I just wrapped up my first class at Upholstery on Broadway. I had been looking for a class to take for the last two years but the hours offered by another school did not work with my schedule. So on a whim, I googled upholsters with the intention of calling each shop in a 10-mile radius from me and asking for a private class. Then I found a little website for a shop in Arlington that not only offered classes a ten minute drive from me but also offered weekend classes! The shop is tiny, cute and bustling with activity. Pamela and Kevin (the master upholsterer) are kind, funny and such great teachers. I brought in one of my Kennedy chairs (we found them on the side of the road in Cape Code last summer) and stripped poor little Jackie down to the bones. The stripping took a couple of hours on and off over a week. The chairs were solidly built and not in bad shape save for the salmon colored fabric but the insides were cheap-o. I replaced the plastic webbing that was originally used with some beautiful jute like webbing. The difference in quality and strength was staggering.
I used some old springs and learned how to do an 8-way tie. It was so time consuming but well worth it. Just a couple of improvements in quality materials and the chair went from feeling like a cheap run of the mill wing back to something worth keeping.
I tacked some burlap over the springs.
Some rubberized horsehair over the springs...
Some cotton over the rubberized horsehair...
And finally some edge roll on the front arm panels and foam on the seat.
This is how far I got on my little Jackie. I did miss two classes so I think I could have made even more progress on the chair in one session. I plan to enroll in another class in the Fall after Pamela and Kevin (the owners) re-open after summer break. I am going to strip and do a little coil tying on Jack over the summer and if all goes as planned, these babies will be sitting at the heads of our Thanksgiving table.
If you have been considering taking an upholstery class, I strongly recommend Pamela and Kevin and their little shop, Upholstery on Broadway.