Well there technically is no chapter 1 for the chair, but I'm considering my finding…
Sunday was “start the reupholster” day on my recent find at the Habitat ReStore, a $6 chair. The chef’s mom drove all the way into the big city to teach me how to reupholster. She has done a whole couch before and I was glad to have her there, I didn’t know where to start. Here is the chair at the beginning of the afternoon.
Step 1 Assemble your materials. Tools we used included a hammer, tack puller (which the chef drove out to get special), flat head screwdrivers, scissors, a sharpie, canvas puller, knee pads, a bowl to collect the staples and nails, garbage bag for old fabric and batting, and pliers, so far.
Step 2 Inspect the chair to see how you can take off the old fabric. We turned it over and tried to see how things were put together so we would know how to put them back on later. First the bottom netting came off.
Step 3 Start cutting off the fabric. The pieces you have to save are the seat cusion and the back, because they have the piping on them and we’ll use them for patterns. As well as the sides and front, depending on your chair. Other pieces like the bottom front and sides can be measured later if they simply wrap around arms for example. No measuring needed.
Getting the fabric totally off took about 3 hours. There were tons of staples and nails in it, which can be a devil to pull out. But you need to do it otherwise you will have problems later when you start to nail fabric back in.
Step 4 Once you get the easier pieces off that cover bigger pieces, you can begin to take off the rest of the fabric. Here we started to peel off the back cusion. We ended up throwing out all this batting. I wanted to do it for sanitary reasons, plus if you are going to put all new fabric on a chair, you don’t want the old batting’s odor to ruin the work.
Work gloves and shoes can help. I didn’t have any on, which is why I’m wearing all these band aids. Here is the chef caring for my finger, sweet.
We discovered a very well built frame underneath all that fabric and batting. And realized it had been reupholstered before. If chairs could talk, this one did a lot of puzzels, because 2 pieces, a pen, pencil, earring and button all fell out of it as the fabric came off. I can make a shadow box memorial to the chair!
See this strip of black and tan fabric? That’s the former cover we found on the seat, 70’s chic!
Here I am pulling out the last bits of fabric from the back. Some of it is hard to get out but canvas/fabric pullers help. As does muscle. Don’t be afraid to yank at it, you’re not saving it anyway. And if you’re kneeling a lot the knee pads are great!
And this is where we left things at the end of the day, which is a lot more than I expected. All old fabric gone. We left the batting on the arms and will add more. Part one done!