Posts Tagged ‘upholstery’

Louis XVI  upholstery seatThe shape and build of the stuffing are obviously an important stage in upholstered furniture as it will differ between an OK upholstery and a perfect upholstery job. A major phase in a successful work. The choice is not only in the measure but in the supplies used, the amount and where it is placed should be determined by the shape of the frame.

If the upholsterer has not done a good job, you will see it. In any case, time will tell!

Each period in time such as Louis XIII, Louis XIV, Louis XV,… Empire and so on, has its own style, the wood frame is either straight or with curves, painted, gilded, carved with decorative elements (organic and/or animal, or instrumental) specific to a particular style.

Century ago, upholsterer made the upholstery according to the frame they had in the front of them. Natural fillings such as curled hair, coir, fiber and wool felts are replaced by foam of various density and thickness. Putting too much or too little filling on a chair seat will change the look of that piece. Loosing up the lines on a wing chair in the stuffing can spoil the effect of the item. Each piece of work is different from another, and density, height and proportion have a bearing on the work as it progresses.

Today, we are looking at Louis XVI furniture.

Chairs and settee were upholstered either with Aubusson or Beauvais tapestry, designed and shaped specially to fit the back. Beautiful silks, brocades, lampas and satin striped fabrics with delicate pastel tones were the trend during the late 18 C, with some exceptions of single bright colors.

Louis XVI furniture upholstery

Lets look at the volume of the stuffing in a chair.

The height of the seat is given by the base of the console holding the armrest. The padding needs to be firm. It is an art in handling and working with natural fillings and as a fact with foam too. it begins with the ability to measure the amounts of stuffing by feel, and progress through set methods to create an even thickness and a density to suit each piece.

How to upholster the seat of  Louis XVI armchair

The inside arms is a place where the volume is necessary, also it brings comfort and gives a visual harmony to the ensemble as the stuffing follows the line of the frame.

Furniture upholstery on Louis XVI armchair by Eric Thoman

The armrests are often too skimpy and most of the time nonexistent. The angular wood frame dictate the shape of arm pads. The fabric on this armchair is a pale green glazed linen.

How to upholster a Louis XVI armchair

Louis XVI  armchair upholstery

back of a bergere Louis XVI,If  frames decide the volume of the upholstery, we can say that Louis XVI have upholstery edge shapes the size of the pinky finger. The key is good proportion, keep a balance between upholstered areas and the surrounding framework. Any artist, maker of all have the same challenge.

Louis XVI upholstery on a George Jacob armchair in the Cabinet de la Reine Marie-Antoinette, Versailles.

Chateau_Versailles_furniture pholstery

Chateau de Versailles, petit appartement de la Reine

Louis XVI furniture

Settees and armchairs Louis XVI

settee and armchairs Louis XVI with floral tapestries.


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This large ottoman stands in the middle of my sitting room and I enjoy it much everyday. It is a great alternative to a table and serves several purpose, I rest my feet at the end of the day, I also enjoy sitting around the upholstered furniture sharing a cup of coffee with my wife and friends, display books on the ottoman, but mostly appreciate how it fits so well in the room with it’s unique shape and colorful fabric. I thought you would enjoy too.

Ottoman upholstered by Eric Thoman in Austin TXAs you might have guest, the ottoman has a shape of a club with 4 equal lobes surrounded by a large twisted ramp finished with two different ropes.

Large upholstery twisted ramp around an ottoman

Ottoman upholstered by Eric ThomanThe fabric on the top is a “cannele” in French, named after it’s own special weave, made from silk with the pattern repeat of 34  inch.
I cut four widths with the same pattern and saw them in diagonal to get four triangles. The buttons are made in a deep  red taffeta which is also use on the side.

Ottoman design by Eric Thoman with  club shaped top

The ottoman’s dimension across is 58 inch with a height of 19 inch.

Dimension of the ottoman 58 inch across

Now that you have seen the finish product, lets start from the beginning and look at the previous stages before the upholstery. Just the wood frame cut to the desire shape for the top part of the ottoman,

Wood frame for a club shape ottoman

the second sheet of wood to make the case with the upholstered ramp

Upholstered ramp with damask fabric

 and last the sheet of foam perforated with hole.

Foam on the ottoman, upholstery by Eric Thoman  of Texas

See you soon for another upholstery on…

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