I was digging through some old pictures today and came across these 'before' pictures for a chair I upholstered last spring. If Shredded Chic worked in a family environment, I might have kept the chair as it was—it had its own appeal, all shredded and torn.
Once I had the chair fully dismantled I learned it was much older than I expected —and really well made. The frame was solid. The whole thing was upholstered with tacks and the arms were padded with horse hair. I had incorrectly assumed that its larger size meant it was much newer.
This thing was old. Perhaps big-bummed-bustle gowns explain its size.
Tacks are more of a pain to remove than staples—but more gratifying. Once you get a good purchase on one, it prys out like butter. They aren't so friendly on bare feet though.
I only had one day to finish the job before photographing the chair for a tradeshow. I was 5 months pregnant so this was quite a task. Upholstering is like wrestling a dusty, groggy bear. Afterward, you're covered with claw marks and you're sore all over.
Isaac was very attentive that day, fussing over my swollen self, bringing me tools and water, untangling the air hose as needed. He was fascinated with the process and envious of the loud racket I was making. Though I learned upholstery back in college, Isaac had never witnessed me do the work.
He got involved here and there. He had his first adventure with a webbing stretcher; he tied the springs back into place for me too and made sure the frame was square again—he did an excellent job.
I'm planning to have him do ALL of the prep work next time. That should save me a few pulled muscles.
I have a stack of collected chairs waiting to be upholstered with Heather Bailey home dec prints. More chairs than I have room for really. So, birthday presents for friends? Reception seating for the office?
I'll post 'before' photos of my next project and get your take on color/fabric combos.
Truth is, such physical work is a nice change of pace. With gear laid out and a queue of chairs ready to go, the blazing heat of the garage is nothing a freezy Jamba Juice and a run through the sprinklers can't remedy.