Basement find. A Client was looking for a chair for her daughter’s nursery room. She searched stores, but to no avail could not find a chair that she liked. We had just finished upholstering a different chair for her. She informed me she was looking for a chair with a solid frame, that was comfortable and that rocked. For her daughter, that was going to have a baby. In the basement of our shop we have vintage furniture that people were either going to burn or bring to the dump. Solid wood frames, vintage lines, furniture build better then anything today. I knew of just the chair that might be perfect. I brought her to where the chair was, showed her the chair in mind. A vintage platform rocker. She took photos, sent them to her daughter. They thought it would be perfect. A few days later she brought me the fabric she wanted on the chair. I brought it up from the basement and the restoration began.
We start the restoration by first stripping the platform rocker to the frame. Taking off all the old fabric, cotton padding and the burlap. Once we are down to the just the solid wood frame. We disconnect the seat springs. So we can re-glue the main structure of the chair. Making sure the platform rocker will last another 70 years.
Now that the frame is re-glued. We attach new E. K. Clips ( clips that hold the springs in place.) Attach the seat springs. Then attach the back springs and replacing any E.K. clips that are broken. Re-building the chair like it was manufactured 70 years ago. The frame is almost ready to be upholstered. Before we can upholster, we sand and clean the wood, The client likes the look of the lighter wood so we just clear coat the wood with an acrylic finish so the wood is the natural color. The frame is solid, the arms and base are cleaned and finished. Now we begin to upholster. New burlap is stapled over the seat and the inside back of the chair. The seat cushion is put back on the chair. This original seat cushion is comprised of straw, horse hair and cotton. By reusing the original cushion verse buying new foam. The original cushion will not break down like the foam cushion. Most foam breaks down between 7 to 12 years. We do however add more cotton to the original cushion making it more comfortable. Then we add 1/2 inch Dacron over the cotton making it even more plush. The seat is upholstered first, Then the arms are upholstered. The inside back of the rocker in now upholstered. only thing left to upholster is the front band of the chair and the outside back. ( The front band is the front of the chair under the cushion.) We put new dacron and cotton on the front of the chair then the fabric. The outside back we apply dacron so the chair is padded and then we staple the fabric.
The chair is now completely restored.
Now this 70 year old platform rocker will be used and enjoyed for another 70 years.
Originally posted on August 23, 2021 @ 4:02 am