Finally! A post to help walk you through deconstructing. To be quiet honest, this chair was an easy one which is why I choose it for this post. The fabric was practically falling off when I found it, yay! I would say my MOST asked question is “How do you know if a chair or couch is a good candidate for deconstruction?” There is no real direct answer to that question but I can give you some things that I look for when searching for a new piece to deconstruct.
So, I found this piece at a flea market right after entering the gate. It was sturdy, old, original fabric AND the fabric was falling off – BONUS! It was also a bargain so I had to have it!
See. Lots of water stains on the cushion which I actually just threw away. I started by ripping off the piping which usually is a pain but since this chairs fabric was loose to begin with it, hardly took any effort. I started the piping by inserting scissor tips under the piping to create a gap. From there I just pulled it off. Actually, I only used scissors this ENTIRE project. No staple remover or tack remover needed – yeah! It pays to find old original fabric pieces.
Underneath the piping is tacks. which were also super easy to remove. There are normally lots of layers of tacks and staples as there are numerous layers of fabric, batting and burlap.
I then started to remove the seat area. Always try and peel back layer by layer so you don’t ruin any existing muslin or burlap underneath. You will want to preserve what’s hopefully in great condition underneath. Its best when you can use what was already existing on the chair as it adds to the charm of deconstruction. I just lightly inserted sharp scissor tips in to the first layer of top fabric and stared to pull with my hands to see what was underneath.
After all the bottom seat fabric, stuffing and horse hair ( GAG ) was removed, I started on the back. Again, with only scissors lightly cutting a small hole into that first layer of fabric and then ripping lightly from there.
This was the muslin layer BUT it was kinda gross still. There was actually two more layers under the one shown so I finished removing those and exposed the very last layer of muslin which was in perfect condition.
After removing the little arm pad fabric and batting, I decided to take it all the way down to wood because there was horse hair sticking out of the muslin.
The back had a layer of fabric and a thin layer of batting. So again, being super careful, I made a small hold in the top fabric and the cut around as close to the wood as possible.
I did the same to the back and the remaining side. I can say after deconstructing furniture for over a year this is probably the easiest deconstructed chair I have ever done. So just find an old chair with original fabric and hopefully yours will be just as easy.
We took a snack break before wiping all the wood down with Murphys Oil Soap.