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Posted: 9/6/2012 9:48:51 AM EDT
Installment One:

Stepping out of my comfort zone on this project, but after watching enough videos, I've decided that I can do this.  My Wife's Grandmother obviously had too much time on her hands.  She hand embroidered the coverings for these chairs probably sometime back in the '20s (ahhhh - the hard life of a wealthy woman of leisure....). There are four total: Two in our living room and two in storage upstairs in a spare bedroom.  We inherited them from my Wife's Uncle back in 1998.  While they look nice, they are un-usable. The webbing underneath is so degraded by time that the seats sag too much to sit on.

Step One: Buy a gooseneck webbing stretcher tool and a roll of red-stripe jute webbing. These will arrive tomorrow.  The $24 pneumatic stapler arrived today thanks to Amazon Prime.  Any excuse to buy new tools

Step Two: This will happen tomorrow when all of my supplies arrive:  Remove old cambric; remove the tapestry from the underside edges of the chairs; remove all the old tacks;  tighten up the old, disintegrating webbing enough to flatten it out; install new webbing over the top of the old; restaple the edges; install new cambric; enjoy unique, antique furniture that hasn't been functional for years; PROFIT....

Grandmother Mildred could definitely embroider:

As you can see in the next two pics, the undersides are shot:

The whole impetus for this project was my Wife's desperate quest for living room furniture now that the bookcases and mantle are done.  I pointed out to her that we have some beautiful antique chairs that just need to have the seats made good again and don't need to be spending money on crappily made new stuff.  Then I hit Youtube.  Can't wait to get started on these!!

Link Posted: 9/7/2012 6:27:34 AM EDT
Alright!!!!  The Fedex guy just dropped off the webbing stretcher and the jute webbing!  Time to get to work.

Link Posted: 9/7/2012 6:33:43 AM EDT
You replacing the inner padding as well or just the straps?
Link Posted: 9/7/2012 7:05:52 AM EDT
You replacing the inner padding as well or just the straps?

Just the straps.  The old horsehair padding is still in halfway decent shape, as these chairs didn't really see too much sitting over the years.  We won't be doing much sitting in them either.  Our living room sees minimal use because our family room is the center of activity.  Besides, I don't think I'd have the skills necessary to deal with the padding.
Link Posted: 9/7/2012 8:28:37 AM EDT
First chair is done!

The front to back straps went in first:

The side to side straps got woven in and stapled in place:

Time to staple the tapestry back into place:

Back in the living room:

The job wasn't too difficult.  The first strap took me the longest, but that was nerves - these chair are older than dirt and are Family heirlooms.  I was afraid I'd fuck them up

The seat now has its loft back and is "sit-able" again.  While not as comfy as some of the newer stuff in the house, it's a pretty good feeling chair.  The big armchair is next on the list.  I learned a few lessons from doing this chair that will definitely help me do a much better job on the rest of them. The biggest lesson was: Don't staple the webbing down too close to the outer edge of the frame.  It makes the edge of the covering look lumpy when you go to tack it back down.  I was mostly able to fix that, mostly......  

Link Posted: 9/7/2012 8:31:04 AM EDT
Looks good.
Link Posted: 9/8/2012 9:56:57 AM EDT
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