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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 - Adaptable Settee Unit

( Originally Published 1961 )

A new type of seating arrangement has developed in the home since the advent of television. Very soon after television had established itself on the home market, it was seen that a smaller type of chair was needed so that people could have a suitable view whilst watching their entertainment. The chairs were put side by side as closely as possible and it was much more intimate for the family. This smaller style of chair soon became very popular not only in the home, but in pubs, hotels and clubs, in fact anywhere that people congregated for the purpose of watching television. Once it had established itself this chair was adapted to many other uses, and it wasn't long before the designers created the `settee units'. These were simply three or four chairs that could be put side by side to give the appearance of a settee. Sometimes they are seen forming a curve or in a three- or four-sided settee with about a 60 degree bend. It certainly makes a very useful addition to any home, being able to ring the changes not only in the number of units but also by having alternative coverings for perhaps half the units.

The unit described is a simple design but it will be seen that other variations can be used, in the structure of the front legs for example, or perhaps a shaped back depending upon one's taste in design or comfort. It is made from hardwood and has a slightly stuffed back, cable springing for the seat, surmounted with a foam-rubber cushion interior. The covers can be cut immediately for this chair or chairs and will consist of the outside back and inside back pieces; two pieces for the high side rails and a small border to cover the cluster of three cable springs over the front of the chair; two cushion panels and borders, and then two pieces for the neck cushion with a piece of waste to make the strapping to hold it. This completes the material needed, but a platform of lining is wanted to cover the cable springing of the main part of the seat. The only machining to be done is the small side hems on the front border, the hemming and pockets of the lining, and of course the making-up and piping of the cushions and the piece of strapping. The side rails are rebated on the inside to carry the web-type eyelets which are nailed with fine nails on to this rebated ledge, the nails going around the rim of the eyelets. Two matching tapes are therefore fixed for about five cable springs. The front rail has the same base line as the sides but is only half the height and the edge is formed by fixing closely together three cable springs. Two of these springs are on top of the edge and one on the border as it were.

The side rail cover is put on first, turning in the edge and tacking along the rebated wood close to the eyelet tape. It is then brought over the sides and tacked underneath the rail and around the back rail. When both sides are tacked it might be as well to do the front border piece. This piece of cover is back-tacked on the inside of the low front rail, using a strip of cardboard on the back of the cover before tacking. It is then brought in front of the first cable spring and under the other two springs to fold over them and return down the front and be tacked under the front rail. The same method is shown in the sketch but using only one cable spring and with a front rail that is the same height as the side rails.

The inside edges of the back rails should be rasped to take away any sharpness. It is then webbed with ordinary webbing on the inside-four webs down the length and five webs across, not forgetting to interlace them. A length of spring canvas covers the webbing and is tacked in the way described, with an overlap. A fairly substantial layer of rubberized hair is then kept on by four or five holding ties in the centre. It is now covered with calico or hessian. Over this is put a layer of linters felt and the cover can now be fixed. Tack first on the inside of the bottom tacking rail, turning in the edge of the material, then stretch towards the top rail and temporarily tack all round. When satisfied the cover is placed properly, tack off. The material is also turned as it meets the side rail pieces and is either gimp-pinned or slip-stitched. A neat pleat is put in at the top corners making sure it doesn't show a bump. The outside back can now be back-tacked in position ready to be slip-stitched and the first and last cable springs put in the slots of the lining cover. The foam rubber cushion is put in its case and the mouth sewn up. No black burlapt is required underneath and therefore all material that is tacked under the rails should be turned in and finished neatly.

The neck cushion is approximately 9 in. square. It will have a piped edge and two upholstery buttons to keep the kapok in place. A doubled piece of material sewn together forms a strapping and is sewn in with the piping at one corner. At the end of the strap a press stud is attached which connects with its other half which is nailed on to the top rail.

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