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Teaching An Old Chair New Tricks

April 16, 2018

First there was BertyB cushions, easy enough, 4 sides sewn together. Then I branched into BertyB lampshades, a bit more challenging, all that rolling and tucking. But knowing me I always have to take it that one step further and what is the next logical step from cushions and lampshades…armchairs of course.

Last weekend I embarked on an upholstery course and took along an old family armchair to work my BertyB magic on. “Wooahh that’s a big chair” said the tutor when I showed her a picture of my project but ever the optimist I was undeterred.


Over the two day course I learned how to strip an armchair and found that furniture makers must abide by the rule, why use 50 staple when you can use 500, I learned that upholstering an item is like reconstructing an onion, it’s all about the layers and to measure 3 times cut once. You only make that mistake once, twice in my case!


All in all I found the upholstery process both stressful and inspiring but loved watching my chair take on a completely new personality.


Undoubtedly with the cost of the course, the materials and the fabric I wasted in the measure/cut debacle, I could have bought a brand new, comfier chair but that’s not the point is it. I love getting stuck in and learning something new and now that I’ve bought some of the kit I am going to try and finish my chair at home using my new found skills. Wish me luck and watch this space.




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