Upholstery on the right side of the law

I knew that one day I would have to spend some time looking into the legalities and regulations that govern furniture and upholstery but quite frankly I’ve been putting it off. My excitement levels are rating somewhere close to zero when I think about reading all of the legislative documents I’ve ordered today (including the amendments made to the legislation in 1989, 1993 and 2010 – I know how to enjoy life) but its a necessary part of what I’m looking to do.

In days gone by, upholsterers and furniture manufacturers could pretty much stuff their chairs full of whatever they liked only for it to catch light at the slightest hint of a cigarette and kill anybody in the vicinity with toxic fumes from the foam fillings. Thankfully these days we’re a little more conscientious and it’s time for me to get my head around what the law is telling me to do.

So far I seem to have pieced together that for re-upholstery the fire regulations don’t apply for anything produced before 1950 but it’s considered best practice to bring them up to date. For anything later than that, I need to make sure that I’m using either a fire resistant fabric or a fire resistant lining beneath it. So far so good. Where I’m a bit confused is with the fillings – do they all need to be fire treated too? Or if they’re encased in fire resistant fabric does that meet the standard? I’m thinking about my footstool now – that has a wooden frame which isn’t fire treated but it’s totally encased in a fire resistant liner. Is that ok?

I’m hoping the legislation documents will help, but I suspect they will be written in a way that prohibits any kind of easy interpretation. Do you think there’s a ‘Fire Regs for Dummies’ book? If anyone reading this can confirm what’s what – please let me know!

Anyway, I’ve bored myself with that (if you’re still reading this, well done) so let’s move on! As promised, last weekend my Great Aunt gave me her trusty sewing machine. This was described on the phone as ‘old and in need of a service’ so I pictured something in moulded plastic from the 80’s. What I got was this:


A Husqvarna Viking! Never heard of Husqvarna? Neither had I, but after a bit of research it turns out they’re pretty big players in the sewing machine world and one of the oldest companies at that. This little Swedish wonder is from the 50’s and as it’s been owned from new by my aunt it even has its original manual and tools. I’ve been oiling it like mad today and having a practice – admittedly it’s not as user friendly as a new one, but it’s pretty heavy duty and should make light work of my tougher fabrics.

I had to share this with you too, doing a bit of research on this machine produced an image of another Husqvarna machine from the 70’s. With hints of Bauhaus and resplendent in orange, is this not the coolest sewing machine you’ve ever seen?


Am I really talking openly about cool sewing machines? I need to have a word with myself.

2 thoughts on “Upholstery on the right side of the law

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s