Interior UPHOLSTERY TECHNIQUES -Tips and guidance


The details of stitching and fitting covers depend on the style of the chair or the shape you are covering, but there are some general principles which apply to any shape. The most important rule is to make a careful note of how the original cover, was fitted, including the positioning of webbing and springs, so that you can reassemble the chair in the same way. 

Keep the original fabric-covering for use as a pattern when you come to cut the new fabric. Always include a generous turning allowance so that you have plenty of fabric to grip as you stretch it in place. It can always be trimmed if necessary. If you plan to tackle more involved upholstery techniques, you may find it easier to use a staple gun to fit the fabric to the frame.


To attach springs, first fit a basket work of webbing to the underside of the chair frame (rather than the top, as described for dining chairs). Position the springs on the webbing; center them at the points where the strips of webbing cross. Stitch the springs to the webbing intersections. The springs are then lashed in place with twine. Drive tacks half way into the frame at the end of each row of springs. Tie the twine to the tacks and thread the twine across the top of each spring to the other side of the frame. Hammer the nails in to hold the twine firmly. The springs should be slightly compressed. Cover with a layer of hessian, tacking it to the top of the rails and stitching it to the springs again with twine.

Continue as for an un-sprung seat. 2 To make a rolled edge, an extra layer of fabric is included in the stuffing. The horsehair is held in place with a layer of scrim (hessian type fabric), which is fitted to the lower edge of the rails. Around the edge of the seat, stitch the scrim to enclose a roll of stuffing. Topstitch the roll in place, enclosing stuffing in the roll made by the stitches. Fasten the thread at one corner of the chair with a couple of backstitches and then grip a roll of stuffing through the scrim at the outer edge of the seat. Stitch it in place with a row of topstitching, angling the needle as you stitch so that the lines of stitching are almost continuous on both sides of the roll. The stitches should hold the roll firmly in place over the edge of the frame. 

The next step is to use more stuffing to pad the center of the chair inside the roll, holding it to the scrim with bridle ties. Then cover with calico, wadding and the top cover as before. When covering a chair with an upholstered back and/or arms, always start with the seat section of the upholstery, stretching the webbing to hold padding or springs.

Normally, the back (and arm) sections have a hessian backing only: no webbing is needed to hold the stuffing in place. Leave the hessian backing untracked across the lower back edge when you fit it. This enables you to fit the seat covering to the back of the back rail. Fit webbing and springing to the seat, then fit hessian over the springs. Fit the stuffing and form a rolled edge on the seat of the chair, then finish the calico cover, wadding and main cover on the: them firmly to the outside of the b Fit stuffing to the back of the extra bridle ties, and finish with front.

To neaten the back of the cushion: need a panel of fabric shaped to 2.5 cm turning all round. Pre-turning and slipstitch the panel in the sides and top of the chair, fit to the back of the chair as for the calico To anchor the stuffing to knock tacks halfway into the frail tie loops of twine between the nails in to hold the twine and horsehair under the loops in the s described for bridle ties. The stuff place with scrim tacked to the frail. You will have to make pleats arc of a shaped arm or back.

The roll a back is stitched in place as for tl more horsehair laid over the before the calico cover is fitted. The gusset has to be slip stitched in place way as for the back of the chair.