Ripping Yarn

Readers with long memories may recall that rusty duck has dabbled with upholstery in the past. Those thusly endowed may also remember that things didn’t go quite according to plan.. (here).

Jessica must be well and truly caught up with her backlog of tasks if she is contemplating yet another project.. yes? No. Then surely she should be complimented on her forward planning if she has winter projects lined up even before the summer is properly done? Ha Ha Ha. Ha Ha HAAAAA!! No.


We need to go back to early Spring and an open air market at which I spotted a(nother) rather adorable partly upholstered chair. I know for sure it was early Spring because I remember it being bloomin’ brass monkey cold. It was before breakfast too. To grab a bargain sacrifices sometimes do need to be made. Icicles forming on the end of your nose and an empty stomach may be two sacrifices too far. Getting out of bed before 5.00 a.m. makes it three. To my mind the saving grace was finding the chair. Absolutely perfect for the new bedroom. To Mike’s mind it was another thing to add to the list of things that never get done. He was quick to point out that the chair purchased several years previously still lay abandoned in a corner of the dining room, mid stuffing, and the second of the pair (pictured above) not even begun. His desk chair is also on the to-do list, we mustn’t forget that.

An accommodation would need to be reached. I would sign up for an upholstery course, yes, that would get things moving. So I did. The earliest available starting date was September and, as we all know, in Spring that sounds such a very long time away. Everything chez rusty duck would be under control and all tickety-boo by then and I’d have simply oodles of spare time. As such I completely forgot about the course. Until a couple of weeks ago when the request arrived for the fees. Ah.

The perfect fireside chair.. ?


The plan is to strip back the second, untouched, of the original pair of chairs or ‘ripping out’ to use the technical lingo. This is the one I will take with me to the course and then build up its sibling in parallel as homework. Using the skills gained I should then be ideally placed to follow through with the bedroom chair, recovering the sitting room sofas, any other impulse purchases that may yet be made.. oh, and that desk chair. Mustn’t forget about that.

The hardest part has been getting to grips, literally, with the tools of the trade. A well designed tool, in the proper hands, makes any job so much easier. It has just taken a little time, more YouTube videos and several new body piercings to reach that point. Tack removers, and upholstery staple removers in particular, have sharp edges and can be lethal things. It’s probably just as well that I started work a few days ahead of presenting myself to teacher. Evidence of self mutilation should have largely faded by then. Although to be fair, having gone another round with the berberis and wrestled more brambles on the bank in recent days it’s hard enough to remember which injury relates to what.



Β With the chair stripped back to the frame I have interesting clues as to its provenance. Thus far googling hasn’t shed any further light on its history but I haven’t given up yet. The chairs are definitely French. Hardly surprising when we bought them from a couple of French chappies out of the back of their van.



Wish me luck.