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Chairs743 of 29193 legged chairVintage High Chair
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    Posted 5 years ago

    dedeebriles
    (1 item)

    Found the chairs at an old antique market. Thought they would be nice recovered and on each side of fireplace. I have never seen any like these before. If anyone has information to share, I would appreciate it. Thanks.

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    Comments

    1. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 5 years ago
      They are tub chairs !
    2. tessaend, 5 years ago
      They're lovely. I'm obsessed with tub chairs! I have an upholstery shop and I wanted to offer a little advice on reupholstering them.

      As most people who've inquired have learned, professional upholstery is very expensive, usually prohibitively so in all but the most valuable pieces. I don't think it should be that way and I hate to see so much stuff that could be saved end up in land fills. I do my best to present owners with plenty of options in every budget without sacrificing quality or the pieces future value. Along those lines, I have some ideas for these no matter what your skill level.

      The small profile and fun shapes of these chairs makes them perfect to upholster in a more playful fabric or design than you'd use on something like a couch. Try a solid inside with a bold print outside or vice versa, or so the two chairs in two different fabrics and make the two chairs mirror each other. Have fun. It can all be undone.

      Don't let this get around, but basic reupholstery isn't all that hard. You'll need basic household tools, a staple gun with staples (at least 3/8 inches long), scissors, a hammer or mallet, fabric, cording, possibly replacement foam and batting and maybe a sewing machine and/or few other things depending on what you want to do. Here are some ideas to lower the difficulty level of this upholstery project.

      There are some great videos on YouTube that teach upholstery techniques and there are tons of different methods so I won't go through the process step by step. Watch videos by professional upholsterers. Some of my favorites are Ali Upholstery, Kim's Upholstery, Upholstery on Broadway and Sailrite. Ali and Kim's are usually just videos of the process with an occasional explanation or lesson. You can learn a lot by watchimg them. Sailrite and Broadway both give step by step instructions for specific projects and they give helpful hints applicable to upholstery I. General throughout. They have links to their website for the products and tools they use, but what impresses me most is that they also provide an alternative method for home upholstery without buying lots of stuff. If you venture outside of those 4 users I suggested, I just advise that you avoid anything that's crafty, "quick and easy," "no sew," or anything like that. Alo Upholstery posts some great videos that use the term "DIY" in the title, but other than those, you should steer clear of any methods or lessons tagged DIY. I'm not saying they're all bad. There are some great DIY upholstery videos out there. There's also a lot that give bad advice and produce cheap, homemade looking furniture with upholstery that won't last. Worse, they can recommend techniques that can permanently damage your piece or destroy the future value of an old piece by making irreversible changes to the structure or original materials that are better restored than replaced. You want professional looking results and the methods used by professionals on this type of chair don't have to be difficult so why not skip the DIY techniques and Do It Yourself the way a pro would?

      I say this chair is easy because of the exposed wood rail. Often it's having to buy and use tracking strips along edges that makes it difficult for a beginner or DIYer to get good results. With this chair, you can just staple close to the rail and cover the staples with cording. If you're brave you can certainly staple the cording and then use tracking strips. The gentle slope of the rop rail makes it a good candidate for cardboard tacking strips. Amazon sells rolls for around 7 bucks. Metal tacking strips and curve ease are a little more complicated to use but certainly doable. Unless you can get a small amount at a reasonable price, it's usually not worth it financially to invest in them for just a few projects. You'd either pay a ridiculous amount for the small amount of material you'd need or you'd have a ton left over. But hey, that gives you plenty to practice with and master before tackling the actual chairs. I'd suggest trying the cardboard tacking strips first. It's a small investment, easy to use, gives a great professional looking edge, and won't cause any permanent damage to the chair or fabric if it doesn't work out. If the cardboard isn't working for you, just use the close staple and cording technique. The staple holes from the cardboard attempt should be along the edges anyway.

      To get the back outside fabric all the way around, you'll need to sew panels together unless it's wide enough to go from top to bottom and can be run sideways. If you don't want to sew try a nice, thick curtain, shower curtain, bedspread or matelasse. Most of those are also good options to save money and to upholster your chairs to exactly match the other room decor. There are plenty of good options out there that will be long enough and are affordable. Just keep your eyes and mind open.

      If you don't want to sew at all or just don't want to sew enough to construct a new removable cushion, use the cushion foam and batting to make a nice crown on the deck that's upholstered in place. If they're really old chairs with horse hair cushions, hang on to them in case you want the chair restored to period at a later time.

      The biggest difficulty on this chair is the tufting! Alo Upholstery has a good YouTube video of a guy upholstering a tub chair a lot like yours and he explains the tufting a little bit. It's a lot harder than he makes it look. Here's the good news. You don't have to do it. Leaving the tufts out of the upholstery isn't a permanent change so try it without. If you're ambitious and want to try it, just use 4 buttons to make a single large diamond or put a single row of tufts a few inches below the top rail. The guy on the video doesn't show the hardest part which is figuring out where the tufts go. Even if you're not going to do the tufts now, I suggest making a template of where they are. Line the inside of the chair with paper or an old sheet (no stretch) or something and use a permanent marker to mark the edges and the positions of the tufts and any other details like gathers, pleats, darts, and so on. That's a great thing to have if you ever want it back to original.

      Even if you're having them professionally done, maybe those tips will help someone else and will save some deserving chair from a land fill. Please contact me if you have any questions or you go for it and need help along the way. Good luck!

      Tessa

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