A Challenging Restoration

February 8, 2018


We are ever willing to rise to a challenge, and I think that you will agree that this old armchair fulfills that criteria. When we bought it from the auction I think that we were generally thought to be a little "crackers", however we had noticed that this was made by Ercol and a little checking suggested that it dates back to around mid to late 1930's. Linda had been looking for a bigger re upholstery project with which she could develop her skills., and with the sprung cushion this presented just such a "new frontier" for her. We stripped it right back to the frame, carefully documenting how it had been originally upholstered. Then I repaired the minor damage to the frame, re glued the loose joints and French Polished the exposed lower woodwork and feet. 


Next came the recovering task. As always we were keen to stick to the original materials and methods used, even avoiding the use of modern staples. We started with a layer of hessian on each arm to which was applied cotton padding and outer shell of flame retardant calico. The outer fabric was the tacked in place on both sides of each arm, ensuring a good fit and tight tension, before the whole process was repeated to the back rest and front cross member of the frame.




The sprung cushion has presented the real challenge. Removing the rotten outer casing we found a tangled network of rusty coil springs, that had once been contained in muslin pockets, now long rotted.


Each spring was removed, cleaned, and lightly oiled to remove the rust. Linda then has made individual pockets for the springs which once completed were all sewn together to make a spring matrix , all that is required now is to cover the springs in cotton waste padding, enclose them in a calico inner bag and make the "box" cushion cover from upholstery fabric. 




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