Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Antique Victorian Slipper Chair - Red Toile

Here we have a lovely old Victorian "slipper chair". This type of chair is called a slipper chair, because the overall shape of the chair resembles a lady's slipper. Generally they have short legs, sitting close to the ground, and have no arms.

This particular chair dates from the late 1800's (probably around 1880-1890), and has some lovely carved roses, and French Provincial style legs.

The frame on this chair was in in TERRIBLE shape. This was one of those chairs where most of it was being held together by the upholstery. We worked on the chair on/off for nearly the entire month of January, since it needed lots of small pieces repaired in stages, each one being left to dry for a day.


The brown velvet was old, but not original.

Some of the breaks:

The bottom straps had been doubled-up instead of replaced.

The original hand-stitched burlap stuffing/edge roll around the perimeter. This was saved, and a new burlap was re-stitched over it to keep everything together, original, and strong.

The back hoop needed the most work, with 7 or 8 areas/joints that needed repairs. These were complicated repairs as well, because of all the odd angles.

One of the sides being glued:

The repaired frame. We had to make 2 new blocks to fit around the back legs (it had some but they were badly damaged and not worth repairing), and we also had to make a repair to the back centre support.

New and densely woven webbing:

Springs re-attached (5) and hand tied:

Burlap cover:

Unfortunately, Pierre took over the rest of the upholstery on the piece, so I don't have other "in between" photos. After the burlap, the original stuffing (layers of straw, horsehair, and cotton) was re-applied, a rough cover installed, then the re-stitched back panel & padding, followed by the new upholstery.

Here's the finished chair:

Small Antique Wing Chair - Red Toile

Here is a lovely old wing chair. This is the smallest wing chair I've seen so far. It's not so small that I would call it a child's size, but it's smaller than an average one. This one had a nice solid frame, and the original horsehair stuffing on most of the chair (which was retained).

The chair had been previously redone, and this is how it looked when we got it.

A bit hard to tell here, but the back was bowed outwards due to worn webbing from the back springs.

The bottom had been doubled-up to help stiffen it without actually repairing it (by a previous upholsterer). All of this was removed, and new webbing was installed.

Under the top layer, and some added padding, we found the original fabric, which was a thin printed material almost like a silk.

The seat had a remnant of a bright yellow tag, but we don't know what company made this chair.

Original fabric removed, and some of the worn horsehair "rough covers" removed (to be replaced):

Deck and front roll removed. The spring ties were still in very good shape, so we only had to redo the webbing. Sadly I forgot to take a photo of that step.

Back (before changing the webbing):

New burlap on the deck, and reattached/re-stitched edge roll:

New back webbing:

Deck padding and new "rough cover":

The finished upholstery (a nice red toile) being applied. You can see the rest of the rough covers.

Here's the finished chair. I should note that this wing chair has a lovely high quality down seat cushion.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sale on Quality Fabrics

This month, we're having a 20% off sale on all our high quality and designer fabrics. We have thousands of choices available, and now is a good time to take advantage of this great offer!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Ribbed-Back Antique Side Chair - White

Here's another "Ugly Duckling" transformation. The owner himself referred to this one as "the ugly chair" while we were discussing several of his projects. This is the same owner with all the other white chairs and striped blue chairs (and a few others) shown previously.

The chair has been reupholstered at least once or twice previously (this current beige floral and remnants of a dark forest green were found), and the last person who worked on it did a truly poor job. Some of the work is not too bad, but the back of the chair really looks terrible. It has ribbed piping, which is just loose (and crooked).

We were given some artistic freedom with the chair, so hopefully he'll love it, and so will you.


Lumpy and awful.

Here you can see how the back panel is bowed outwards. This is not to do with the upholstery job, but rather due to the worn back webbing that holds the springs in place.

An attempt to strengthen and stiffen the bottom with metal straps (not the best idea, since the webbing is supposed to flex).

The metal straps were removed, and the webbing was replaced.

The webbing for the back springs was also replaced.

The rest of the upholstery (spring ties, stuffing, etc) was in good shape, and we just changed the burlap.

Here's what we came up with. The chair originally had this sort of ribbed/pillow back. It may or may not have had buttons, but we decided to add just 3 for a bit of detail. The front arm facings were replaced (they were a touch too big).

The legs were in wonderful shape, and they did not need refinishing, or even waxing. We did just one or two tiny spot touch-ups.