Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mastercraft of Omaha, 1962 Armchair

Club or lounge chairs like this from a long gone American factory are plentiful now on Craigslist and various free market websites. They usually don't go for very much money because they need restoration, and most of the time they look like they haven't a prayer of renewal. But if one takes a good look at the reproductions today, comparing spring systems, leg attachment, padding materials - cotton vs. cheaply made petrol foam - you will be hard pressed to find a better piece of furniture to purchase spending $1500 to $2000.00 - and this often without fabric cost considered, that would be extra!

This fantastic Mastercraft of Omaha (frame stamped October, 1962) was losing it's original frise fabric - that scratchy olefin/poly sculpted fabric much like Sculpta-rug carpets that appeared in ranch homes across America, even up thru the 70's. It had been a family piece that the owner was sentimental about and at first I thought the thin cotton/poly woven was going to be a difficult choice. I usually prefer to see this era frame in something with a little more textured bulk - a fabric so weighted it wraps the hard angles of midcentury frames nicely, softens them, especially with a thick naturally slubbed fiber, dense velvet, mohair or chenille. But after months of looking at fabric, this paisley jacquard woven was really the only fabric my client liked, so we used it. To my surprise, it's made this chair more elegant and once placed in the home (a newer modest split level construct in Vadnais Heights MN), it did not scream "retro". She's able to enjoy her memories of this chair she's known since childhood (especially after seeing the lost toys found inside) while having a custom addition to a very grown up and contemporary living room, sans allergens from old dust-mitey fabric - which is my biggest complaint against bringing in vintage furniture - they bear the dust of the ages inside that no amount of vacuuming can get to!

This chair has a built in cone spring system in seat and inside back, that if the edgewire isn't bent or distorted and the heavy gauge steel isn't rusted and broken (from having been misused as a stepping stool, trampoline or left out in all kinds of weather as porch furniture - this one hadn't)- it's nearly indestructable.

The burlap spring cover deteriorates though, and we'll replace that so that the reapplication of padding for the deck under the cushion will be firm and not fall through.

Lost toys found inside...

It's satisfying to upholster these large angled plates, although the deck and apron require some special patterning of the original piece.

Inside arms with that big flat planed surface on top get a new layer of thin foam and cotton.


1 comment:

  1. What a great make over of a great 60's chair.


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