Thursday, September 29, 2011

19th Century Ladies Rocker

This customer's family piece - a small ladies rocking chair or even one meant for the nursery ...

Shows that it originally had a caned seat,

I wish I knew caning or could schedule time to learn! I have in storage an original Thonet bench that I refuse to upholster over the broken caned back,

But this little rocker was upholstered over ages ago with a resilient curled hair pad with cotton over webbing + burlap,

I'll redo it the same and finally reupholster with Lelievre's Aubusson in color Rubis,

A fitting replacement for the antique cotton and silk brocade that I'll reserve for the customer.

Wasn't the old brocade gorgeous?

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One more thing - look how good old nails were - smaller and slimmer

The ones available for use today are fatter and thicker - not as nice for holding fine fabrics to frames - but most people would be using staples ...

I'll keep the old nails. Waste not want not and I actually did have a request from a senior do-it-yourselfer recently for the finer nails. I shared with her from my stockpile. Yep. That's what I'm here for.

No, I did not like nailing this close to the edge of caned holes but I didn't want to go too far out either, especially with the detailed carving of the chair.

It really is a lovely little piece though. Here's where it lives:

Location:E Lake St,Minneapolis,United States

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hickory Co. Camel Back Sofa

Gorgeous sofa was brought in by a repeat customer who has a knack for
finding vintage furniture with great lines and strong structure.

As you can see from tag, a reputable manufacturer. Feather down cushion, handtied coil springs in seat and inside back all soundly tied and secure, so no need to redo.

Interesting how some makers tie to Inside the rails, instead of on top of the rails. I wonder if it makes repair more accessible or if this is just one factory's method.

A combination of materials used by Hickory - curled hair covered with muslin on arms, thin softback foam sheet with cotton on inside back -

Foam completely deteriorated and the particles everywhere requiring a thorough vacuuming.

After laying new burlap, felt pad and cotton, I get to work with this gorgeous pink stried cotton velvet.

Sewing the seam edge down to burlap then pull the velvet front (the "nose") over a new edgeroll (the previous one factory made with a wedge-shaped foam - that's where all the foam dust came from).

Working the arms. This is seen from the top of arm looking down. Tricky wrapping this extreme curve while keeping grains straight.

Those are lovely curves and the velvet from Lee Furniture behaves beautifully.

I've sewn two different linen cushion covers, both requiring a pattern match...

I used the vintage Singer 301 that I have for sale in shop to seam and topstitch the lightweight linen. It's a joy to use and I've taken full advantage that it's in the shop set up and ready to tempt anyone looking for an excellent machine.

Back to the industrial to sew welt cording for trim that'll finish the sofa

Applying these arm faces always take me a few times - invariably nail holes show unless the fabric is a looser or more textured weave. Sometimes they have to be handsewn which adds to time and cost - all depends on fabric selection and how drastic the curves.

And done. What a beauty!

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...