how to reupholster, upholstery classes

Dr. Suess chair


A rare occurrence happened at Fabric Farms Interiors …we have openings in our next upholstery class. So, I decided, after 15 years of owning the store, I would take the class. I had picked up a slipper chair at a tag sale in Clintonville a couple months ago and thought this would be the perfect chair to learn how to reupholster. It has simple lines and doesn’t look too hard for a first attempt at learning how to upholster.

The chair is cute. With a button tufted seat and high back that flairs out, it looks like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. It has pickled pecan legs, casters, and the seat is low to the ground. It’s a perfect chair to sit on to put your shoes on in the morning. It was probably built in 60’s or early 70’s. Furniture built 30+ years ago are usually well-made pieces and many times worth the effort to have reupholstered. Before I bought it, I sat in it and also made sure the frame was sturdy. It was. Sold!

I initially thought I wanted the chair done in a chocolate brown mohair. But upon further thought (and the fact the class starts in 2 days), I choose a fabric we had in-stock in the store. Also, I pick a fabric that is more forgiving – my mistakes will less likely to be noticed. I choose a fabric from Merrimac – brown chenille with gold thread squiggling through it. I like to keep my upholstered furniture neutral so I can move the pieces around the house as I rearrange rooms or redecorate. This chair will go into one of two bedrooms – either my daughter’s bedroom or the guest bedroom.

As I stated above, the chair frame was in good shape. The fabric and stuffings, well, that’s another story. The seat was a hard as a rock! My homework before the first class (which is Monday night), is to remove the existing fabric and stuffing.
I got my tools in order – staple puller and pliers.

Start at the bottom.

To strip the chair, you start in the reverse order of upholstering. So, then the dust cover under the chair (called cambric) comes off first and the the outside back. Under the old fabric, the foam underneath was all powder. It made quite a mess.  


Stuffings underneath

Almost done.

It took slightly less than 3 hours to strip the chair and clean up.

Done! Ready for class!

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