Two of a kind

Learning the noble art of traditional upholstery continues to be both hugely challenging and incredibly rewarding. However, it turns out that creating a number of matching chairs is a whole different skill in itself! So back in the summer, I brought two dining chairs into college to work on together.

Great legs

These chairs are Victorian balloon backs with cabriole legs and some beautiful carving. This style of chair dates from about 1840, so they are approximately 150 years old.










In order to create two matching seats, you have to apply each layer of upholstery to both the chair frames, weighing the stuffing and constantly measuring the height as you go.













Woman on the edge…

Stitching is one of my favourite elements of traditional upholstery – it creates a firm edge, gives a seat its shape – and its key to creating two seats that look the same!

DSCF3896 DSCF3905







A matching pair

Using traditional upholstery methods and materials on these antique chairs means that they not only look beautiful, but will now have many, many more years of life in them yet. And they look pretty darn matching too!20141101-234935.jpg


  1. Beautiful job on the balloon backed chairs. I’ve just bought four similar chairs. The upholstery is in good shape except for the sear fabric which is inappropriate. I really love the fabric on these two chairs. Can you tell me who makes it and if I will be able to buy some? I’d be very grateful for a reply. Thank you. Marian

  2. Hi Marian! Thanks for your kind comment. I just bought a metre of the fabric from a local shop in Brighton. It was on a roll so nothing particularly designer! Thought it suited the style of chair whilst remaining contemporary. It is designed for light upholstery though which was fine for my purposes, but you might find not hard wearing enough for every day use. I can find out more details this weekend if you are still interested.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s