After completing Step 5 – Cleaning, Repair & Refinishing on your DIY upholstery project, you know that your chair’s foundation is solid and ready to re-build, beginning with the padding layers.
Now is the time to re-use the original padding that you removed in Step 4 – Deconstruction or apply new padding if the old padding is unusable. Here are three reasons to reuse the old padding, if it is at all possible:
- The old padding bears the frame’s ‘imprint’ and defines the chair’s original shape
- Recycling the old material makes your job of rebuilding easier
- Less stuff in the landfill – it’s sustainable!
Even if you do have to use all new padding it is useful to have the old layers handy as a reference for shaping the new layers.
Horsehair was the padding of choice in traditional upholstery and is still used by skilled upholsterers in restoration & reproduction work today. Its properties provide a firm and comfortable base which may be augmented with a layer of cotton upholstery padding to fill out the shape and soften hard edges. Cotton is a difficult material to judge when applying it to your frame, since it quickly loses its initial loft with handling.
A top layer of dacron batting over everything helps protect the under-layers and provides a smooth ‘non-sticky’ surface for final fabric application.