Producing these saloon-style doors was a challenge. Some pretty nifty shaping and fitting by James and cutting and pattern matching by yours truly was acheived with on these saloon-style bespoke padded doors, covered in a linen print of the Virgin Mary (customer’s fabric choice). All while ensuring that fabrics were made compliant through the use of a flame retardant barriercloth. My Thanks to Alice & James of the “Toady” boat for their custom and support. Stay blessed.
Every genuine Parker Knoll I have ever worked on carries a manufacturers stamp on the frame with a product number. This chair did not carry that stamp and so I had to treat it as a mid-century modern winged armchair in a style similar to a Parker Knoll.
As I had no idea of the true origins of the chair (make and model) I treated all the aged foams on the inside back and seat as not fit-for-purpose as I was uncertain as to their flame retardancy. Fitting new rubberised hair and medium grade foams, wrapped in polyester skin wadding was, legally, the best choice I thought I could make , ensuring the fillings didn’t exceed the shapes and thickness of the originally fitted foams.
The elastic webbing on the seat disintegrated upon removal so there was no sense trying to refit already damaged seat webs into a chair which needed new fillings and an expensive fabric top cover to be fitted. So the seat webs were upgraded to Pirelli webbing, fitted to prolong the suspension’s life within the chair.
As for the seat cushion itself; the original filling, which in itself had degraded had no protection between the original foam and it’s top cover, this would have made the seat unusable within a short period of time of constant use. Simply recovering in the manor it came in would have worn out both the seat foam and the new linen top cover , as well as not necessarily conforming to the relevant health safety & fire regs. for domestic furniture. I replaced the old foam with a medium soft grade foam, wrapped in white polyester skin wadding and stockinette, which protects the foam and the top cover from excessive wear through friction and ultra violet light (which degrades foam) while keeping all the fillings in place, having cut and shaped the foam and stitching its cover to the same size and shape as the original cushion .
My favourite aspects which I brought into the treatment and application of this wonderful fabric include the 7-colour topstitching on the seat cushion border, and the two velvet colour-coded cover buttons fitted into the inside back.
As the fabric itself was not compliant, the use of a wool safe flame retardant barriercloth was used between all of the fabric used in the chair and the fillings, additionally helping to prolong the life of the fabric from excessive wear.
My heartfelt thanks go out to Rowena Murphy who assisted me in the full re-upholstery of this statement piece.
The second of the 2 projects I completed for the 2nd BBC1 Television series of “Money For Nothing“, was a 2-seater “department store” sofa, which was saved from the rubbish tip (and potential landfill) by presenter Sarah Moore.
What started out as a concept recover working with an idea Sarah had in mind , ended up becoming (almost) a complete rip-down to the frame,repair, refurbishments , reupholstery & new concept cover.
The amount of cardboard and cheap materials used in its construction brought out the sort of language not fit for public ears , and thankfully was edited out/ “left on the cutting room floor”.
Even though I had an image in my minds eye of the overall look Sarah & I wanted to achieve it took a while for me to “get into” the overall concept.
However , I persevered and after “ripping down” removing every last piece of “rubbish” cardboard, replacing the fillings in the arms with good quality webbing, hessians, rubberised hair and new foams forming the arms. Coming up with the hand stitched leather and linen “elbow patch” arm panels and the ” raw “finished edges and leather piping and the use of a complimentary simulated suede super fabric to bring together the leather and linen elements, the rest of the sofas overall look “came into focus” fairly quickly.
Introducing nice little touches like the leather & linen scrolls on the sides of the back , and more patches finishing off the front borders’ at the corners above the rubbed down stained & beeswaxed legs, and replacing the worn out polyester fibre filled seat cushions with
high-grade, shaped ,quality foam (wrapped)cores , while at the same time making sure every element of the cover conformed to strict UK health safety & fire regulations through the use of a Flame retardent barrier cloth behind the top cover brought a rustic, raw, country feel with a superb level of comfort that thankfully, a couple were so enamoured with once they had seen and sat on it, had purchased it at Sarah’s Barnyard sale and at a “blinking good price” for the quality and labour which went into it which maybe should of sold for much more but hey, I’m just grateful that it sold at a profit which was returned to the surprised and delighted previous owner.
My heartfelt thanks go out to everyone I roped into helping me complete this particular project: Anna Frisch, Joanna Maeva, All the production team at Friel Kean Films, The Cloth Shop, my upholstery warehousemen/suppliers, Wendy Shorter, Louise at Shoreditch Design Rooms, My Dearest Louise Jinks, Nina, Jan Etoile and all my dear friends who consoled, counselled and fed me tea, biscuits, words of encouragement and support along the way.
Earlier this March as spring was beginning to show flashes of a little colour, I had the great pleasure in refurbishing and recovering a pair of Ercol’s in a lovely Svenskt Tenn Josef Frank original print from 1930’s called “Mirakel”for a wonderful customer in Walthamstow.. These took alittle longer than necessary as I added my own personal touch of stitching the seat and back cushions with a twin-needle effect in 6 colours. The final finish brought some much needed colour to the studio after the grey sky’s and torrential rain of the previous weeks.
They certainly brightened my customer’s faces upon delivery too!
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