Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Deconstructing The Couch

 Having Mimi and my Mom in town for a week while Ken was away on business was the perfect occasion for finally tackling the reupholstering of our antique couch! We spent the first day removing the brads/tacks holding the fabric to the frame, removing the old cotton and straw stuffing, and taking the cushions down to the springs.
 We worked outside for this portion, since it was dusty and honestly, who knew what was inside that near-100 year old couch. Probably stuff we didn't really want in the house. As we found out, the contents did include numerous old-fashioned hair pins, a couple crayons, and a school picture of a boy somewhere around 7th grade.
 We needed to keep the fabric in its original shape so we could use it to cut our pieces of fabric for recovering it. It was helpful to label these pieces as they came off with a fabric pen so we knew which pattern went with which piece of the couch.
 You can see the stuffing was a mixture of very old compressed cotton and straw. Aren't my volunteers looking so happy and eager to work on the project? Oh how the first day of a big project can be so.... deceiving.
 We repeated this for the back, the arms, the front of the couch, and under the solid green fabric where the cushions sat.

 The back where the springs are tied in. As you can see- and we discovered- some of the springs needed to be re-tied with new burlap strapping before we could reupholster the couch.
 Down to the bones, and with a new coat of staining on the wood trim.
 Taking the cushions apart, again careful to keep the pattern of the fabric to cut our pieces of fabric to recover it. The seat cushions were filled with the same stuffing the rest of the couch had been.
 Pulling back the cotton and straw to reveal the burlap cover around the springs, meant to hold the springs in place and to keep the stuffing from sinking between the springs as the cushion received more wear and tear over time.
 While the burlap definitely did it's job, you can see it was really on it's last leg.
We found these tags attached the burlap casing of the cushions. Apparently our cushions were made by the Owen Silent Spring Company. I love those random fun-finds you get to make with antique furniture.

Re-tying the springs, adding the new padding, making cushions from scratch, and recovering the couch yet to come! 

Thankful for mom and Mimi for willingly coming to help tackle this project,
-Domestic in the District


  1. Can't wait to see the finished product!!

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