Reupholstery - stripped bare!
We love to breathe life into old furniture, you know the sort of chair that has frayed arms from many happy hours reading a good book, or a slightly dishevelled arm when your furry friends have made it ‘their space’? They are definitely our favourite for some TLC.
We often get asked about restoring armchairs so we thought we’d take you on a whistle stop tour of a recent project…
The talented Sunell lives in Checkedon where she runs UMOYA, https://umoya.ltd/ a design company that specialises in optimising the layout of your home. As no stranger to design and an ambassador for good taste we knew that we had to exceed expectations on this project.
Sunell contacted us originally looking at roman blinds for a client where she was working on a remodel and refurbishment and as part of her end to end project management she was reaching the point of soft furnishings. It was quite a joy to work with someone with such a level of efficiency and dedication to the end result. We pride ourselves on the fact so many of our clients return again and again and we had a feeling Sunell may well become one of those regulars. As we delved into the project she also mentioned a couple of armchairs which needed our attention.
As with any project we start with our brief, this can sometimes be a phone call, or a whatsapp with photos of the piece. Serena's keen eye can spot how to make the most of a reupholster from 100 paces - whether its a simple layer polypropylene/wadding (the white fluffy stuff!), which we do as standard on all projects, to new seat foams or feathers - it’s about making the most of your project.
When we met with Sunell to collect these particular chairs she mentioned she’d like them revamped in a square manner, and we always do what the client wants. We worked with Sunell to select the perfect hardwearing but luxurious fabric for these chairs.
Did you know: All fabrics for upholstery furniture have to conform to the British Standards of fire retardancy (5852 FR 3 crib ignition source 5 part 1 cigarette and match test).
We have over the past 20 years used a well established company that supply FR upholstery fabric - Covertex. If a client chooses to use a non FR fabric and one we do not supply, we then send it away to have a chemical treatment to make it FR. However the majority of clients do choose a fabric from our collections simply because of the range we offer - they're spoilt for choice!
A little glimpse behind the scenes…
We strip all the old fabric off using specialist tools to take it back to the base. In instances where the foam has disintegrated, we would then replace it with a top quality blue seat foam. At this stage if any repairs are needed on the framework or to springs, this is when it is carried out.
Our craftsmen are skilled in cutting out for each section of a chair or sofa. In some instances, we may use the old fabric as a template if it is a particularly tricky shape. They then have the task of stitching in all the piping before they attach all of the pieces to the chair or sofa.
Did you know: Feather pads don't last as long as foam, or should I say they lose their plumpness quicker! The feather pad supplier we use source their feathers in a humane way.
The piping is always cut on the cross to eliminate puckering, normally creating an allowance of an extra metre per chair. It’s this attention to detail that our craftsman really pride themselves in. The other consideration is the nap of the fabric, especially when using a velvet pile. All pieces have to be cut down the roll and with patterned fabric everything has to be centralised to match up pattern repeats. There is always more wastage with a large floral pattern than there is with a plain fabric. A lot of these rules that apply to upholstery also applies to curtains, blinds and cushions that we make.
We delivered these gorgeous chairs back to Sunell for them to take pride of place in her stunning home. One of our favourite things is to see loved family pieces restored to their former glory ready for a whole new lifetime of memories!