Monday, January 31, 2011

Upholstery Class: Week 4- Half 'n' Half

Heya Nesters! And a happy Monday morning to you all!  If you're a pop by on the regular, you know that I have been taking an upholstery for the past month. If you're new to TN take a peek at previous weeks: one, two and three.  This week I finally brought in my fabric after big time stressing about it tirelessly all week.
At first, I had told my classmates {many of whom are furniture designers, fabric jobbers, and interior designers} about the deal that I got and the consensus was that it was an "okay" deal. Nothing spectacular but good. And that's how I felt about it.  Until my teacher, Kevin,  came over.  "Oh my god... this is Mohair.  Very nice!  You got a great deal!" From what I learned, mohair velvet is a very luxurious, high end velvet. And my $49.99 per yard with the additional 20% off, suddenly became a mind-blowing deal.  Now, that's more like it.

Satine, meet Mo Hair. Mo Hair, meet Satine.  You two are about to spend the next 80 years together.

I started my day by adding more of the finger roll on the back as to fill out the shape better.  Off tacking I went.  I found it really difficult to get the tacks in around the curves. Then Kevin swooped in with the air staple gun to solidify the finger roll in place. 

Next step was learning about horse hair. It's a padding used on many seats that doesn't break down as easily as cotton batting.  According to Wikipedia, "It was commonly used in the 19th century as upholstery stuffing (such as for fabric sofas[8]) and as covering fabric for furniture."  To be honest, I was kind of put off by the thought of using horse hair for anything. I used to ride {English saddle} and I love horses more than any other animal on the planet. The thought of putting a horse hair in Satine really bothers me.  

Lucky for me, using real horse hair requires a deep wallet and also requires you to wash it yourself.  Or I could use the rubberized horsehair that they had at UoB, which required no washing, no extra expense or any bald horses.  I was also lucky enough that there happened to be one piece cut awfully close to the shape of my seat. I tacked it in, and chalked out the line to trim it down a smidge, then proceeded to tacking again. 

Now talk about difficult... tacking the front of this horsehair to the seat, was impossible.  Not just hard. IMPOSSIBLE.  The wood was so hard, I could not hammer into it. Again, Kevin came to the rescue with the staple gun and wouldn't take "no" for an answer from the wood.

Next up was cotton.  The hair hair adds lots of cushion and bounce to your chair but cotton makes it soft and comfy on your rump-roast.  I learned you should never cut the cotton off the roll.  Always tear it from the roll using the crux of your left hand {between your thumb and pointer finger} to guide and tear with the right.  
Now you have to feather the edges by tearing them to meet the edges of your chair.  This is done in hopes of lessening any extra, unwanted bulk.  I rolled the edges of that cotton layer underneath at the sides to fill in the small gaps between the horsehair and the finger roll.  Then one more layer of cotton batting was added to cover the last and I feathered the edges as well.
And before I knew it, time was up!  I'm sad I didn't get to the final fabric but I'll be starting next week for sure. I've already taken the measurements for the cuts I have to make which I will start first thing next week.  I cannot believe how fast time is flying, I'm already half way through with my session!  I don't want it to end.

So there you have it, Nesters!  Another fun and challenging week in Upholsteryland.  I hope this week flies by so that I can get back to work.  Any of you find any new projects in the snow that you're hoping to reupholster?  Have any of you signed up for an upholstery class? Spill it, Nesters! We're all dying to hear so dish! 

Happy Monday! <3


  1. Wow, you're chair is really coming along. It seems the weeks between each post really do fly!

  2. I have always wanted to take an upholstery class. This is fun to watch the entire process done correctly! Thanks for shairing.

  3. Thanks so much for the kind words gals! I love sharing it with you each and every week! Ill be so sad when its over! But he next 4 weeks will be the best yet so stay tuned as Satine truly takes shape!

  4. I just love that blue fabric and I am glad you didn't have to use real horsehair :)

    I didn't know you used to ride English saddle--I rode and showed Hunter-Jumpers from the time I was nine until I went to college...small world!

  5. I so want to take an upholstery class!! I need to find one...

  6. You're taking an upholstery class?? No fair! I've been searching for one here in the Mpls area for the longest time... and nothing :-(

    Love what you're doing girl!

    Oh, and Happy Monday! xo

  7. I'm really enjoying these posts, and it's making me want to take an upholstery class myself. I can't wait to see your chair when it's finished.

  8. I'm so happy you guys are liking this series! I hope you guys will ask any questions and I will do my best to answer or GET the answer!!

    <3 I love my NESTERS!


Heya Nesters! I always love your feedback! So dish, because we all want to hear it! <3