This is the first part of the renovation project 'victorian armchair'.
The chair was in a poor upholstery condition with badly stained and smelly stuffing. The back needed completely replacing but under the layers of smelly stuffing the seat base was in good condition, and so was kept.
Before starting the woodwork was cleaned with a mix of 3 parts boiled linseed oil to 1 part white spirits, with a soft cloth, to clean and revive the wood.
Steps taken in part 1:
1. after stripping off the stuffing, bridle ties were sewn in the seat base, using a circular needle strong linen twine.
2. using best quality hair and fibre mix, the seat base was given a fresh second stuffing and a fire retardant calico inter-liner was used to cover the hair. This was stapled in place due to the overwork tacking rail, which was heavy pitted and holed. The seat base is now complete.
3. the arms were given a fresh covering of calico, as the stuffings were firm and in good condition. The arms need to be upholstered before the seat back is constructed as the back of the arms sit hidden under the stuffing of the chair back. The front corners of the arm were 'hospital corner' style.
4. finally attention was turned to the reconstruction of the chair back. Although not present in the original seat, I felt that a lumber would compliment the style of the chair and provide a comfort seat support given the depth of the seat. This was constructed using a stuffing of hair and fibre mix which was regulated to ensure an even and firm lumber. The hessian cover was stitched in place with a running locking stitch.
Andrea Austin, upholsterer and tutor of Plush Upholstery