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Ten-Step Plan to Reupholstering a Chair

I bought this 1960’s Cocktail Chair as one of a pair and, as you can see, they were covered in a brown vinyl. The chair was completely stripped back to the frame, the original materials and springs were not in good condition and could not be re-used so it was a case of starting from scratch. These are the steps I to when reupholstering a chair.


How to Reupholster a Chair

Step One:

The first job was to add webbing to the bottom of the seat to provide a base for the new springs.

add hessianStep Two:

Once the springs were attached and tied down they were covered in hessian and 2 layers of coir and hessian added to build up a comfortable seat.

Step Three:

The seat was then stitched to form an edge that would keep its shape.

add hessian to back of chairStep Four:

A similar process was done to the back of the chair; webbing, Hessian and coir. The back and seat of the chair was then covered in calico ready for the top cloth.

Step Five:

The calico was topped with a layer of polyester wadding and then the top fabric was added.

Step Six:

Due to the curved shape of the back, buttons were put in to ensure the fabric sits nicely against the curve.

Step Seven:

A piping was then made which was tacked and sewn to the back edge of the chair.

Step Eight:

The rear of the chair was then covered in calico, polyester wadding and the top fabric was sewn on.

Step Nine:

A bottom cloth was tacked on to the underneath of the chair to hide the webbing, the legs were cleaned and polished and finally the chair was finished.

Step Ten:

The chair was re-upholstered using traditional methods with not a staple in sight.
If you are interested in reading more, check out our articles on furniture and vintage

Rachel Jones

Rachel Jones

Community User

My name is Rachel Jones and I run Vintage Actually, an on-line shop which specialises in vintage, retro, refurbished and recycled furniture and homeware.