Pros and Cons about Traditional Upholstery:
- Environmental-friendly Material: horsehair, cotton, burlap…
- High resistant and durable quality.
- Long lasting time.
- Expensive. (on material cost and manual process)
Step 1: Webbing
You can do it in either way, use six strips or four strips, depending on the size of the wood frame. Also, the number of the strips is not necessary to be equal, like two vertical strips and two horizontal strips. You can do three on vertical and two on horizontal, as long as the gaps between each strip are even.
If you want to know more about the webbing step in detail, please check SEAT UPHOLSTERY post. I introduced how to do the webbing in that post.
Step 2: Burlap and Twine
Cover with the burlap on the top of the webbing and use tacks to secure the burlap. Thread the Twine both vertically and horizontally. Use your palm as the measurement, sew some “grids” on the burlap. The grids will hold the horsehair in its position in the next step.
Step 3: Horsehair
Insert the horsehair through the “grids” you just made, try to make the surface even.
Step 4: Cotton
Put a layer of cotton on the top of the horsehair.
Step 5: Muslin
Make sure the corner is neat and flat. It is better to cut off the extra fabric at the corner in order to give a clean outline.
These are basically the full steps of making an upholstered seat in a traditional way. If you want to make a box seat, the process is almost the same, except the height of the wood frame and the springs that are added between the webbing and the burlap.
Step for adding the spring: Eight Way Tie
Firstly, you need to place all springs evenly on the webbing. The (top) end of the spring should face towards to the center (see the photo).
Secondly, sew three or four spots at the bottom of the spring to the webbing to secure the spring.
Thirdly, do the eight way tie. It is too complicated to explain by words, so, I highly suggest you to see the video on Youtube, like “DIY Upholstery: Eight Way Tie Instructional“.
For the traditional upholstery and the modern upholstery, they use different materials but in the similar function:
- Tacks and hammer
- Spring and horsehair
- Staples and staple gun
- foam in various ILD
It is a good thing to know about traditional upholstery. Even though traditional upholstery cannot build a dramatic or complicated form as modern upholstery does, the nice detail and the historical temperature make it look so charming.