I have debated whether or not I should post what I’m about to post . . .
As with most things in life, upholstery is comprised of the good, the bad and the ugly. A long-forgotten chair may have Good bones. Its current state may look pretty Bad and certainly you come across a whole gamut of Ugly. But what you may not be aware of is the disgusting. In fact, if you knew the history of certain pieces of furniture, you squeamish types may find yourselves standing up an awful lot.
Some friends of ours had given us this chair several years ago. Its frame is so sweet and I could envision the final outcome as being just darling. But the fabric was already torn and the horsehair stuffing oozing out. So I dragged my feet tackling it because I knew it would be a full-on reconstruction. Here it is looking sad and crying out for help:
Now, here’s where it becomes controversial. This just might be TMI for some of you. I knew that between being stored in a barn at my friend’s place and in my garage loft for years with the horsehair stuffing exposed, that the chances of there being evidence of mice was pretty high. I inherited a PHOBIA of rodents from my mother that should prevent me from even being in this business. But the thrill and satisfaction of a complete furniture transformation overrides that, I guess. I had no idea how much evidence I would find.
|Just what I expected . . . chewed-through burlap and tell-tale droppings.|
|I wasn’t expecting the sheer volume of filth and excrement. I almost jumped ship at this point.|
|Here’s me with an expression that reads — “Really?”|
Let me just say that I’ve never stripped and cleaned a frame so well. Every bit of stuffing was tossed, the frame vacuumed and I started from scratch. I share this to illustrate just how committed and dedicated this new generation of upholsterers is to keeping this craft alive. It’s not glamorous, it’s not fun all the time and it definitely borders on the need for a HazMat suit at times. But it is fulfilling — on many levels. You can’t argue with a finished product like this:
So the next time you look at the price tag of a one-of-a-kind piece of reupholstered furniture, just remember there’s more to its history than meets the eye. Before the clean, specially selected fabric went on, the bulk of the craftsman’s work had been done. And if all you see is a fresh, balanced, solid piece — then the craftsman’s work has been done well.