Thursday, March 26, 2009

The End of Upholstery

My upholstery class has come to an end....
After TWO semesters of classes, I have finally finished my chair - a small rocking chair. In the beginning, I thought I would surely finish it in one semester and still have time to do another soft furnishings project. So you can imagine my surprise when the fall semester ended and I hadn't even begun to put the top fabric on the chair!  In the future, I will GLADLY pay an upholster to re-upholster any chair I is worth every dollar (or pound) spent! 

This 20 pound rocking chair that I bought off of ebay has somehow manifested itself into a 300-plus pound chair without countless hours of work and injuries behind it! Needless to say, it will now be the "prized" chair in our household and if you find yourself in our home, I would not suggest bringing any type of food near it as I am sure that would not be in your best interest if you ever want to be invited back.... (just kidding!).  Understandably, I am a bit attached to this chair now since so much time and many bruised fingers went into its redesign. 

Here are some photos to tell the story of its transition....
All of the fabric, cushions, and more came off to leave me only with the frame of the chair.
Starting to rebuild the body of the chair.
The very tight rubber strips that make up the seat of the newly redone chair. The ends are these metal clips that were near impossible to wedge into the sides of the chair frame!
The newly refinished wood on the chair frame, and a nearly completed seat frame.
The positioning of the top fabric to make sure the pattern works for the space...
The top fabric is now on the back part of the chair. Now, the seat cushion is put on.
First, the muslin is "tacked" on by using a hammer and 13 mm tacks to keep the muslin in place. The muslin is attached to the foam with super glue so that the foam will be able to be attached to the wood frame. 
After the tacks are in place, then the stapling begins and ultimately the tacks are removed. Here is an up close view of the staples in the muslin that attaches the foam cushion to the chair frame.
After foam is intact, a layer of muslin then goes over the foam to make sure the fabric lays correctly, again tacking the muslin first and then stapling it. Once I tacked the muslin to the bottom cushion, I realized it wasn't laying correctly, so I had to untack it and add batting to it to smooth it out. 
Finally, the smooth muslin layer with the right "cuts" on the side so the top fabric can be put on.
The top fabric is on the bottom cushion! Now, just the back of the chair to go...

The muslin layer gets tacked on to the back of the chair.
The staple "gun" (compressor machine) that was my aide in finishing the chair.
The back of the chair is finished with the staples in the muslin.
Then, a "guide" for the top fabric is first tacked onto the top area of the back of the chair.
It is then stapled into place, and when folded over, it helps create a neat crease/edge for the back fabric on the chair. 
Then, it was finally time to staple on the underneath fabric of the chair to finish it off!!!!!

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