To occupy myself between writing unsuccessful grant applications and waiting for calls back from school district offices, I signed up for an upholstery class this month. Up to 6 students meet for 8 4-hour sessions, and each tears down and rebuilds a piece of their choice. I found a small chair at Round Top (should have posted about that…) that just fit in the jetta. Because I’d done some amateurish but thorough upholstery experimentation before, I was interested in something that had some complicated features that would be good practice. Here it is, as it was:

chair, before

At first I couldn’t really imagine what could take 32 hours in the class, but I was also expecting a pretty cosmetic transformation—you know, stretching some new fabric over the thing. Not so. After some introduction, we spend basically the first two classes (and hours of “homework” time) stripping chairs down to their bones. I’m going to estimate I removed approximately 5 million staples, compounded by the fact that the chair had been recovered at some point without removing the original fabric. Here’s the chair about half torn apart:

chair torn up

And here it is finally stripped down:

chair stripped down

The much more fun part began last week as we started rebuilding from the ground up. I’ve learned how to tie springs, stretch webbing, apply edge roll, and build cushions, among other things. Here one of the instructors is demonstrating how to tack down the seat cushion, which we made from loose cotton, foam, and what I call quilt batting and they call something that sounds fancier.

chair with seat

Tomorrow: fabric. It’s fun to learn something new.

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  1. Pingback: lululu » Blog Archive » 2 couches, both alike in dignity

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