Upcycled Military Chairs
Sometimes it’s so hard to find gifts for the special people in your life. Especially if it’s to celebrate a monumental occasion like retirement. We were approached by a couple back in early 2018 about the potential of recovering two wingback chairs in Military uniforms. Her husband was currently in the Army, but would retire that summer. What an amazing way to commemorate such a career.
We were really excited to be given the opportunity to work on such a creative project. In the 30 years of Sewline, we haven’t had the honor to do such a request. I have definitely seen chairs like these floating around Pinterest, it’s always fun when customers come, it would be such a great inspiration. The best part is that these chairs are very adaptable for uniform, whether it represents the RCMP, Paramedic or maybe your grandfathers go to suit. These chairs are very popular in the UK, and they are making their way to Medicine Hat. What a perfect way to create such a memorable conversation piece for your home or office.
Why leave your retired uniform in the back of a closet, when it can be made into the main statement piece. Plus, being able to upcycle an old chair in the process as well as having a cozy place to enjoy a good book or coffee. Contact us today for more information on how we can truly make you a custom piece.
Is Upholstery Right for You?
We often get asked, “Do you think our furniture is worth upholstering?” Unfortunately, that’s not a question we can answer. I mean, there is furniture that is horrible quality, to begin with; in that case, it might not be worth it. Maybe the frame is damaged and it’s not worth fixing. We will tell you otherwise. But if you’re considering upholstery these are a few things to think about:
Comfort and Size
If you have been considering upholstery, there is a good chance that you have been out to the stores looking at new products. We have many customers who say that they are unable to find a new couch that would fit in the space as their current one does. Or they are finding that the new couches don’t sit like their current one because of their height. Many times you have a piece that just works for what you need, it’s comfortable and fits perfectly in your space but you just can’t find the proper replacement.
Sentimental or “Brings You Joy”
Many pieces we work on are antiques that have been passed down generations. We have worked on pieces brought over from Europe in the 1800s and they still belong in the same family. A lot of times these items have been recovered a time or two - some have never been touched. You also might find yourself thrifting and spot a chair that reminds you of one that your grandma had and it takes you back to a beautiful memory. For whatever reason, these pieces “spark joy” (note the Marie Kondo reference) and they are worth reupholstering because they mean something to you. Heck, you could recover them in a similar fabric so it looks like nothing has changed or breathe new life into them with a modern print.
There is a lot of talks these days about reducing consumption and waste. It is known that in the US (2009) the EPA reported that 9.8 million tons of household furniture were accounted for as waste. (Source: PlanetSave) That includes kitchen chairs, couches, chairs, ottomans, pillows, office chairs, etc. That is A LOT of stuff, all of which we can recover and make new, if not, better.
So, if you’ve read through this and you find yourself nodding your head to one, if not all, points, you have a piece worthy of upholstery. Now your next question will be about cost. Check out the next post to find out more.
This particular set came from the family cabin in Cypress Hills, Saskatchewan. They are referred to as his and hers set as they are similar but different. Generally, one is said to look more “feminine” and one more “masculine”, hence the name. These chairs came to us with significantly worn wood. We work closely with our wood refinisher, who is located in Maple Creek, SK, to achieve the finished look you are going for.
Ennis Fabrics - Jeffery - Indigo
Why Is Upholstery So Expensive?
Now you have decided that your piece is worthy of being reupholstered, you are probably wondering about the cost. Upholstery is a custom service, so we don’t have set pricing. Each quote is unique to the piece needing work; size and style always play a part in your final price.
Now, you might be saying to yourself, “I could buy a brand new piece for that price.” In most cases this is true, but assembly line upholstery is completely different from custom upholstery. Lower-grade products are being used, which means the piece will deteriorate sooner, causing you to replace it a lot sooner. The care and detail that is put into custom upholstery will last years, if not generations. With the throw-away society that we live in, reupholstery is a wonderful way to make a tiny impact, especially if you have shopped new products and seen what’s out there and nothing is calling to you.
Perhaps you have that sentimental piece that means something to you. You need to decide how much you value your piece.
Upholstery is a completely custom. Your project is generally completed by one upholsterer from start to finish. From ripping it apart to making a custom pattern and adding any other custom features you would like. The quality of the product and service that you are receiving from us will out-live most furniture you can buy.
If you would like a quote, click here.
How to Pick Fabric?
If you haven’t been into our showroom before, you might be looking at this photo like “WOW! How do I pick just one fabric? Where do I start?” This is something we hear often, but we are here to help. Here is a break down on how we help you make the right choice:
We have many different types of material. Automotive, marine, utility, drapery, light upholstery and many more. We always discuss the use of the piece. Which can take 300 books down to 100 or 20 to pick through.
Your budget is the biggest impact on your fabric choice. If you’re trying to be very budget-friendly we might show you our in-stock fabric, depending on the size of your project. In-stock fabric can start as low as $3/yrd and our special order fabric can range from $29/yrd to well over $200/yrd. We carry many brands including well-known designer brands like Maxwell, Kravet, and Robert Allen.
Whether you’re looking for a pattern, a texture, or a solid, we will know which books to show you. Thankfully, most companies keep different styles separate. They also like to mix patterns and solids in books to help show fabrics that complement each other.
A lot of our books are colour coded so we can easily show you books that will match or complement what you’re looking for if you are matching a fabric to other pieces in your home like paint, other fabric, or accents. We welcome you to bring the items in with you, as well as any photos you have for inspiration. Make sure you have some time when you come, it can be a little overwhelming and sometimes you just have to go through every book. If you have limited time you can leave the swatches with us and we can come up with books that will work for you and your space too.
It’s a huge decision to make the right choice, so we always encourage you to take books home and make sure the fabric is perfect for your space. Our staff is here to recommend the best fabric for your style of furniture whether it's mid-century modern or an ottoman from the 90s. We are here to help.
If you need some inspiration, make sure to check us out on Pinterest.