Deck and director’s chairs
Deck chairs are a simple combination of fabric and wood, a construction that folds neatly away. They have a timeless quality and a modest structure that have endured for many years. However, it is difficult to disassociate them from their exterior environments of beach, garden or on board a ship, although they can look wonderful in a large children’s room or bathroom.
A director’s chair has much the same feel as a deck chair, but because of its higher seat and more obvious ‘chair-like’ qualities, it is useful in informal settings in the home. For deck chairs, director’s chairs and other folding chairs, the seat and back are made from pieces of fabric slung between two bars, and attaching it to the frame could not be simpler. The method for fitting new fabric depends on the design of the chair and whether the frame needs to be, or can be, taken apart. Where ‘sleeves’ of fabric can be made, these are ideal for sheathing the bars of the frame for seat and back, but where the design does not allow for this, fabric can be attached by stretching it around the bars on either side of the seat or back, and then stapling it to the outer edges with a heavy-duty staple gun.
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Covers for seating
Traditional striped canvas can provide a whole new lease of life for ancient deck-chair frames. In this instance, mixing the colours of the canvases, which both have the same design, creates a sense of continuity, while also providing a pleasing contrast and more visual interest.
While pastel cottons and delicate chintzes make attractive upholstery fabrics, they are difficult to keep clean and are vulnerable to wear and tear. A sensible choice for hard-working kitchen or dining-room chairs is the tough and durable finish shown here, achieved by tightly binding thin rope over a metal chair frame.
Sleeve comprises a loop of fabric, secured down the inner side of each frame bar with a line of machine stitching. If the chair design requires the sleeve to fit over a place where the frame is joined, holes can be punched in the fabric and large eyelet holes secured before reassembling. Choose strong fabrics that are not going to rot or tear. Try unusual material such as tapestry or wool tartan.
Small, low, X-frame stools, made from timber or metal, work well in interior settings. They make useful ‘occasional’ seating, doubling up as small tables for lightweight items such as posts or newspapers. A few of them, dotted around a room filled with other styles of furniture, help to punctuate space. For a more minimalist interior, try a row of them using brightly coloured fabrics against a plain white wall, or mix different patterns on the same theme for example, children’s prints of animals or cowboys to make a perfect ensfmble for a young child’s bedroom.
The methods for attaching the fabric, whether a sleeve is made or the fabric is stapled, are the same as those for deck chairs.
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