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Re-upholstering a Vintage Chair: Let's Talk Fabrics

April 9, 2018

Selecting fabric is a combination of art and science.  For a vintage, painted chair such as the one I'm re-upholstering, I knew it would probably get medium to light use.  I wasn't so worried about selecting something with a lot of "double rubs", a measurement of a fabric's resiliency.  So, I focused my attention only on fabrics developed for medium use.  Then, I knew I wanted a blue color way, which complements the aged gray chalk paint.  I started looking at some daring prints, graphic stripes, vaguely ethnic stylized argyle forms, "mod" circular flowers and even a tie-dye look. To hit all bases I went back into the past to consider a French toile du jouy in blue and white.  I thought about who would use this little seat.  I settled on a quite feminine woman, maybe at a dressing table or as a side chair in a bedroom or sitting room.  To have selected a bold, graphic print, I'd be going for contrast -- the feminine curves of the ladder back and chair legs contrasting with angular, bohemian or ethnic patterns.  Instead, I settled on a delicate, embroidered, floral pattern in pale blues, greens and creams.  The fabric content was cotton and polyester == not extravagant and easy to clean.  I found a cream braid trim to go around the base of the new seat to cover the new tacks and staples.  It's a bit old-fashioned and sweet, I think, like the person who might use this chair.  Next up:  cutting the fabric and sewing!

 

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