Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Antique Chair Update

Hey folks! If you've been following along for a while, you may have noticed that I tend to jump around with what projects I'm working on. Just last week I finally decided to go ahead and order my fabric for the old mahogany chair I picked up (photo below). It's a fairly pricey fabric at 60$/yard, but as my boss Pierre said: "Don't cheap out on your fabric."

The fabric is really beautiful, and high quality, and it's even thicker than I had thought (from having seen the sample).

Last night, Pierre picked up the chair, and I worked on it after work today.

For those who need the refresher, this is the chair I had picked up on garbage night a few years ago just down the street. Starting to repair this chair also landed me my current upholstery job. You can read all about that, and see more "before" photos in this post. There are also two previous posts about this chair HERE and HERE.

The steps I did this evening were to do with the actual stuffing of the seat. These included redistributing a whole shopping bag full of the original "straw" stuffing, which I discovered this evening is actually wood shavings/strips (which is another type of stuffing material).

Pre-warning: none of these photos turned out very clearly. I cleaned them up and sharpened them as best as I could.

"Straw" (wood) stuffing:

Next was the original felt/cotton/hair padding (neither of us was 100% sure what this was, but I added it back into the stuffing as an extra layer).

Next (and not pictured, since I forgot) was a good layer of cotton. The stuffing at this point looked like a giant pile, but all of it compresses down quite a bit. The last part of the stuffing is a thin cotton muslin (fabric):

Trimmed and ready for the finish (top) fabric:

Lastly is a photo of the fabric. The photo is blurry, and it sucks, but the fabric is nice, thick, and it has a bit of texture to it (the black is slightly fuzzy, and the florals are tightly knit patterns.

I will probably finish the chair tomorrow after work, so stay tuned!


  1. This chair is going to be beautiful! I bought my first couple yards of GOOD fabric ($30 per yard), and the difference in quality is amazing. I couldn't believe it!

    1. Yeah, one of the key things to keep in mind when it comes to fabric for upholstery is the wear. Not just any fabric will hold up well to usage. It's not like a curtain, which won't get rubbed on a daily basis. Some fabrics range from a few thousand "double rubs" (ex: 5000), to several hundred thousand "double rubs" (ex: 500,000). One will last a whole lot longer than the other. Upholstery fabrics also tend to be much thicker and stronger than other fabrics. Not everyone realizes that there is a fairly big difference.