Wednesday, October 12, 2011

From Faux Suede to Leather

Here is a desk chair my dad made for me when I was younger. When I moved out of his house, I stole it because I loved the clean lines of it. Since then it has been reupholstered numerous times. From the picture, it doesn't look that bad.

However, when you zoom in, this is what it actually looks like

My choice of faux suede was piling where the chair is handled the most. It was now time to reupholster the chair again. Since the kiddos would use this chair the most, I wanted it to withstand kids. I contemplated a fun fabric, but I wanted it to be classic and look good in more than one room if it got moved around so I chose this off white leather.

It was hiding under my bed. I know, its crazy to have a bolt of beautiful leather under one's bed, but I have fabric everywhere in my house. My dad scored this leather when he reupholstered aircraft furniture over 30 years ago. I swiped that bolt and a few others when I moved. He has dozens of bolts, he won't miss the one or two I so happen to load onto the moving truck, right? It only took me 10 years to find a purpose for the leather.

Ok, back to reupholstering. You've probably read a hundred postings on reupholstering cushions. Basically, you remove the cushion. Then remove the fabric. Add a new layer of cushion if it is worn out.

Lay your fabric wrong side up with your cushion and seat on top.

I normally use my handy dandy staple gun, but since my dad used upholstery tacks, I reused the ones that were there. Amazingly, I was able to reuse all but one tack. There's just something about wanting to keep my dad's original handy work, well...his. I remember him upholstering the chair for the very first time. It was this dark blue tapestry which was covered with plastic (yes, back in the 70's, plastic furniture was SO in). Okay, back to upholstering. I didn't hammer all the tacks down until I was completely sure of the fabric placement.

Since leather stretched, I kept on tightening the leather until all the wrinkles were gone. Having the tacks only slightly inserted made it easier to remove and reposition the fabric. Once I was sure of the placement, I hammered away.

Ta da...

I know what you are looks exactly the same, but that is not true! I went from a faux suede that was looking ragged to ...lets zoom in..

A nice new leather chair that will withstand a lot longer than the 10 years its faux counterpart withstood and it is now more comfy. I think the best part about reupholstering this chair in particular wasn't the fact that I got a new chair out of it, but the memories that I had while I was hammering away. This wasn't a new bought chair, but one that I watched my dad put together and upholster. My dad taught me how to upholster with this particular chair and reliving that memory means more to me than any chair I can just buy off the street so it will definitely be staying with us for a while.

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