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moduline seat/upholstery REPAIR {torben lind ole gjerløv knudsen/france and sons]

- 15 Dec 2017 -
2 posts / 0 new

hi all,

wondering if anyone has any experience on repairing the buttons, support and stuffing for these chairs. the wood tables seem fine and the wood on the chairs is fine but the chair supports need some love.

any general or specific advice for a guy that doesn't know much about upholstery repair (if that is even the correct term for this work).

THANKS in advance



- 15 Dec 2017

I'm not familiar with these chairs but I've done a lot of upholstery repair. Unless there's something unusual in the way these are made, here's what you need to do:

1. Remove chair from frame and remove tacks or staples from the cambric, which is the thin fabric that covers the bottom. It might well get damaged during this process Then remove tacks or staples from the edges of the fabric or leather--use a tack puller or staple removing tool (the kind for upholsterers, not office workers) to do this, not some random screw driver or whatever. Do not gouge or tear the upholstery material!

2. Snip the button tufting cord and remove buttons. Note how they were tied underneath (the camera is your best friend here--photograph EVERYTHING! Later you won't remember how it's done.)

3. Peel back the fabric/leather. It looks to me like the sides of the seat have welt trim, which might mean more staples/tacks to remove. You have to strip off the entire seat to get to the webbing support under the foam. Be careful with the welt, it's stretchy and but can tear if you pull on it. Pin notes to it to mark front and sides.

4. When all tacks/staples have been removed, peel back the seat fabric and remove the foam. If it's hard and crunchy, it is latex. You could replace it with urethane foam but latex is more comfortable and of course it's almost always preferable to replace old material with the same type originally used, at least on better quality furniture. Latex does cost more, though. But worth it.

5. Remove the elastic webbing, carefully undoing whatever fastens it down. It's most likely Pirelli rubber webbing (tan in color, probably dry and cracked and lacking in stretch). Replace with the same type of webbing: attach to the rear of the frame first off the roll (do NOT measure and cut all strips before starting, because you need extra to hold on to while stretching it), stretch it, fasten. Cut with razor, do the next strip. I gauge tautness by twanging the first strip and matching the pitch with the second but you can also just mark them with a pencil once you know how much the first one is stretched. Do the side-to-side strips the same way but weave them (if woven) before anchoring the first end.

6. Replace padding materials. Fasten fabric to the seat frame. It should fit exactly the same way if you used the same thickness of foam. If it was stapled, you should use a pneumatic upholstery stapler, NOT an electric or manual staple gun. They don't fire staples in all the way on most hardwood and the staplers are heavier gauge (not good). You can also just do cut steel upholstery tacks but do get good quality ones and also get a $5 tack hammer from the hardware store, way better than a claw hammer.

7. Reattach buttons in the same way as they were originally. Use button tufting cord; it's made to last. Get the tension the same on each button. Find a video on how to thread the upholstery needle with the button and how to insert it and all that. It's a visual thing, not hard to explain but way easier to understand with a visual.

8. Replace cambric and fasten the same way as before. Most cambric these days is a nonwoven synthetic. If that's what was on your furniture originally, great. If not, look for woven cotton cambric. If you can't find it, woven cotton sold as quilt fabric is the closest substitute. Stretch it evenly and staple or tack the folded edges as neatly as possible.

If this sounds too complicated---and it does require a certain level of skill---have a pro do it. Just be sure to specify that you want the exact same look that the chairs had originally (bring pics), do NOT strip off any material before taking them in (so that the upholster can see how these were done and just copy it). Most upholsterers do not stock latex foam but it can be ordered online cut to size (google it).

This is not a quick project. If you're inexperienced but super meticulous and methodical in general, you might be able to a pretty good job of it. But if you have doubts, don't attempt it. I've seen lots of DIY upholstery that is sub par, and with good furniture you want it to be just right, whether it's you who's going to be living with it for the next however many years or if you're doing it in hopes of getting a better price when selling.

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