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: New idea - not really  ( 1939 )
gene
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« : January 03, 2015, 10:56:59 AM »

We've talked about this before here on the forum. I'm going to give it a try for 2015.

I'm going to reupholster several chair frames (hard wood frame, 8 way hand tied springs, etc.), cover them with muslin, take pictures of the progress to show that I started from the wooden frame and used all new materials.

I'll then have the customer provide the fabric and I'll charge one price for the chair plus the upholstery with the customers fabric.

I don't think there's a big market for this, but I'm going to give it a try. It's going to be higher end pricing out of necessity - materials and my labor.

I'm also thinking of "unique". How can I take a plain chair and make it different, as in something someone would want to buy that they may not be able to buy in a store.

Bigger wings on a wing back? Fatter arms? Put a swivel on a club chair? Low rider?

I'll keep you updated if there is anything to update other than I have a few muslin upholstered chairs sitting in my studio with price tags on them.

gene


QUALITY DOES NOT COST, IT PAYS!
Darren Henry
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« #1 : January 03, 2015, 11:44:57 AM »

Quote
I'm also thinking of "unique"--- that they may not be able to buy in a store.

Show wood is getting harder to find,at least around here.


Life is a short one way trip, don't blow it!Live hard,die young and leave no ill regrets!
kodydog
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« #2 : January 03, 2015, 02:09:53 PM »

I'm also thinking of "unique". How can I take a plain chair and make it different, as in something someone would want to buy that they may not be able to buy in a store.
gene

Several things come to mind. Quality like you said. The stuff coming out of China is cheaply made. Stress things like frames that are built to last. Joints that meet. Unlike this Chinese Chase.


Real springs, 8-way tied. Not this,


Three staples? Really?


Goose Neck chairs, Martha Washington, Bank of England. All hardwood, sturdy frames and 8-way tied. And wing Chairs like these Chipendales with the big wings like you suggested.


Also, custom made sectionals. Any size any shape. Solid frames using thick wood. Built to last generations.


And finally Quality antiques. You can't find stuff like this in any store.


Also have you seen the cost of ottomans at a furniture store? They will charge $550 for a chair and $500 for an ottoman.

Then the age old question that has been discussed many times on this forum is advertising. Besides old fashioned salesmanship how do you get the word out there?

Rose and I are heading in a similar direction. Should be an interesting year.

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
SteveA
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« #3 : January 03, 2015, 04:54:54 PM »

It's definitely worth showing folks you're diversified but the thing that has brought me some extra business this year is doing a little something extra they didn't pay for or consider.  A customer just left my shop 1/2 hour ago.  A large wood framed wall mirror he had fell off the wall - the frame with carved corners broke but the mirror was OK.  I put the frame back together - did a little touch up - Now The Extra !  - I installed a few new commercial steel D ring hangers - 2 wood screws each - 100 lb wire doubled up and ran the wire from the bottom molding - up to the top rings,  across, and back down to the bottom molding.  The guy flipped out when he saw it - setting up the wire wasn't part of the repair.  It only added 1/2 hour to the job.
SA
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« #4 : January 07, 2015, 06:18:08 PM »

20 years ago  I did a half and half chair. I found a nice antique chair re-glued , re-padded , refinished and recovered half the chair. I changed  the back to a channel back , hand sew the seat and outer-back together , took the cushion apart and sewed it together with half new filling. It was a great visual for customers . I wish I still had it or could find the pictures . I ended up redoing the hole chair and selling it.
Darren Henry
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« #5 : January 08, 2015, 07:45:31 AM »

One of my suppliers (George N Jackson in Winnipeg) has a chair in their showroom that is half and half like that. One side is reupholstered the other bare frame. I wish  i had the room to do that with a quality piece and one of the hockey stick and cardboard products of today. It would be a real eye opener for customers.

Life is a short one way trip, don't blow it!Live hard,die young and leave no ill regrets!
kodydog
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« #6 : January 15, 2015, 02:53:52 PM »

We picked this chair up 2 weeks ago to reupholster. This will be the 3rd time in 16 years we have recovered this chair. This is the type of high quality furniture I spoke of in a previous comment.^

It is made by Hugo Furniture in Jacksonville Fl. Hugos is a retail store, they sell both manufactured and custom built pieces. They have several work rooms behind their showroom. They do everything from finishing, draperies, custom frames, upholstery, cabinetry and more. Its a big operation with 5 or 6 designers and a large showroom. I have re-upholstered several of their pieces and their frames are some of the best I've seen. No comparison to today's standard of manufacturing.

They have a long history dating back to 1921. Kind of an interesting read.
http://hugosinteriors.com/about.php

As you can see in the pictures their frames are tight, the wood is thick and the back has extra support like I've never seen before. I don't know if they build their own frames or get them from some place else but the last photo shows a coat-of-arms that was attached to the inside of the frame. The cushion is down and the chair is heavy.

The only flaw I can see is the elastic webbing for the seat support. But this could easily be replaced with springs.

My point is, if your going to start a line of custom furniture, this is the type frame you should use. Its a classy design too.


There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
SteveA
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« #7 : January 15, 2015, 02:59:40 PM »

I add > wheels are not a plus

SA
bobbin
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« #8 : January 15, 2015, 04:24:31 PM »

Practically speaking CASTERS are "not a plus".  But they are "correct" for a piece of the vintage shown.  Just sayin'... (and the era-appropriate casters are important to shoppers with keen eyes). 

You guys amaze me with every post.  Your knowledge of proper technique and materials has taught me so much... you don't have to worry, though.  I don't have the time to spend suffering the "learning curve" required for upholstery... I'll stick to marine interiors, cushions, and slipcovers!
Darren Henry
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« #9 : January 15, 2015, 07:39:43 PM »

There is more wood (and real wood ) in that one chair than the two sofas I have  "on the slab" right now. They are in for manufacture's warranty for "excess sag". The biggest part of the problem is poor webbing. That said; I have no concerns about using the good "furni-web",properly, as you see in Keith's picture. The man how trained me to make furniture used it prefer it to zig zag springs and it was covered under the life time warranty of the frame. He had been doing it for 25+ yrs. and I was there for the last  5 and never had an issue. Changed out a lot of broken/popped out springs mind you.

Love the show wood. That is what I was talking about in my previous post. IMHO---I think people see that and go "If they went that far on the trim and used "real wood", odds are they did that on the inside too like Grandma's old couch that the kids are using".

Life is a short one way trip, don't blow it!Live hard,die young and leave no ill regrets!
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