Upholstery 101: Cotton & Foam

I hope you all had a lovely weekend and that my east coast friends are prepared and safe for Sandy over the next couple days! I’m not really sure what this storm will bring out here, but my prayers go out to everyone that’s been effected so far and those that will get hit over the next few days.

Matt and I have done a few basics, and maybe it’s wishful thinking, but I’m hoping that it’s not as bad as the media hype. We’re prepared and safe with water, cans of soup, flashlights & a gas stove (always a plus when electricity goes out). Really, though, I’m sitting here hoping that the storm clears up enough for me to go to my second to last upholstery class before we leave for Michigan! It’s fabric week and I’m pretty pumped to put it all together. Matt and I chose a burlap-y fabric with blue strips to match the vintage feel of our bedroom, and although it took me a long time to commit, I think it will be great. Plus we got some extra fabric to make a few pillows to tie everything together!

I wanted to share my progress last week on the cushion! After the springs this was, thankfully to my self-esteem, pretty intuitive and fun to see the actual chair take form. As my instructor said, “congratulations, you have a chair!”

Padding tips:

1. If you look at my first picture, you actually put two layers of sheet cotton on in the shape of the padding. The first is the smallest, then you add a larger piece and then the largest is the foam. You do this to help make a slightly curved shape to the padding.

2. After the cotton, you add the foam. You cut the foam to shape about a half an inch larger than the padding. When you staple it on, you slightly roll the foam over so you’re just stapling the top edge. Make sure you are lighter with the nail gun otherwise you’ll staple right through the foam!

3. After you get the foam on, cut it to size and add a sheet of cotton overtop (no attachment necessary)

4. Cut a piece of muslin in a square that it larger than the space you need to stretch. Put a few tacks on the top, sides and bottom before you start filling one section. This is where the magnetic hammer really came in handy (especially since I was stretching the fabric over the top of my chair and had to hammer from the side). Make sure the fabric is pretty tight and smooth when you’re done, and watch your fingers!

5. Following a similar process as the tacks, staple a few on the top, sides, bottom before you fill in. Having the muslin will apparently help when putting on the fabric. Cut the fabric to size with a blade when you’re finished!

6. As you can see from my picture, the seat of the chair needs a lot of cotton. First fill in the edges and then start tearing and packing pieces of cotton. I thought I was finished once I covered it the first time but ended up needing about twice as much! Really pack and push with you’re hands and make sure you can’t feel the springs before you move on.

7. Add two layers of the cotton in the sheet form and then put on the foam in the same fashion as the back padding! At this point, the instructor sat on my chair to make sure he couldn’t feel the springs and we added a couple more layers of sheet cotton on top.

8. You’ll cut and tack the muslin on in the same fashion! I didn’t finish this last week, but it’s the same process as above!

Take a peak at a few of the pictures:



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