It’s been a while since we’ve shared a chair project, mostly because we haven’t seen anything particularly novel or noteworthy come across our desks. But the richly embroidered fabric on this chair makeover — a collaboration between Niamh of Urban Threads and Jessica of Antique White — caught my eye, and I felt compelled to share it. I love not only the textural quality, but also the asymmetrical composition of the embroidered shapes. Personally, I would have left the wood unpainted, but I do appreciate the way the patterns in the wood pop in white, and I firmly believe in following one’s own desires in projects like these. The best part of this chair project is that you can re-create it yourself: The machine embroidery patterns are available through Urban Threads. Thanks for sharing, Niamh! — Kate
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The full post continues after the jump . . .
Cost: about $130 ($90 for the chair, $20 for the fabric, $20 for the thread)
Basic Steps: The embroidery designs used on this project were modified to make a bigger impact on the upholstery. Usually our largest designs are about 10 inches tall, but for this project, we enlarged them to about 17 inches and used a special thick thread called Burmilana, which gave the stitches a wonderful, textured feel even when stitched out by machine. I discovered that it creates a ton of fuzz when embroidering, though, as stitching with this stuff seems almost like stitching with yarn compared to the usually thin and synthetic embroidery thread we use.
The chair was stripped down and painted white with a spray gun, and a lot of the inside padding had to be replaced because most of it had disintegrated. After seven hours of embroidery, the fabric was ready and upholstered on the chair using a staple gun. White trim was added to the edges to cover up the staples. It was almost a happy accident that the beautiful carved curls on the wood really came to life when painted white and mimicked the style of the embroidery. It really was the perfect chair for the project!
Embroidering on upholstery is very doable and really brings a beautiful quality to the fabric. Those without an embroidery machine can always replicate the look by hand, though it would take much, much longer. The fabric should have very little stretch, as embroidering and then upholstering with fabric can easily cause wrinkles if your fabric is too stretchy. The rest was mostly careful painting and lots of patience with a staple gun to get everything stretched and smooth. — Niamh