Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Enemy - Compound Curves on Antique Settee

Rough several hours on this darling antique settee, that on first glance, didn't appear to need all that much work and and for it's size, certainly no brain-teaser. WRONG!

I should have known. Tim from Prairie Woodworking stopped in and supplied me with the jargon I didn't know, but was well acquainted by this point with the physical difficulty of asking a diagonally woven and heavily printed cotton, to biasly go where it didn't want to go, then back and under and over itself again. No ordinary fabric either, but pattern "Granada" from Fortuny.. Fabric challenges aside, 1st a look at the Dry Wood of the Ages dilemma...

I was going to have to fill the holes and splintered off areas with a mix of glue and sawdust, to give myself new surface to staple into, otherwise they won't hold. So many reupholstering's down thru the ages make for a very holey frame. And very dry this one.

I put the curled hair pad (seat) back on then hand sew it to new burlap and webbing. Then cover with new muslin because the old one was shot. The inside back doesn't get 1/2 the wear and tension that a seat does, so I did not disturb it and it's webbing was okay.

I didn't know the stretcher piece that gets sewn to the bottom of the inside-back plate was cut with a curve (to allow more stretching or bias) and pleated then stapled to back rail, so that it would smoothly follow the compound curves, (which if you click the above link you'll know is "a curve made up of two arcs of differing radii whose centers are on the same side, connected by a common tangent" - huh?). Well, the first stretcher I cut and sewed did not stretch and I tore the Fortuny!! AAARhhhMadness! Luckily this big piece could be used on the outside back, because I did not have any extra to spare and could have been a very costly mistake.

Those two pictures literally give me a cold sweat just to look at them. I place them here for all to know - I make mistakes, but in the end - I fix them! I vow to let nothing leave my workroom that doesn't exceed the last perfect job that went out...well, that's the goal anyway. Next post: correcting a job that was allowed to leave someone else's workroom, less than perfect.

1 comment:

  1. You did a beautiful Job Helen!!! My client loves it!! I would only trust Fortuny with you.


From Start To Finish

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