Name: Corset (Ottoman)

Year: 2017 Summer

Size: 20x20x17 in

Material: Wood, foam and muslin/leather

Furniture is related to human being both physically and emotionally. It is the object that people see, touch, interact the most frequently. The intense and romantic relationship between furniture and people attracts me and brings me an inspiration: The female’s waist.

Different from the male’s, the female’s waist usually has a more significant curve due to the fertility and the curve could be even more exaggerated by wearing a corset. So, I did some research on different types of corsets. I adapted some elements like the fish bone skeleton and the cross bandage and put them into the ottoman design drawing.

I made the first version in muslin and redo the ottoman in leather. Compare to the two types of fabric, muslin is more tolerant on mistakes and allows you to make changes over and over again. Leather, however, is the opposite. Once there is a stitch on the leather, it is almost impossible to remove the mark. Besides, muslin could be extended a little and be able to remove the fold on the edge. But the fold from the leather could be noticed easily and extremely difficult to hide away.

Making Process

Basically, the ottoman is wrapped in several layers: wood box, the medium density foam, the low density foam, a layer of the polypropylene cotton and the outside fabric. I will explain the process more detailed in the Ottoman Making.

It is really important that you figure out the dimension of all materials before making an ottoman. The final dimension of an ottoman is affected by the size of the wood box, the thickness of foam, cotton and the fabric. The trickiest thing of an upholstered product is that the height will change when people sit on it. So, you need to think carefully about the thickness of the foam you want.

( A small tip on selecting foam: Foam could be categorized in different densities: low, medium and high. It becomes softer and more comfortable to sit when the density of the foam gets lower. However, the low density foam could be compressed a lot which would affect the height of the ottoman.)

The most challenging part of the making process is to sew the fabric. The ottoman is vertically symmetrical, so, I cut two larger pieces of fabric for the front and the back, then seven pieces of fabric on one side and mirrored the shape to the other side. The sewing is so complex and I revise the stitches for about eight times.