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
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 |
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.