Thursday, February 17, 2011

Florence Knoll

Or "Flo Kno" as affectionately called by those in the close inner circle…These came to me direct from the Knoll factory through designer Alecia Stevens to be reupholstered for her client.



In my shop, I frequently see multiples of the same style coming in waves.  I'll have a flood of wingbacks, then aesthetic period chairs, then a bunch of office chairs - some kind of collective consiousness at work.  Last fall was marked by me as the Time of the Knolls

This pair was emailed for a bid request, front and back view, which I appreciate attachments with more rather than fewer images.

Then a short time later, seen at Savers on E. Lake St...

This one a Steelcase (the link is for one of their vintage ads I saw on Apartment Therapy - very Mad Men) in the 60's or 70's. I let Savers keep the cushions knowing they needed replacing as well as new padding to this good wood frame.

I'll post separately the process of this chair and as it relates to other vintage Steelcase, ASE and Goodform office chairs. I've had good results reupholstering these, but they do have their quirks. For now, I'll just show how this one turned out - it is for sale at Miller Upholstering's etsy store and in the shop here on Lake St. The fabric is "Records" by 009 Textiles of London, handprinted cotton/linen in the UK.

But back to the first Flo-Kno.  I knew these were going to be a bear because the fabric from the factory was a stretch woven that fit over the frames almost as a tightfitting slipcover. Once taken apart to use as a template, it more than likely would change size in my hands - and I needed it to fit this boxey frame EXACTLY, stretch but not stress at seams.

The fabric is Rubelli Venezia Re Mida/Corallo, a metallic lampas, with an absolutely amazing kind of tiny flamestitch background weave with the pattern floating above as in a brocaded weft.  We would run sideways or railroad.

Apparently you'd stretch and sew, but only just to give a tight fit over the frame. Plates were sewn in "biscuit tufted squares (but not cut and joined) with narrow seams, then stretched into the proper fitting, pre-measured welt cording.

The floating back cushion was affixed with the strangest little lock-nuts that we could not source locally. Forget about being able to reuse them - they got mangled in the removal.

The factory Fedex'd us some new ones though, just in time to finish this pair for the holidays 2010/11.

From Start To Finish

Here's a post from a while back that had lost it's image links.  Someone was asking about Cogswell chairs just yesterday, so...