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Grete Jalk armchair pillows

- 07 Oct 2017 -
22 posts / 0 new
#1

Dear all,


as continuation of another thread I recently started (see below), I then got this armchair, but I cannot understand whether the pillows are orignal or not. The cover is for sure not original, as this chair was in a room with a Juhl japanese couch, and both had the same cover. The seller told me today that both pieces were purchased many years ago in England and only later on moved to Switzerland. So someone in the UK must have decided to have the two pieces with the same upholstery.


The pillows are very heavy and I feel that they should not be so thick, as they take away the simplicity of the wooden frame. Any opinion on how thick the pillows should be?


I am very tempted to open one of the pillows, to discover whether under the thick wool brown cover there is still the original cover. Anyway I do not want to keep as they are..


Do you know if there is any online company that makes custom-made pillows, ideally with Kvadrat tissues?


Thank you for your help and kind regards

Ernest.


PS: I had the opportunity to have a closer look at the side table, for those that remember the discussion (see below). As correctly felt by Leif, it was not from France and Sons. A stamp "made in Sweden" was present.


http://www.designaddict.com/forum/Identification/Danish-sofa-table-livin...


Grete Jalk armchair pillows
Periods
1960 - 1969

Comments

- 07 Oct 2017

The seat cushion looks like it might have a coil spring unit inside. That slight ridge about one inch from the seam on the top front of the seat cushion makes me thinks so. It's about where the straight wire spring edge around the coil springs would lie. It would be helpful to see a side view of the entire chair as well as an angled view of the front. It looks like the back cushion is a bit on the tall and thick side but i also think you should see what's inside it before you make any decisions. Some Jalk chairs and others had sprung back cushions and it's usually a good idea to keep them.

I could go on about replacement cushion material but let's see what's in there first.

As for getting new cushions made, any good upholsterer will do that and it's probably better to do locally anyway--easier to deal with any little issues that may come up. Or it should be easier, anyway. Just make sure the upholsterer is agreeable to doing it the way you want it done. Some will just say yeah, yeah, sure---and then do it the way they do conventional cushions, which is too overstuffed for Danish furniture.

As a general rule, these kind of chairs look best if the seat cushion is about an inch thicker than the back. The height of the back cushion looks best somewhere between level with the frame and 1"/2cm taller. If you do a google image search for "danish lounge chair" you'll see a variety of thicknesses and heights on the cushions. Notice which look right to you and which don't.

- 08 Oct 2017

The seat cushions in this chair should be spring, with a bit of padding and foam wrapped around the springs.

The seat foundation is also wrong. It should be eeeeeee springs stretched front to back, with not much space between each, with a layer of 1/4" polyurethane foam above that, then the piece of fabric, which looks original. I imagine a jute foundation makes the seat much less comfortable than eeeeee springs.

I suspect you are right that the fabric is not original, but I don't think your reason for saying you are certain is valid. This chair and the Juhl Japan sofa both were made by France & Søn, so they easily could have had the same fabric on them.

- 08 Oct 2017

Dear spanky, Dr. Poulet and Leif,

thank you for your very kind help. Indeed, the pillows contain springs. I have made a little inspection this morning and when I put my finger inside the pillow, I can feel some kind of straw material and some rigid structural material. So the thick wool that covers the pillow is the only upholstery present.

Leif, you confirmed what I was afraid of. I have now removed the seat frame, and indeed I found that under the jute there are still the original holes where the springs were placed. What do you think if I put the eeeee springs again? Where could I find them?
Is there anything to know when to mount these springs and to put the cover back?

Dr. Poulet, thank you for the link, I did not know such a service existed. I must say that the price is a bit high, but I cannot imagine paying less than that here in Zurich, so I'll give a thought. For sure I cannot keep the pillows as they are.

Thank you and kind regards
Ernest.

- 08 Oct 2017

France and Søn did not use the eeeee spring hooks to mount the springs. They were staples directly to the frame with large staples. As the listing mentions, it was Getama that used the hooks. But the spring in the photo is a piece of eeeeee spring.

Inside my cushions for this sofa, the springs were not wrapped in horsehair but rather some other dense fibrous material. I would guess that it was natural and from some sort of plant or tree.

And then the foam outside that is 1/2 inch polyurethane foam, fairly low density. It is folded over the front edge of the cushion and the edges are spray glued and butt joined together so that it entirely encloses everything.

And it is a lot of work gettin the cushions inside the covers. The fit is very, very tight.

- 08 Oct 2017

Hi! spanky thank you for the link.

Leif, do you think it is possible to get these springs, and is it difficult to fix them into the wood?

Thank you
Ernest

- 08 Oct 2017

Oh right--I've seen the mat thing you're talking about. I believe it's coir.

http://mallanka.com/en/organic-rubberized-coir-manufacturer/rubberised-c...

That popped up first in a search--there are probably other sources too. I know it's not exactly the same texture but it's in the same class.

I thought I had photos of the mats I've seen but I I guess I didn't take any. I do have some of a coir mat on some tagged German coil springs in an unmarked chair. The mat was sandwiched between two layers of burlap or other coarse fabric and quilted together.

- 10 Oct 2017

Hi and sorry to bother again. I still have two unresolved questions: the first one is whether I should try to keep the original pillows with strings inside, and re-upholster them, even if I think that they are too thick for my taste. The second question concerns whether it is still possible to find the eeeee springs for this chair.

Thank you for your help!
Ernest

- 10 Oct 2017

I posted a link above to a source for the springs. They come with clips to screw to the frame but you could snip them off if you don't want to use them (or maybe they come unattached, I didn't read the description).

I think Leif said the springs on this chair were originally attached with big staples. If you attach them that way, just make sure you do it in a way that won't lead to the wood splitting. I'd be inclined to use the clips and pre-drill holes for the screws, but I'm also not a strict purist about the little details.

If you don't think you can live with the thick original cushions, go ahead and get new cushions made the way you want---but DO save the originals for the next owner (even if you think you'll never get rid of this chair in your lifetime and you can't even imagine anyone else ever owning it). It's great to restore a chair to its original look but that makes it uncomfortable to sit in or if you just don't like how it looks, then whatever---it's YOUR chair. And cushions are not a permanent alteration. Just hang on to the originals.

- 10 Oct 2017

Hi, in respect to the springs, how do you know whether their size would fit this chair? I am also a bit skeptical with screwing them inside the frame, as I do not know how the original setting was. I could also not find any picture on the internet...

THank you,
Ernest

- 10 Oct 2017

I have a sofa with the springs, the problem is that the attachment points are hidden from sight unless the coverlet and foam are stripped off. I believe that you will find it obvious when you open the seat foundation. The wood will have marks from the springs and holes from the staples. As I remember the springs are not under a grea amount of tension. They might be pulled a couple of inches. It has been years though. And when you open the seat foundation you will be able to count how many there should be. There are a lot of them. All you see under the seat is springs.

Definitely keep the original cushions even if you don’t use them, as Spanky suggested.

- 10 Oct 2017

Hi Leif, thank you. As shown in the picture above, I can see where the holes in the frame are. But I do not know how to adapt these springs from Getama that spanky suggested, to the holes present in my chair.

Thank you
Ernest

- 11 Oct 2017

You have to remove the fabric coverlet, which means pulling all the staples. Then remove the jute, which means pulling more staples. Then you will see where the springs should attach.

- 11 Oct 2017

Hi Leif, thank you and sorry if I try to get more information on this issue but you are a precious source.

I see that there are 5 holes, so there will be 5 eeeee springs- this is less than what you indicated, I think. The question remains whether I can order those indicated by spanky and just use them, or whether it could be dangerous for the wood frame, which is not teak.

Thank you and best regards,
Ernest.

- 11 Oct 2017

I have the sofa, not the chair, but I remember more. How about a photo of the seat frame stripped down so I can see what you are seeeing?

- 11 Oct 2017

Hi Leif, the problem is that I would like not to destroy the current setup with the jute, if I am not sure that I can easily install the eeee springs in their original location. I really see that there are 5-6 holes, but not more. Could it be that you remember wrongly, or that the setup of your couch is different?

Thank you again, and best regards,
Ernest.

- 11 Oct 2017

The jute is wrong no matter what. Go ahead and remove it. It can always be redone pretty easily if you can't make up your mind how the metal springs should be installed, but it would be better to have the metal springs even if they are not attached exactly as the originals were. This isn't a museum piece that muse be restored to its original state; it's a chair in your home, for you to sit in and enjoy.

- 11 Oct 2017

Hi spanky, I see now how the eeee springs that you indicated me work. I can get meters of it and then cut it out, ideally stretching it only a few inches as leif indicated.

Thank you
Ernest

- 12 Oct 2017

In the other thread I commented that it is not just like 5 lengths of eeee spring. At least 15 are visible going across the seat. I am not sure that is the definitive count but there are a lot more than 5

- 19 Nov 2017

Dear All,

finally had time to work on the seat frame of this chair. I had to remove the jute and dozens of staples and nails used to fix it. I ordered then the eeee springs from the German shop spanky suggested, and hoped to put the springs back following the original design.

One problem I had was that the staples I bought were not holding the weight. I think the original staples were longer than those I had.

Then, a friend of mine, boat builder for passion, suggested me to drill small holes in the wood and use brass nails and rivets. He made rivets by hand, as you can see from the pictures here. another possibility would have been to buy the adaptors to fix the eeeee springs to the wood, as those used in an Hans Wegner chair and on sale on the same German shop. It would have been a more elegant solution but it would have altered anyway the original design.

Thank you all for your help with this chair. I will get new pillows as well.

Kind regards
Ernest

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