Some of you may remember one of my posts from last year when I revealed my latest creative venture / adventure - upholstery. Well the love affair is still going strong and I am on my fourth project, but I realised the other day when I was merrily stripping, (a chair, not me), that I never gave an update on Brenda's chair. So this is what it used to look like:
Brenda was a very close family friend of my Brother-in-Law's, and when she passed away last year, he, together with her son and my Sister had the task of clearing her home of all her worldly possessions; a sad and depressing task for anyone. They very kindly gave me this chair, and another later chair, to reupholster. I say they gave it to me but it has such history that I feel more like a custodian than the owner! But I was very excited about the prospect of rejuvenating this piece. So I took it along to the workshop.
And this is what it looked like half way through:
The chair caused much excitement amongst my fellow upholsterers because it was a genuine 'Utility' chair. Utility furniture was produced during and just after the Second World War when materials were scarce. The furniture was supplied under strict rationing to newly-weds or those people whose homes had been destroyed by the bombings. Many of the styles were Arts and Crafts inspired, which was what attracted me to this chair - the lovely lines of the arms, without getting too technical or arty, they are almost organic! So, as you can imagine, I had second thoughts about interfering with this little bit of history, but the original fabric was very poor. I tried to retain as many of the interior bits as possible but a few things were beyond repair after seventy years of wear and tear. I had to replace the cushion completely because it had lost all its bounce, but the main body of the chair was in fairly good condition. I used a lovely natural linen mix fabric from Laura Ashley called Lilacs for my top covering, and natural calico underneath.
Anyway, I am very pleased with the finished product. After the initial embarrassment of my 1970s bedroom stool, Brenda's chair was a triumph!