Saturday, July 03, 2010

Starting with the Seats - Upholstery

Where do you start when you are taking on your first upholstery project? With the part that seems the least intimidating–for our dining room chairs, that was the seats.

Initially we thought we could keep the old seat support materials.

But as we took more of them apart, we realized that the plasticized fabric was disintegrating and had completely failed on some of the chairs.

As we set out to redo the chairs, I did some research into "green" upholstery materials. While natural latex materials are available through the Internet, finding them locally was an issue. The cost is greater and the durability less, in some cases. We chose to use natural materials where we could.

We cut the old synthetic material out and replaced it with old-fashioned jute webbing. Jute is a strong natural fiber. You probably know it from burlap sacks. Jute has been used to provide sturdy, yet comfortable, support in furniture for thousands of years.

By interweaving the jute webbing, you create a stronger support because the weight is distributed evenly across the seat area.

Using an electric stapler, we attached the webbing to the seat frame. This electric stapler is my new favorite tool. It made the upholstery project possible.

The jute webbing will support the foam cushion on the chair seat.

Recycling Dining Room Chairs. Next comes the most stressful step, cutting into the fabric.

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