Day four of the course

I’m right on track with where I need to be and ready for my fifth and final day – if I don’t finish my chair by 5 tomorrow then I’m not going home until it’s done! I won’t tell my tutor, Richard that just yet as I’m sure he has plans for the weekend that don’t involve me.

Today I finished the stitching by adding my ‘edge roll’, a stitching run that goes through the side and out of the top of the pad, pinching the filling beneath and pulling against the underside of the hessian to form a really firm top edge – this is after all where a chair will see most pressure and wear. I was glad to pass the leather gloves to fellow student Dawn, who is just beginning her own stitched project. She can join Penny, Leanne and myself in the ‘blistered finger club’.

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With this done I added a thin layer of hair to add a softer feel to the seat and even out any small imperfections beneath, then a layer of cotton wadding went on top to cushion and soften further. These are pulled tight under a layer of calico so although they will smooth out very minor dips or bumps, flaws in your over all shape will show through – another lesson in getting the early stuff right.

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Finally, the calico goes on with skewers (my new favourite tool!) and can be adjusted and tensioned so that the shape and feel is just right – remembering of course that there is now only a thin layer of polyester padding left before the final top cover goes on

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The other thing I’m really chuffed with are my corners, I went for double or ‘tulip’ pleats as I tried these on the hare-chair but wasn’t quite satisfied. Richard took the time to talk me through the options and helped me to produce corners I can be proud of! With the calico tacked off and trimmed, this is where I finished:

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A massive step forward from anything I’ve done before and a shining example of where there’s no substitute for spending time learning from an expert.

Tomorrow I’m finishing at 5 (hopefully with completed chair under my arm!) and embarking on the long drive back to the Midlands. My final update, and of course the big reveal(!) will probably be on Saturday. Watch this space!

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