Upcycling

cropped-20180213_204456-2.jpgChair Upholstery Lesson 2: Structure

Despite Google Maps shouting from the footwell of my car that I should have turned left 200m away, I arrived early last week and waited in my car for the upholstery queen to roll up the door to my learning.  By the time she did, our little gang was complete and eager in the car park.  When we heard the throaty screech of metal moving, we all jumped out, unpacked our homework from the boots of our cars and made our way like broken snails to the workshop.  The girl next to me smiled weakly as her pile of old chair skin fell to the ground.  She tried twice to pick it up, each time she juggled with her mid-century frame and failed.  I was concentrating too hard on my own pile to be of much help, but I did stand and wait patiently until she motioned through gritted teeth that I should carry on. Continue reading “Upcycling”

Upcycling

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Chair Upholstery Lesson 1: Pre-work

4 do’s and Don’ts for your first projects according to Antonia and her 23 years experience making mistakes.  We were all told to write down these rules.

Bla Bla Bla, if you are not interested in chair upholstery skip to the bit where I threw the hammer down.

  1. Do not try to upholster a wingback chair.  Why because it is kick ass and you need about 18 months of experience before you attempt this.  Start with a dining room chair or foot stall.  It has the elements you need to master tension, corners, measuring and cutting.  Move on up through headboards, chairs with squabs, padded chairs without arms, simple armchairs with removable wooden arms then your ultimate goal, a wingback chair.
  2. Do not use stripes or geometric patterns until you know what you are doing.  Why because you need to be able to match the pieces perfectly.
  3. Do not use any other fabric other than upholstery grade.  Why because it is stretchy enough to manipulate around corners and provides enough tension for a smooth finish. Upholstery fabric can be cut into release cuts, without it ripping further or tearing at the staple sites.  Other fabrics, even drapery will not do this.  It is false economy.
  4. Do not start on a complete re-upholstery project, i.e taking a chair down to the frame. Why because you need to build experience with the fabric first.  Choose a chair that has good bones, where you can use the existing springs and padding.

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Upcycling

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A Broken Orange Chair

‘Ok, we will start, we are only waiting for one more.’ our leader looks behind her at the large wall clock then down at her wrist.  ‘Yes, we will begin’  She leans forward and hits a button that illuminates the white wall behind her.  It shows a cartoon happy person with a speech bubble.  HI, MY NAME IS……..I AM FROM…………

‘You’, she points at me, ‘we will start with you.’

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