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Reupholster a Vintage Sofa in Delaware

Posted on February 8, 2014 at 7:50 PM

This sofa contains great features - most notably a reed bundle arm stump transitioning off into a continuous rope-twist surround.  It also suffered the ravages of time and wear.  The foundation materials holding the springs in the deck and back had dry rotted and collapsed in places.  The center leg was lost and the outer fabric was worn through.

Vintage Sofa Before

Sprucing up the wood frame was first.  After cleaning the old finish and coloring in the deeply worn spots, a glaze layer freshened the color and some satin lacquer revived the finish.  The seat foundation was completely removed and rebuilt with new webbing and spring ties.  The center back needed the same treatment.  Here is the sofa with the deck restored and partially upholstered with the new foundation for the back in place awaiting the padding layer.

Vintage Sofa Mid-Upholstery

New cushions were in order for the sofa.  A foam core down wrapped cushion form would maintain the shape without overly compressing while providing a plush feel.  A great deal of discussion fed the decision about the bullion (fringe) that was part of the original upholstery.  Bullion was considered.  A skirt was considered.  Nothing was considered.  Nothing won.  But the lower rail had a rabbet where the bullion attached to the frame which would show poorly.  A doubled row of gimp and nails along the lower frame would be the finish treatment.  It worked nicely.

Fully Reupholstered Vintage Sofa

Leaving fringe or a skirt off the sofa lifted it up out of the floor compared with the original treatment.  Head-to-head nails can yield a 'heavy' look, but the dull finish on the nails kept the nail lines rather sedate.  The fabric is a checkered chenille and has a slight horizontal stria that emphasizes the length of the sofa.  Great reupholstery project!  Picked up in Delaware and delivered to Maryland.


Author: James Conklin

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Categories: Furniture Upholstery, Projects, Delaware