Thursday, 22 July 2010

The dog and the chair


Light summer evenings mean later bedtimes for Zebra-girl and Dinosaur-boy...last night we could hear whispering and giggling from the bedrooms and frequent trips down to the recycling box. At 9.30pm they took their new dog, Harry, for a walk to meet us. He has a lovely red tongue that can be flipped up inside when he's not feeling particularly tongue-outy...it doubles as a lovely red nose. He can open his mouth to be fed...and in his stomach they have stored lots of food that they have made for him. He has bits of yarn stuck on for a tail. He can even hold a small ball on his tongue.


It's interesting how much more inventive they are when there are no grown-ups involved.


Now on to matters of upholstery...this is not my speciality...but I'm enthusiastic and your encouragement after my last post is making me seriously consider tackling this chair. But I need help if you have a minute to give it...do you have any pointers to good videos (one of you mentioned Texan women on YouTube...but they're elusive creatures and aren't popping up in my searches) or tips on how I should go about doing this? I've found a brilliant local supplier of everything I might need....but first I need to think about how I want to do it.

Should I remove the springs and go for webbing? I've taken another picture of the chair today. I have four very good springs on the back, but the springs on the base of the chair will need taking off completely as they're too old, as is the webbing that they are attached to. 

I want the back and seat cushion to be integral and fixed to the chair...is there a special way of building up the layers to form a nice domed seat and back pad...and what should the layers consist of?

About a year after I'd first rescued this chair from a skip and reupholstered it (very badly) myself, Mr Teacakes and I were walking along Upper Street in Islington and saw a chair identical to this one in the window of one of the boutiques. It was immaculately upholstered in deep purple velvet and had a price tag of nearly £1000 (this was over ten years ago, so I'm assuming the price would be even more inflated now). It was the same chair...but very much not the same chair. Knowing what it could look like, has always made me hanker after having another go at it and making it look a little more like the one in the shop window. Perhaps my 33-year-old self can do a better job of it than my 21-year-old self....

Re-upholstering this chair at the dawn of the Internet, my 21-year-old self searched for 'leather hides' and then didn't go online again for a couple of months as she was so shocked by the search results that the strange new 'information super highway' had returned (because people actually really called it that then). The chair ended up being covered in chenille instead...the leather route was just too trepidatious to explore further...provisions for it were obtained through the Yellow Pages. It's amazing how quickly things have changed in the last 12 years...and how much more blasé one has become at having ones sensibilities unexpectedly challenged.

Florence x

NB: Yes, of course I didn't get to the end of writing this post without revisiting that search term. Alas, there was nothing even remotely tawdry to be found. I think that very few small businesses had an online presence at that point and search engines weren't as sophisticated in understanding what it was you probably wanted...which meant that some very odd things were able to float to the surface.

10 comments:

  1. I love visiting your blog. Your posts always make me smile, and the layout and format of your blog are very calm. Sending smiles, Em x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Children's imagination and creativity can be so magical. I love the dog! Your reupholstering project looks really interesting. Is there an upholstery suppliers near you that you can visit? Maybe staff there can advise.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's amazing how much the Internet has changed!! Looking forward to seeing how your chair develops!

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's amazing how much the Internet has changed!! Looking forward to seeing how your chair develops!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I suggest you contact Joan at www.jamiltonupholstery.co.uk. She's a lovely lady, very knowledgeable and helpful. What she doesn't know about upholstery isn't worth knowing and she operates a mail order/internet supplies business for everything you might require.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The dog is just wonderful - and isn't it lovely that they did it together. I've only ever done one chair - a 1930s one and I kept the springs but replaced with new ones- if that makes sense?

    ReplyDelete
  7. hee hee ~ you always make me laugh Florence.
    wish you luck with your chair ~ if anyone can tackle it and succeed then it is you !
    Happy weekend!
    p.s. adore your new family pet!!
    xxx

    ReplyDelete
  8. Based on my own experience, yes, you can certainly do a good enough job on the chair that it will look great for a few years and reasonable for some more. It's tricky to stretch webbing tight enough and springs are sheer murder, but you might find that the shop that sells the materials will be able to give you advice.
    My effort lasted nine years and then I paid a professional upholsterer!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sorry Florence, its; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Tu-ownWdAo good luck, Abi

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sorry - here's the linky
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Tu-ownWdAo
    Abi

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x