Here is a lovely antique chair that looked fine, but was in need of an overhaul. I liked the velvet, but the client wanted the chair to match the wing chairs we recovered for her earlier this year: Blue wing chairs.
As soon as I had seen this chair, I was excited (because I love antiques), but I also felt that something was wrong about it... The seat just didn't look right.
After removing the seat fabric, I could see why it looked wrong. A previous upholsterer had covered over the original rails, which were in a beautiful walnut.
He (or she) really butchered the chair. This is heartbreaking to see.
The holes could be fixed (at additional cost) but the client didn't want to invest the extra money into the repairs.
The chair frame was very loose, so it had to be dismantled, scraped, and reglued.
All solid again, touched-up, and ready for webbing.
New webbing and 8-way hand tie.
Original straw-stuffed edge roll reattached and re-stitched.
The original straw, and horsehair were reused, along with fresh cotton.
Here's the finished chair. We did minimal additional damage to the rails (only 2 or 3 staples), should the next upholsterer/owner choose to repair the rails.
We were also extremely lucky to find a gimp cording (the ribbon edge) that was nearly a PERFECT match to the blue fabric. It's nearly invisible.
Note that the wood side braces are now much more visible, and not buried under fabric (see before photos).