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Help with my Illum Wikkelsø V11!!

- 24 Jan 2018 -
4 posts / 0 new

Hi guys!!

Sooooooo, I have found this guy in the wild! It doe so work as you can see, but certainly worth putting in the time and effort!

Here’s a little back story on the piece, which I thought was interesting! The women who I purchased it from grew up with the sofa. Her and her family lived in Germany while her father served in the Airforce. In 1965, her and her entire family went and picked out all the furniture for their entire home. She was only 12, but remembers the retail space as being “nothing but open space filled with beautiful furniture and windows on top of windows.” She remembers sitting on a waiting sofa while her parents shopped for their entire homes furnishings. Occasionally being summoned by her parents to see if she liked something. They left and everything got delivered within a weeks time. She still has most of it due to her parents passing but decided to let the sofa go. I unfortunately did not get to see anything else because she was in the process of clearing out her parents home and left the sofa for the sale. She was aware it was a nice Danish piece but didn’t know much about it. She honestly just wanted it to go to someone that would appreciate it and put in the time and effort :)

So about the condition..... As seen in the pictures the leather has a heavy patina. Most of us that are fans of vintage leather pieces rather enjoy a patinad look. So the wear is perfectly okay with me! The leather is dry to the touch and needs to be conditioned and made a supple as humanly possible. Over time, the original down has sank and made the sofa have the appearance of that sagged leather look. I’m assuming one can unzip each cushion and refil the cotton sack inside with fresh down? In regards to the leather (which I don’t know much about) What would be the best tactic to moisturize and condition to stall anymore wear? There are no tears in the cushions. Also the pirelli straps are dried out and hard to the touch. What seems tricky is the strapping seems to go up and around each cross member. There’s really no access to where they attach... I’d like to avoid paying the fees of a laborer and wanted to give it my own college try, but maybe it’s necessary... My first thought was to throw it up on here and get all y’all talented opinion. I know this is kind of up your ally spanky, lief and many many more :) So any and all comments are welcome. I just couldn’t pass this thing up at the cost.

Thanks in advance!!


Help with my Illum Wikkelsø V11!!
1960 - 1969


- 24 Jan 2018

I can't help you with the leather conditioning at all but I can tell you that any decent upholsterer can refill or replace the down cushions.

As for the webbing, I'm not sure what you mean when you say it goes "up and around each cross member." Webbing is almost always fastened to the top surfaces of the seat frame. So yes, that means if there is upholstery material over that, then it has to be removed to get at the webbing. This is an accepted part of restoration and it doesn't devalue the piece (except for maybe a very small group who prefer saggy, unrestored seats to ones that are actually comfortable!) Of course it should be done correctly, and that might be very fussy work if there is old leather involved that you want to preserve. It's not really a job for a novice.

- 24 Jan 2018

From here the backs AND seats look like a straight feather-down fill. If there aren't broken-down foam cores in the seats, then there's no problem with the fills; the soft feel simply has a correspondingly soft look. Just fluff and regularly rotate the cushions, and seat them properly in the frame. Holding the cushions above the ground and dropping them to the floor helps to get some air up through the settled fills. Usually they're channeled. From what I can see, I would guess that new standard foam cores would be a serious downgrade from the original. Luxury feather-down's not supposed to look tight. The underlying seat deck's gotta be tight, of course. If the original straps still support you, though, I don't know why you would change them.

Dr. Tork's Leather Master is an industry-respected leather treatment product; for what it's worth at least one large Scandinavian manufacturer packages it with all their leather goods.

- 26 Jan 2018

Thanks for the response guys. While I agree the sofa looks best when it has a soft and lose feel the cushions do have to be filled a tad more. The straps are sagging at a rate that’s fairly uncomfortable. I think it’s worth getting it professionally done and spending what needs to be spent to try and restore.

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