Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My freshly reupholstered child-sized recliner/ONE VERY LARGE DOG

So my 10 week long upholstery class with John Price at the Portside Arts Center is finally over!  And I walked out of that class with a mighy-fine looking child-sized recliner........... but I learned a lot!  Some of the most important things I learned were:
  • All chairs, even the nicest, oldest antiques, are made incredibly poorly underneath the upholstery.  Things that should be symmetrical are not, there's probably a whole lot of wood putty holding it together, it's probably not made out of hardwood, sometimes the whole thing is held together only by staples, and even worse - sometimes cardboard is a really important part of the chair's underlying structure (like in mine... haha).  
  • Removing tacks and staples from the frame of the chair is definitely the most time consuming, labor intensive part of upholstery.
  • There's a kind of spray adhesive specifically for foam that works great and is just as good for your health as Super 77.  It's called Clearco 444.
  • The books about upholstery are that I own (bought them off Amazon a couple of years ago) are pretty outdated.  No modern upholsters still weave webbing, they just use this synthetic burlap called Sagless instead.  It's a lot less work and much less time consuming.
  • I learned about and got to use a lot of cool upholstery-specific tools: button covering machine and this weird thing that tacks down springs called a "clinch it".
  • I learned about a couple of awesome websites from some of the other students in the class: Spoonflower (you can make your own custom fabric designs and get them printed, or buy from a huge amount of pre-made real-unique fabrics) and Van Dyke's Restorers (they sell nice hardware and a ton of replica parts)
  • I now will be able to identify very very odd looking old upholstery tools at flea markets, and probably be able to get them for real cheap because nobody else will know what the hell they do.
  • Pneumatic staple guns are so much more superior than hand held ones.
  • I got more acquainted with my industrial sewing machine, as I sewed the arms at home
  • I now know where to buy large and small quantities of upholstery fabric, sprints, cotton, foam, etc in Philadelphia (Quaker and Katz, respectively).
  • It is possible to staple your finger (I didn't, but I saw it with happen to someone else with my own two eyes).

Of course I forgot to take a before picture... and process shots... but in the second to last photo you can see what the front of the back of the chair used to look like.  You can also see the fabric I used in better lighting.  I personally feel it looks MUCH better tufted and covered in tacky faux leather... 

1 comment:

  1. And I walked out of that class with a mighy-fine looking child-sized recliner... eichild.blogspot.com