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Memories are made of .... fabric

A few months ago I received an interesting request. Could I come and remove a loved material from a large family sofa? This is not something I have ever been asked to do, but it made perfect sense. With family grown up and now going their own way, the sofa was going too, but without its top cover. Choosing a fabric twenty years ago had obviously been emotionally charged and new uses for the material would be found. For me this was a much easier job than expected - the sofa cover was a very well tailored loose cover! I needed help to turn over the settee to access the bottom - and pulling apart the velcro was not challenging but a lot of fun! In the end a heavy bundle of fabric and a small antique side chair came back to the workshop.

The initial plan was to find a piece of the fabric large enough to upholster the little chair seat; a simple recover project. But first I needed to unpick the unweildy cover. This task helped me to identify where the fabric is worn, faded, and find pieces that could be easily reused. But it wasn't a 'simple recover project'. Unfortunately when the top fabric came off the chair two snapped springs popped up! Not a big problem, and my client agreed to the additional work.

The lovely claw and ball front feet were dry, not beautifully patinated like the wooden arms with many years of hands keeping the wood naturally conditioned. It took a little feeding with wood oils and polishing and the feet and legs found their original charm. New webbing, springs and stuffings prepared the seat for its valuable new cover fabric. Now a piece of history will remain within the family in this antique side chair. What a lovely way to cherish memories.

December 2020


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