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: Arne Jacobsen egg chair  ( 2105 )
Tricksum
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« : May 31, 2015, 02:45:01 AM »

I am attempting to recover a genuine Arne Jacobsen egg chair in leather.I am having difficulty getting the leather to conform to the front of the back (concave surface)any tips on how to shape and stretch the leather to avoid creases and the like.The link shows a finished example.Many thanks

http://i913.photobucket.com/albums/ac338/tricksumokko/image.jpg1_zps1vgu2ee3.jpg
« : May 31, 2015, 03:00:47 AM Tricksum »
MinUph
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« #1 : May 31, 2015, 06:32:18 AM »

I would say you would need to form it wet. If you have two chairs one might be useable as the top form. Soak the hide with cool water. Sand bags will also help with forming it. Better you than me lol.

Paul
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gene
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« #2 : May 31, 2015, 09:02:31 AM »

I've not done one of these so I am only guessing.

A thin hide would work better than a thicker hide. A skive may come in handy.

When you took off the original hide was it glued to the foam which was glued to the chair?

Glue the center and work your way out to the edges using steam? water? Nothing but elbow grease?

Best of luck. That's a kool chair that is very uncomfortable for me to sit in.

gene




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Tricksum
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« #3 : May 31, 2015, 09:49:55 AM »

The chair is currently in old moth eaten fabric.The original foam has turned to powder.The fabric is stuck to the foam which In turn is stuck to the fibre glass shell.
For your information the back of the back is stretched on wet and not glued.
I am not a upholsterer but intend to replace the foam and then recover it in 1.4 mm thick aniline leather after a considerable amount of research and even more practice.
These chairs are notoriously difficult to get spot on for obvious reasons.A OK finish is not a option it has to be perfect.
I am interested in mid century design and managed to fall on this piece for a few quid when it's value in leather is about 5000.
The best price quoted to do the job for me is 2000.
It is the convex side that is causing me many hours of thought on how it is accomplished.The chair is completely hand stitched.
Your advice is really appreciated.
Thanks.
Darren Henry
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« #4 : May 31, 2015, 10:48:27 AM »

Welcome to the board. I gather since you bought the chair for a few quid that You're joining us from the UK. Always nice to have different places represented. I'm the token Canuck. They let me stay 'cause I talk funny,eh and am very polite LOL.

As far as that chair---you've got balls mate. In my former life I was an orthopaedic shoe maker and orthotist technician. Molding that is going to  be a challenge. By molding I don't mean "swooshing " it into place with your hand. IMHO the only way you are going to get perfect results is to thoroughly soak the hide in warm water and then stretch it around a mold until dry (usually about 2 days), just like making a shoe. I have a couple of half developed thoughts on that.

>If the foam is firm enough you could secure the leather to the perimeter and use weight (like the aforementioned sand) to stretch it into place.

>If not I would pad the chair, line with a resin resistant membrane , and make a fibreglass mold of the interior. [I don't mean to sound like a know it all---but I once had a fibreglass manufacturer next to my shop and was offered some very good information about the process]. Once your mold is made you simple stretch the wet hide over it grain side down and let it dry.

> I would not use the outside of the shell as a mold as the interior will be smaller when padded.

Good luck, be patient, and keep us posted. "We're all in this together".*


* Reference to American comic character "Red Green".

Life is a short one way trip, don't blow it!Live hard,die young and leave no ill regrets!
Tricksum
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« #5 : May 31, 2015, 11:08:34 AM »

Wow,I like it.I don't think making a mould of the concave inside  would be practcal.Two very experienced upholsterers have said they could achieve the desired level of detail and they have never tackled one of these bug*ers before so they must have other ideas.
Could you just confirm that manual teasing stretching would not be possible.
Also how would the final glueing process be achieved.

wizzard
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« #6 : May 31, 2015, 04:59:42 PM »

It's funny just working on one of this .....er's too
There is not much support out there in getting valuable info. The one's who know keep quit and are happy about the struggling of others.
First I have to say when you look at the original leather it is not that heavy/thick.
It looks to me more like a Top Grain Leather.
I stripped the inside of the chair completely of everything so only the glassfiber shell is left.
glued and stretched a 1/4inch foam to the inside. This was there before too, just completly desintigrated.
I warmed the Leather and could stretch it to a certain degree and glued it to the foam too.
Original was done the same way.
On the outside you must wet the leather and stretch it accordingly. It is not easy. Now the original upholster of the Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair were sewing the outside leather to the welting and inside leater in a wet condition. The issue is that most leathers do shrink a lot when getting try. If you have a good leather you should not loose any color or should have any change in looks.
Now sewing is again fun, don't even try to use a curved standart upholstery needle for leather, you would not get very far.
I use curved sergical needles from a whole seller which supplies sergical supplies to Animal hospitals. To get this needles alone was quite some work.
I have to look for the video where it shows how they work on the chairs. It looks quite easy, but the devil is in the details where everybody does'nt talk about. 
I will post a picture when the upload to the forum works, somehow it doesnt like my pictures
byhammerandhand
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« #7 : May 31, 2015, 05:03:32 PM »

Having visited 47 of the 50 states (and four Canadian Provinces) and worked with people from nearly every major English-speaking nation, I can assure you that you don't really talk all that "funny."    Spell a bit differently, maybe.

And I though Red Green was a Canadian?

Always nice to have different places represented. I'm the token Canuck. They let me stay 'cause I talk funny,eh and am very polite LOL.
...
Good luck, be patient, and keep us posted. "We're all in this together".*


* Reference to American comic character "Red Green".

Injecting a little humor:
A couple of good ol' boys from Georgia were on a road trip and stopped at a rest stop.   One of them noticed Canadian plates on the car that pulled in and one wandered over to greet them.
One said, "Howdy, fellas, where are all y'all*  from?"
"Saskatoon, Saskatchewan" was the reply.
"Oh, OK, have a great trip."
When he got back to his car, his buddy asked him, "Did you find out where they were from?"
"Well I tried, but I don't think they spoke any English."

* plural of y'all   :-)
« : May 31, 2015, 05:11:30 PM byhammerandhand »

Keith

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas A. Edison
kodydog
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« #8 : June 01, 2015, 08:36:19 AM »

I've reupholstered a couple of these chairs. Using steam will help get the old fabric off but usually the foam will be destroyed in the process. most likely you'll need new foam and use plenty of spray glue to keep it in place. Once the foam is glued on let the chair sit a day or two. The glue has to be completely dry before you start to apply the leather. Leather is very unforgiving if the surface your applying it to is not completely smooth. Even the smallest imperfection in the foam will show through.

When you pattern the leather it needs to be as close to perfect as possible. If not you will have a big mess on your hands.

When attaching the leather use a lot of glue. Start in the center, glue your leather down and let it sit over night. If you try to work the leather before the glue in the center is dry the leather will lift up and once again you'll have a big mess on your hands.

Once the glue in the center is dry work the leather toward the edges. Lots of patience and lots of glue. Work slowly and carefully. Use a spray bottle filled with water to dampen the finished side of the leather. I wouldn't  soak the leather because the glue will not stick to a wet surface.

When using spray glue, spray both the leather and the surface it is applied to and let it tack up for 3 or 4 minutes. Be careful, once you press the leather to the surface it will be there to stay. No second chance. Its not rocket science but pretty close.

This is  a tough piece for someone who is not an upholsterer and not used to working with leather. Your probably past the estimate stage but when I work one up for a piece like this I figure what I think it will take and double the price.

Best of luck.
« : June 02, 2015, 08:52:55 AM kodydog »

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http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
Tricksum
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« #9 : June 01, 2015, 10:43:25 AM »

Dear friends,thank you so much for your advice.Kodydog could you please tell me how the flat seating area under the cushion is anchored especially around its perimeter.
I am starting to get nervous about attempting this myself,Infact Today I visited a experienced professional upholsterer who has not attempted one of these chairs before.He does work for top London auction houses and high end dealers and he has worked a lot in leather but on traditional pieces.
He says the stitching is the easy bit of the job.
He inspected the chair a week ago and has spent a lot of time thinking about the project.He assures me he can accomplish the job to the desired level of detail.Its my decision but shall I let him have a go or give it to someone who has done one before.He assures me he would never return a piece to the customer unless it was perfect.
Your thoughts would be most useful.He has quoted me 1700 inclusive.
Darren Henry
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« #10 : June 01, 2015, 05:45:01 PM »

Quote
And I though Red Green was a Canadian?

Steve Smith is and Red Green came out of the variety show that he and his wife Morag had years ago called Smith and Smith. The Red Green show , though, was carried on the American PBS channel for years. That's where we got it from. I just thought more people would have been exposed to him on American media.

Back to the chair.

Quote
Could you just confirm that manual teasing stretching would not be possible.

Short answer---No. I've never tried one and as I said those were a couple of half developed thoughts | was sharing.

If you are gluing the leather to a thin layer of foam it is a different ball of wax. I was imagining a layer of cotton or ??? I agree with Kody---If you are going that direction, it's spot on advice. He's also right about wet leather not sticking, but if you aren't getting enough stretch out of that hide by wetting the outside, I wouldn't be afraid to soak it. The thing there is to then let it "just about dry" before you start glueing. If the flesh side feels dry to the hand but cool to the cheek you have a dry surface for glue but the intermediate layers of the leather are moist and their most pliable. CAUTION; those are same conditions where vegetable tanned leathers carve and tool the best so might take marks if rough tool are used. 99% of upholstery/garment leather is chrome tanned and not at risk. 

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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« #11 : June 02, 2015, 09:04:10 AM »

Dear friends,thank you so much for your advice.Kodydog could you please tell me how the flat seating area under the cushion is anchored especially around its perimeter.


I believe it is glued down, isn't that how the old fabric was attached? When I say start in the center I'm talking about the seat area. This is where you start. Then glue the leather up the center of the back. At this point let it sit till the glue is good and dry. Also where the arm curves up into the back is a stress point where the fabric will lift up if enough glue is not applied.

Looking at the before picture, the one taken outdoors, I can see where the old fabric has started to lift off. You do not want this to happen 3 or 4 years from now. In your link which pictures are from the internet and which ones are the chair your working on?
« : June 02, 2015, 09:17:00 AM kodydog »

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
Tricksum
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« #12 : June 03, 2015, 01:49:18 AM »

My chair is the Orange fabric model standing outside in sunshine.
Could you please shed some light on which type of foam to use on the new job.
The outside back just has the thinnest layer of a cotton wadding between the fabric and the shell.
In your opinions could a very experienced upholsterer who has not done one of these chairs accomplish a perfect job once he has worked out the correct method/ techniques.
Thanks again from sunny Sussex.
SteveA
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« #13 : June 03, 2015, 06:06:28 AM »

This is a great post for me - interesting and informative.   - I would sub it out to a reputable firm and not worry about mico managing every detail - this chair will be used not admired like art work.  Nothing is ever perfect  -
Trust a skilled craftsman to do this job well even though he/she may not have access to the techniques or jigs the factory had.
Relax - breath - let go -
SA
Tricksum
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« #14 : June 03, 2015, 11:00:26 PM »

Which type of foam should be used on the concave surface to Give excellent adhesion.
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