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: Metal tack strip  ( 3668 )
DDandJ
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« : July 10, 2013, 10:43:19 AM »

My parson's chairs saga continues.   I'm now working on chair 4 of 4.  Chairs 2 and 3 turned out fairly well, with minor issues.  Chair 1 may turn out to be a redo.  Lol.

On the first 3 chairs I opted to close the back by hand-stitching rather than metal tack strip simply because I have virtually no experience with metal tack strip and, honestly, it scares me.  I don't want to ruin a piece of fabric.

By handstitching I believe I caused some annyoying little puckers (I'm still honing my handstitching skills).

I have to say that on the seat bottom and the inside back I was able to get the fabric nice and taut and smooth.  I did have some tiny puckers on the back where the inside back is pulled around.  Part of it I blame on the fabric.  The fabric has a sheen to it and is not gentle on flaws.  These tiny little puckers were then made a little worse by handstitching :(

I'm thinking of giving the metal tack strip a shot on the fourth chair.  Suggestions, thoughts?  I'll try to get a pic of chair #3 posted soon so that you guys can constructively critique my work.

Thanks,

Jeremy
crammage
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« #1 : July 10, 2013, 12:31:47 PM »

I personally avoid using the tack strips myself.  I like the hand stitched look, it takes longer but is easier to control.  I actually pin the material and hand crease it so I have a guide while I'm stitching to help prevent any puckers.  Try to follow the weave of the material while stitching by following a thread in the material and placing you needle in the same spot in the weave you'll prevent some of those puckers as well as make sure when blind stitching you have the in and out point of the two fabrics at the same spot.  Too short and you'll get  pucker too long and you'll see the thread, hope that makes sense.

Clay
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« #2 : July 10, 2013, 01:12:40 PM »

Other than repair, I haven't hand-stitched anything in well over 25 years. Metal tack strip and Pli-grip take a fraction of the time.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
DDandJ
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« #3 : July 10, 2013, 03:08:12 PM »

As slow as I am, saving time isn't all that relevant :)

I think I'll give the tack strip a shot on this last chair just to get a feel for it.  I don't mind the time that hand stitching takes and I agree with Clay in that it has a nice look.  But I'm going to have to learn with tack strip at some point.  I've done well with pli-grip in the past.  Rigid tack strip just seems more difficult to gauage, regarding placement, than pli-grip.

If using tack strip on the back of a chair which has no welting, would I lay the tack strip on the outer edge of the back as a starting point?  Before I pierce and fold?
sofadoc
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« #4 : July 10, 2013, 03:58:42 PM »

If using tack strip on the back of a chair which has no welting, would I lay the tack strip on the outer edge of the back as a starting point? 
I don't lay it ALL THE WAY on the outer edge. I come in just a hair.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
MinUph
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« #5 : July 10, 2013, 06:37:21 PM »

As sofa stated your line should be just inside the dge. Not far maybe a 1/16 of an inch. Mount the top tack with the fabric then pull the bottom to make the fabric taught mounting the bottom tack. Then just take out the slack for the rest watching the line of the strip does not change. You can pull it too tight and it will distort the lines so just be careful with the placement. It isn't all that hard and does a nice job when you become proficient at it. practice on a scrap piece so you won't spoil the good stuff. It's worth the time. Also after you get good at it bring the top blind tack to the edge and then the tackstrip right up tight. It is a bit hard to get this part right so in the beginning leave it down a little and you can grab a stitch to finish the top area 1/2" or so.

Let me add a couple things. First off very delicate fabrics like silk, some velvets and others are hard to use these strips on. There is a plastic liner for use over the metal strips that many people will use. It adds a bit of thickness to the strip but does help with cutting. I use a leather mallet to attach these and curv-ese with. I cover it with a layer or two of fabric not thick but a small buffer. Also I have found one good square blow does the best job over many tiny taps. Be sure to hit right over each tack. I prefer not to use the plastic covers but I do use them now that I'm in Florida due to the rusting possibility.
« : July 10, 2013, 07:17:29 PM MinUph »

Paul
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baileyuph
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« #6 : July 10, 2013, 07:30:03 PM »

Yes, metal tack strips are potentially faster, no argument.

I just finished a bedroom bench that had covered legs, the customer said don't put the metal tack strips in, hand sew just like the factory did.  The legs weren't that long therefore the time wasn't a big issue.  One thing I noticed when doing the legs this way is "I really liked them", blind stitched that is.  The metal or paper tack strips do add bulk to the legs, which the customer objected to. 

Another point, which was made above, blind stitching can be done best if one gets the stitch length just right, maybe 3/4 ths of an inch long.  I also noticed the factory didn't pull the blind stitch real tight and that helped to avoid puckers in the fabric. 

Using metal tack strips on legs, one should be careful when they hammer the strips in, it can loosen the legs or doesn't appear to be doing the legs any good.  Another thing that is in blind stitching favor. 

I followed covering the legs as the factory had done and everyone was pleased.

Doyle
DDandJ
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« #7 : July 10, 2013, 07:37:43 PM »

I used the metal tack strips to cover the legs on these parson's chairs.  They were machine sewn originally.  I thought about blindstitching them, but changed my mind.  Luckily, the legs are covered by a skirt.  If I were not skirting the chairs I would have used a handstitch.

It could be that I'm pulling my thread too tight when handstitching, thus causing the puckers.  When I get to the outside back of the final chair I'll give the tack strip a shot.  If it doesn't turn out I can always hand stitch it.

Thanks for the tips on using the tack strips.  I didn't purchase the plastic covers for the tack strips.  I'll have to get some.  The fabric I'm using is a little on the thin side.
MinUph
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« #8 : July 10, 2013, 07:58:31 PM »

Generally parsons chairs have pretty straight legs. I make a sock to slide over them tightly and staple top and bottom.

Hand sewing is a learned art itself. When placing your needle in the next stitch back up a yarn or two and when you pull the stitch tight it will lock it in nicely. No puckers. Also don't pull each stitch tight as you go make several stitches maybe 4 or 5 before pulling the thread tight. You will find less puckering this way. If the stitches are placed correctly. You can also help fold the fabric with your needle when pulling the thread.

Paul
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scottymc
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« #9 : July 11, 2013, 07:52:52 AM »

Do you think it is a good idea to do the last chair a different way? If you do a good job it will make your hand stitching look bad , anyway if the backs are done different it will look wrong. Something to consider. 
crammage
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« #10 : July 11, 2013, 09:09:26 AM »

ok, next question on hand stitching.  Do you use the official hand stitching thread or sewing machine thread?  I find the hand stitching thread too thick for some fabric and it is always unraveling at the ends.  I typically use regular thread and haven't had a problem as long as I secure the ends well.

Clay
MinUph
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« #11 : July 11, 2013, 07:18:42 PM »

I use the nylon hand sewing thread. When real thin fabric is involved I do use sewing machine thread but normally just the normal hand sewing threads. They are stronger and hide will in all but the finest silks etc.

  As for doing the last chair differently I wouldn't do it the same way so they all match. If they are different you will always know even if no one else does.

Paul
Minichillo's Upholstery
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baileyuph
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« #12 : July 11, 2013, 09:25:47 PM »

Clay, interesting you brought up the details on stitching thread.

I too, have experienced the same problem in using stitching thread as opposed to sewing machine thread.  it is difficult to keep the ends tied.

My experience is with the last batch I purchased.  Stitching twine, bought some time ago, I didn't have the same "fraying" problem.

I like sewing it but what can I do o eliminate the fraying?  It doesn't knot up during stitching.

Interesting!

Doyle
MinUph
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« #13 : July 11, 2013, 09:39:25 PM »

Keeping what ends tied? You put a knot in one end and use the rest singley.

Paul
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DDandJ
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« #14 : July 12, 2013, 01:34:55 PM »

Scotty,
I considered that if I use tack strip on the last chair it will look different than the rest.  I still haven't completely decided what I'm going to do.  These are my personal chairs and I mainly took on this project for the learning experience.  If I were doing them for someone else I would do them all the same.

No one ever comes to my house.  These chairs will sit in my formal dining room and hardly get used. Ha ha.

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