UPHOLSTERY DISCUSSION BOARD
HOW TO UPHOLSTER FORUM

Rostov Upholstery Supplies Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
November 17, 2017, 02:37:12 PM
How To Reupholster A Couch, Chair, Ottoman.
Recover Car And Boat Seats. DVDs
Foam Cutters $130+
1/2" and 3/8" crown staple guns- air and Maestri electric.
Upholstery Tools
Long Nose Staplers $124
Sunbrella Fabric     Complete line of Sunbrela fabrics. We also custom sew beautiful cushions from Sunbrella.
Custom Cushions     Custom cushions sewn at a high level of craftsmanship. Choose from fabrics and a range of quality foam.



: Check out CoachTrim's Advanced Leather Workshop and Basic Sewing Course on Suppliers Page
***Please click here www.facebook.com/upholster.upholstery and click "LIKE" for our UPHOLSTER Facebook business page (it will help me promote this free site)-Ken***



 
 EZ Foam Cutters with 240 volts and plugs for Australia, New Zealand and UK and EU.
SPECIAL 110V MODELS $130 (limited time!!) http://www.upholster.com/toolkits/Foam-cutter.html



+  My Community
|-+  The Business Of Upholstery
| |-+  The Business Of Upholstery
| | |-+  "Old School Ways" in the 21st century
« previous next »
: [1] 2
: "Old School Ways" in the 21st century  ( 6358 )
kre8ed46cess
Newbie
*

Karma: +0/-0
: 8


« : September 22, 2010, 05:27:05 PM »

I am the son of an "old school" master upholsterer.  I had to learn to write my name in a board "spitting tacks" before my father would let sew (consew 111w) with the electric motor turned on.  I started stripping furniture when I was about 8.  I had a choice though, either work in the shop or work in the garden.  I chose the shop.  I continued through high school doing auto trim, household upholstery, and marine work.

After high school I ran as fast as I could to get an engineering degree, but 30 years later I find myself having to fall back on my skills.

I said all that to say; working with some younger guys and some older recently.  We had to put an outside back on a sofa and the guy said he couldn't finish the job because we were out of metal tack strip.  That's when I suggested BLIND STITCHING down the sides.  You would have thought I was a comedian on comedy central, and knocking them dead!  They were rolling on the floor in laughter, until  grabbed a curved needle and schooled them in the art.  Some of these guys have been doing upholstery for 20+ years, and didn't have a clue.

That's when I began to wonder about the art of upholstery, and things like "Diamond Tufting" without stitching, or how to move cotton around with an "ice pick" to fill out a corner on a cushion.  Are there any of me still out there?  I'm only 49 for goodness sake!


sofadoc
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +1/-0
: 4299


All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #1 : September 22, 2010, 05:59:08 PM »

I'm 52. I still have to whip out the curve needle every now and then. I was sewing simple seams on my grandmother's old Singer at the age of 10. I was the official buttonmaker from 7 on.
One thing that's different now, a lot of today's fabrics really aren't strong enough to hand sew. Back in the day, EVERY fabric was. Frames were sturdier, and designs were simpler and more practical.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
kre8ed46cess
Newbie
*

Karma: +0/-0
: 8


« #2 : September 22, 2010, 06:16:35 PM »

Speaking of button making... I used to stand on a chair to make them because I couldn't reach the handle of the button press.  One day I thought I would jump off the chair while pulling down on the handle.  Needless to say, the press bottomed out before my feet hit the floor, and the handle caught me under the chin, and left me needing 7 stitches, of course my father was more than willing to pull out a curved needle and take care of it!
Joys Shop
Full Member
***

Karma: +0/-0
: 225


« #3 : September 22, 2010, 06:23:40 PM »

I always hand sew the backs on (I don't use blind tacking strips)
I even hand sew on the front arm panels

bobbin
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +0/-0
: 2237


« #4 : September 22, 2010, 06:34:30 PM »

I can't relate to the handstitching with respect to upholstery, but I do know that within days of getting my first job in alterations I was the only person on the floor who knew how to make a proper handstitched buttonhole!  I learned to sew on a converted treadle machine (White Rotary, still own it AND the complete attachment box and original instruction manual) and so the art of hand wrought tailoring was not an option!  I can hand hem quickly and evenly with a variety of "blind stitch" techniques appropriate to the sort of fabric, too; I know how to "pad stitch" and set a lapel roll line properly, and I know how to position and sew buttons securely, too!

So, yeah... there are plenty of us out there; and isn't it fun to know that all those "antiquated" skills still come in handy every so often?  I love having a tailoring background; it makes solving problems in canvas work a lot easier, and it's been a real boon in slipcovering!
sofadoc
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +1/-0
: 4299


All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #5 : September 22, 2010, 06:51:51 PM »

Speaking of spitting tacks, we were the only kids who were encouraged to put 20 sharp objects into our mouth.
Remember when Moe swallowed the tacks, and they rammed a giant magnet down his throat? Then they funneled them into a shotgun, and shot Moe in the butt.
I tried the same thing making buttons. Didn't get hurt, though. When you're a little kid, you don't always weigh enough to press buttons , so you have to improvise. 

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
MinUph
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +1/-0
: 1864

Mainly furniture. Tarpon Springs Fl.


« #6 : September 22, 2010, 08:17:10 PM »

  Yes there are still some of us out there. I too will darn the curved needle on most jobs. It just lends itself to certain things. I remember being able to almost keep up with the stapler with me spitting tacks. I had a good teacher. My nephews would love to come to the shop and hammer tacks into a board. Kept them busy for hours. I still spit tacks for some purposes probably always will.
  Must say I do like some of the modern conveniences like metal tack strip and curve-ez. It does make things go faster. At least the original cardboard covered tack strip is history.

Paul
Minichillo's Upholstery
Website
Chuck D
Newbie
*

Karma: +0/-0
: 22


« #7 : September 22, 2010, 11:14:24 PM »

After 25 years in sales in an auto related business I too was forced to fall back on the old skills back on 2008. As kids, my brother and I started ripping furniture when we were about 7 & 9 respectively. Our pay was keeping all the loose change we found inside. I still fall back on the old ways a lot, things like the curved needle and the regulator. We get a great many compliments on our tailoring and attention to detail and those compliments turn into referrals. I thank my heavenly Father for giving me the skills I have and my earthly father for teaching me how to use those skills. I'm 56 years old, a third generation upholsterer and damn proud to be.
crammage
Full Member
***

Karma: +0/-0
: 104



« #8 : September 23, 2010, 08:40:06 AM »

When I took my first upholstery class over 25 years ago they taught us the blind stitching method of connecting backs.  It is still my preferred way of connecting back panels.  With that said, my least favorite to blind stitch are the micro suedes.  They produce so much resistance to the needle that my fingers are sore for weeks!   :P
ThrowMeAPillow
Guest


« #9 : September 24, 2010, 12:50:01 PM »

I learned in 1979 from Frank Antico and Harold Rasmussen.  Harold was well into his 80's THEN and had been upholstering since he was 16, so the NEW furniture HE made back then would be Antiques NOW!  They taught me about double stuffing over springs; hand sewing and frame repair (THAT was a good lesson~ anybody else ever made "tunafish"?)

ANYHOW, in my experience all that experience and $3.00 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbuck's

>sigh<

I am opening MY shop again after 3 years taking care of Dad in his declining years.  Wondering whether there is more money in Auto Trim than Living Rooms.  any ideas THERE?
bobbin
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +0/-0
: 2237


« #10 : September 24, 2010, 03:05:19 PM »

Throw., just wanted to say that I cared for my mother for about 4 yrs. and it was terribly hard to work at the same time.  Until you've done it, you really have no idea how much work and time are required to care and "think" for another person; and do it while allowing them to maintain a sense of dignity, independence, and freedom.  In those years I had to let my alteration business really slide and now that I'm "free", it's like starting out all over again. 

Bless your heart.  It's hard. 
kc
Jr. Member
**

Karma: +0/-0
: 90


what do you MEAN they recalled Vioxx??


« #11 : September 24, 2010, 03:55:25 PM »

sign me up for the blind stitching club! Just did a love seat recliner in not "microsuede" but a heavy cotton backed suede. Sweet!!! Everytime I strip those metal thingys, I rip a finger.  Thank God for old school.
mike802
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +0/-0
: 1305


I'm a llama!


« #12 : September 24, 2010, 05:16:07 PM »

All the furniture I make and reupholster is blind stitched, except for the cushions of course.  I can't stand tack strips, yes some fabrics are difficult and I have relied on needle nose pliers to push the needle through at times.  All the furniture I build is upholstered using traditional methods and materials. IE horse hair, cotton, jute, down and feather etc.  I cant compete with price, so high end quality construction and materials is the only way for me.

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power" - Abraham Lincoln
http://www.mjamsdenfurniture.com
sofadoc
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +1/-0
: 4299


All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #13 : September 24, 2010, 06:23:19 PM »

It seems that the general consensus of this discussion board is that blind stitching is better than nail strip, or pli-grip. So why is 90% of the furniture that I strip down not hand sewn?
I agree that some micro-suedes are difficult to pli-grip. But they're not much better to hand sew. I only hand sew when it's in an area that just isn't feasible to use nail strip or pli-grip, or a fabric that would bruise if I used a mallet or hammer. I can do just as good a job with nail strip in a fraction of the time.
I certainly don't mean to offend anyone that respects and employs the " Old school ways", but I'm afraid that I don't get it.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
MinUph
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +1/-0
: 1864

Mainly furniture. Tarpon Springs Fl.


« #14 : September 24, 2010, 08:01:50 PM »

It seems that the general consensus of this discussion board is that blind stitching is better than nail strip, or pli-grip. So why is 90% of the furniture that I strip down not hand sewn?
I agree that some micro-suedes are difficult to pli-grip. But they're not much better to hand sew. I only hand sew when it's in an area that just isn't feasible to use nail strip or pli-grip, or a fabric that would bruise if I used a mallet or hammer. I can do just as good a job with nail strip in a fraction of the time.
I certainly don't mean to offend anyone that respects and employs the " Old school ways", but I'm afraid that I don't get it.

  I definitely agree. I'm sure there are some that do antique restoration that would lend itself to the old ways but I myself do mostly residential furniture that lends itself to speed. If I have a product that does a job as well or better that and old school way I will use that product. There are many newer products that I don't care for but this is one that is high on my good list.

Paul
Minichillo's Upholstery
Website
: [1] 2  
« previous next »
:  



Latex Mattress    Foam Order allows you to design your own latex mattress using layers of certified natural and organic components.
Organic Mattress     Foam Order makes a wonderful organic mattress using certified natural and organic components. Choose your own firmness.
SMF 2.0.14 | SMF © 2017, Simple Machines