|One of the most popular types of dining chair is that of the loose seat variety. Although the period and styles varied they retained one thing in common, a framework within the chair seat that can be lifted out. No longer produced in volume, they are extremely economical to reupholster. The loose seat frame is made of birch or beech and assembled by dowels or mortised and tenoned joints.
Dowelling is the system most used today. The top side of the loose seat frame is chamfered so that the edge of the chair frame and seat frame are level. Make sure that it is a good fit before upholstering. It should have just enough play to take the thickness of cover. Plane a little off if you think it is too tight, and if too slack a piece of cardboard or webbing is tacked against the side or back and if necessary both. (Also see detail about taking the wadding over the frame below).
To web the seat please see our help sheet on using the webbing stretcher then tack or staple a piece of hessian on top of the webbing. Do not take the hessian over the edge of the seat, rather fold the cut edge back in towards the centre of the seat and staple or tack in place.
Turn the seat upside down and position centrally on the foam. Mark around the edges with a felt pen allowing a margin of approx. 6mm (¼” ) larger than the seat.
Cut the foam using an electric carving knife if available or a fine toothed saw or knife. (A bread knife is fine). The foam is then positioned on top of the seat and held in place with the spray adhesive. Care should be taken when doing this to keep the edge of the frame clear from the foam which is then covered with the polyester wadding which makes an interliner between the foam and the fabric. Use the spray adhesive again to hold the wadding in place. (If there is a lot of clearance around the wooden seat frame without fabric on then the wadding can be taken around the frame itself. If the frame is a tight fit then only lay the wadding on top of the foam.)
Look at our Drop In Seats Set (Webbed Seats). This kit contains all the materials you need to reupholster a set of dining seats (except the top fabric and specialist tools).