Thursday, 28 July 2016

Are You Sitting Comfortably?



Today Paul and I went to the dechetterie.  (When  I first visited France I was sure this must be a tourist site as there were signs everywhere.)  It’s the local recycling dump.  We took the broken dish washer, an ancient Dyson vacuum cleaner and a pile of other junk that had been accumulating in the barn.


When we arrived there was one other vehicle being emptied of its contents.  I nearly cried out loud when I saw an antique bedroom chair being thrown into the large rubbish container.  It was in a bad state but looked like the real article complete with brass castors on the feet.

“No,” said Paul firmly, “you can’t have it.”  

 A couple of winters ago I persuaded Paul to accompany me to upholstery classes.  I thought it would be a fairly gentle, undemanding course -  choose some nice fabric and tap a few tacks in.   
 
We arrived at the classroom clutching our old Victorian chairs acquired cheaply from an auction.  Straightaway we started stripping away the old fabric and stuffing, right back to bare wood.  Paul’s springs were broken (I’ve been telling him that for years) so he had the added struggle of replacing them with new ones. 

shiny new springs
 I soon discovered that I am not very handy with a hammer and the tacks would invariably fly around the classroom or end up in the wrong place.  Bringing chairs back to life the traditional way with tacks and webbing is hard work. 



stripping back
All the original, manky horsehair was removed from the chairs, placed in a pillow case, and put in the washing machine. It came out beautifully clean and fluffy.  I had piles of the stuff all over the house drying out.

It was a tough, back breaking (all that bending over) and sometimes exasperating task but we were very proud of the finished articles. The trouble is upholstery can become terribly addictive and there are only so many chairs that my house can accommodate.

After
Before




10 comments:

  1. You made a wonderful job of that chair !

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  2. Very satisfying work; I wouldn't have the patience.

    I am usually reduced to tears each time I go to the dump; you wouldn't believe some of the things I've seen chucked into those huge skips.

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    1. I would believe it, it's wicked. Conversely when you go to a car boot sale most of the wares are rubbish.






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  3. Pottery classes, quilting classes, knitting classes...and now upholstery classes?!
    Hard work and flyimg tacks paid in the end; the chair is beautiful!
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. There are classes for most things nowadays. Never done quilting or knitting - yet!

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  4. That finished chair looks very professional - I am useless with my hands - so Bravo.

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    1. Thank you, nobody is allowed to sit on it though!

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  5. I am glad you made it sound a difficult task - I have a friend who attended such classes and then talked casually about re-upholstering endless chairs as if it was easy-peasey as I stood there feeling utterly useless (and then I was never shown any of her results). Looking at yours and your description I can see what hard work it is, not at all easy, but very rewarding I am sure. You made a very good job of it and I bet it took a lot of patience as well as the hard work.

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    1. It was something I always wanted to do but I was surprised at how physically demanding it was. Magnetic hammers are great fun though.

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