Adventures in Upholstery!


Doesn’t sound very exciting does it?   For the last three weeks I’ve been going to  a class in traditonal upholstery all day on Saturdays and I’m absolutely loving it.   The class takes place in a tiny village on the way to Aberfoyle – about 40 minutes drive from my home in Central Scotland.   The  workshop is a tiny schoolroom attached to the original school master’s house.   Cosy and quaint , it’s like stepping back in time, several hundred years.

In the workshop

My tutor believes in natural products, recycling materials and ethical sourcing so it is just great to use natural jute webbing and hessian, recycled flock filling and sustainable coir or horsehair.

My first project is the complete revamp of a mid century vintage rocking chair for my son and his girl friend.  This is a major starter project and great fun – post to follow as this progresses.

I also took along this  antique captain’s chair which belonged to my mum and dad as a little side project.

New webbing

Padded with coir and covered with calico
Padded with coir and covered with calico.

Hessian webbed, hessian based, stuffed with coir, covered with calico and a layer of flock, before a finally being covered with fabulous Harris tweed from the lovely people at the  Harris Tweed & Knitwear Company it has taken on a new life and a true beauty.


I am so proud of the finished result.  

The final trim which is attached with upholstery pins,  is actually bias fabric as I didn’t really see a decorative braid working well on the tweed.   The oak frame was quite dirty and tired looking after being in storage for some time.   I stripped back the dirt using wood restorer, then applied a generous coat of wood polish and oils blended.  Finally I applied two coats of Liberon natural beeswax and buffed this to a lovely burnished sheen.   The natural patina of the wood and wear to the arms etc.  still  glows through maintaining the character of this lovely old chair.


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