Reupholstering a Wingback Chair Applying the Fabric
So far, we've covered how to reupholster the back, the seat and the arms of a traditional wingback chair. Here, we'll finish up the job with the steps on how to reupholster the wings that give the chair its name.
Reupholstering the Wings
Take your fabric for one of the wings and drape it over the corresponding wing. Tuck the fabric inside and pull it through the back. Staple it to the wood frame. Use a straight pin to temporarily secure the outer side of the fabric.
Fold the fabric under the bottom section of the wing. Try to keep everything neat and smooth.
Outside the wing, begin stapling the fabric to the frame, working from the back-inward. When you reach the area of the wing where it curves, remove the straight pin and fold the pleats. Use one hand to hold the pleats tight and the other to staple the fabric to the frame. Follow this procedure as you make your way down and around the curve. Once finished, cut away the excess fabric to about ¼" away from the staples.
Cut long, 2" wide strips of fabric. Place the welting cord over the fabric strip and fold the fabric tightly over the cord. Use the hot glue to secure the fabric.
Place the fabric-covered length of welting cord around the outside of the wing. As you set the cord, staple it into place.
Now take the flexible strip jaw and place it against the welting cord. Staple it into place along the top edge, making sure that it is wide open and the edge with the teeth is on the bottom side of the strip.
Take the fabric to be used for the outside of the wing and set it into place. Insert the fabric into the jaw strip and close the strip's jaws using the ice pick or other sharp tool. Take the rubber mallet and hit the jaw strip to ensure that they are fully closed.
Repeat these steps for the other wing.
In the front of the chair, directly under the edge of the seat, take more fabric-wrapped welting cord and staple it along the center.
Cut a rectangle of fabric large enough to cover the bottom of the chair under the welting cord. Cut a piece of the cardboard stripping to match the length of the fabric. Use hot glue to secure the cardboard stripping to the top of the fabric.
Now, with the cardboard at the bottom of the fabric, staple it right underneath the welting. Then fold the fabric down and over the cardboard strip to cover it up. Staple the fabric under the chair and cut away the excess.
Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the lower arms.
Underneath the arm, take the fabric that is closest to the back and pull it tight. Staple it to the frame at the back of the chair. At the other end of the arm near the front, place the rigid metal stripping. Wrap the fabric around the metal strip so its teeth catch the fabric. Turn the strip until the fabric is taut. Use the mallet to hammer the teeth into the chair and set it in place.
Repeat for the other arm.
The last step to reupholstering the wingback chair is to finish off the backside. Here, use a strip of flexible jaw stripping along the top of the back and down both sides. Staple it into place along the top edge, making sure that it is wide open and the edge with the teeth is on the bottom side of the strip. Insert the fabric into the jaw strip and close the strip's jaws using the ice pick or other sharp tool. Take the rubber mallet and hit the jaw strip to ensure that they are fully closed. Follow the same procedure for each side, making sure to keep the fabric taut.
Pull the fabric tight at the bottom of the chair and staple it to the frame underneath. You can add a finished look by stapling a section of fabric over the bottom of the chair to cover it up.
Dave Donovan is a freelance copywriter living in Atco, NJ. An electrician for 15 years, an injury forced him to pursue his true passion - writing.