Feb
13
2010

  Reupholstering the Chair - Part 3

I'm making slow but steady progress with my chair project. It took several days to tie the coils, it was difficult. And it took several attempts, since I tried to work on it in the evening after William was asleep, but I am also not on ADD meds after 6pm, so when I looked at my work the next day, I discovered that only some of the knots were tied correctly. I had crossed the strings over the wrong way for other knots, so the knots didn't hold right, and it explained part of the reason I was having such difficulty. After that, I just focused on getting in a few minutes at a time during the day when I felt better able to pay attention and tie all the knots the same way.

The first set of strings is tied to shape the springs to the correct height. They need to be compressed, but not TOO compressed. They need to be angled to make a rounded top for comfort.

After the correct spring height is established, it's a little easier to knot the rest of the strings. You need to anchor the string under a nail in the frame, then knot on each side of each coil, and also tie a knot around the strings already in the middle of the coils. By tying strings lengthwise, crosswise, and diagonally, eventually the tops of the springs will form an evenly rounded surface (if you take care and do it right).

Here's the "before" photo-- whoever did the last upholstery job didn't do it very well. The jute used on the bottom was lightweight jute usually used for the backs and sides of furniture, not the seats. And the coils weren't tied very well. It's no wonder they worked themselves loose and fell out the bottom.

I put the padding over the springs and tried it out. It's significantly more comfortable than it used to be, and it's fine, really, but I can still feel the springs a little bit. I figure if I've come this far, I might as well make the chair as comfortable as possible, no reason to settle for comfortable-enough. I plan on going to the fabric shop either on the way to or from Susan's baby shower and pick up some high-density foam and burlap. Hopefully I won't be able to feel individual springs if I put the foam and burlap underneath the padding. But if that doesn't work, I'll leave it there anyway as long as it feels at least somewhat better than without the extra foam. Anything thicker and the seat would be too high, anything stiffer and I'm not sure I could work with it.

I cut the new fabric into pieces, once I get the seat padding work done I can start tacking the fabric into place. I should also see how much more edge trim I need-- the last time I was in the fabric shop I bought what was left on their spool, but I think I need more.