Making repairs and doing upholstery on Antique Swedish Gustavian Dining Chairs

We have recently been asked by a client to repair and reupholster their antique swedish gustavian dining chairs and antique swedish gustavian sofa. 

Over the years, all antique swedish furniture will take knocks and bangs and just general wear and tear especially if there are kids involved and this can both tear the upholster and weaken the frame and structure.

So I thought it might be useful to slay a few myths about repairing your favourite antiques.

Repairs

First off, it takes a very high level of craftsmanship to properly repairs furniture and chairs - the number of times we have received previously 'repaired' chairs for example where the so called 'repairer' had just sunk a random screw into the frame to hold it together splitting wood and changing the stress profile of the frame.

You have to have a real understanding of how the original sofa or chair was constructed as very often you will have to separate joints and do some fairly major surgery just to repair a small break or split.

Here's a good example - clients often wonder why a separated joint on a chair can be expensive to fix - so lets assume its an upholstered  seat with a webbed bottom.

To fix an open joint, you have to completely remove the seat pad and the webbing underneath from the frame. then you need to take the frame apart on the side where the open joint is.

Next you drill and dowel the joint and then clamp the joint in place with wood glue. Taking a  chair apart and dowling /gluing/clamping can take the best part of a day and then if you have to restore chips or missing pieces of wood or carving then thats extra work and time on top - this is why many restorers prefer not to work on chairs at all as its easy for the individual repair cost per chair to be fairly high in relation to its value.

Once the frame is solid, and you have filled or repaired any missing wood then you need to of course completely rebuild the seat which can take another full day.

So next time we will look at how you create the perfect antique swedish gustavian chair seat

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