, and a fly which goes down on to the back rail. A thin layer of wool or linters felt is put over the first stuffing and the cover pulled over. The fly is tucked down to the back rail and two or three tacks put in to hold it whilst the rest of the cover, particularly the piping, is adjusted. The piping should be resting directly over the edge of the roll. When everything seems to be in place, tack off. The bottom edge of the border is tacked just below the rim of the seat rail. The raw edge of the material is covered by the second border. This second border is approximately 4 in. deep (this allows an inch for tacking) and is piped around the top. The borders of course only go round two sides and the front. This second border is back-tacked around the top edge of the seat rail thus covering the raw edge as mentioned. A guiding line is helpful and this should be parallel to the piped edge of the seat. The second border is tacked off underneath the seat rail. The last piece of cover is now put on, the outside back. This is back-tacked along the top rail, brought over and tacked under the bottom rail. The sides are temporarily tacked until ready for slip-stitching. An alternative is to gimp-pin the sides. A piece of black burlap on the bottom completes the chair.

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