This classic rocking chair, known as the Lincoln Rocker because it was this style of chair that Abraham Lincoln was sitting in when he was shot, was in need of some dire repairs.
Cat’s love nothing better than to attack a newly recovered chair, so with three cats in our house, I decided to try something new… cover it with a fabric that has very tight knap, making it difficult — not impossible — for them to pull the weave out.
This particular fabric has a rubber backing and is used in senior homes as well as on upholstery for boating. It cleans easily and looks spectacular.
Examining the rocker, I noticed that whoever re-upholstered it the last time didn’t blind stitch the back to the piping stapled to the inside of the back supports as it should have been. Instead they machine stitched the piping to the back and then stapled the material to the visible back supports, not only ruining the entire look of this elegant rocker, but also ruining it for any subsequent generations that wished to keep it in the family. I fixed the holes and destruction they caused and filled and then colour matched to the surrounding wood to bring it back to it’s original spender.
The art of pulling pockets into fabric is called “tufting” and is typically seen in leather backed chairs. The reason for tufting the covering is three fold. One, it makes for a very comfortable seat as the tufts expand out to the creases when a body is sitting on it; Two, leather by it’s very nature can be a hot material to sit on (depending on the surface grain treatment). By tufting the leather, you create air pockets that serve to cool parts of the body that are not touching the leather. This is why you see many vinyl products (think booths in a diner) are tufted, and; Three, it aesthetically pleasing.
Since this chair wasn’t being covered with leather, I opted for a very slight pucker, giving the rocker a bit of definition to the back as opposed to a flat back.
Seaghan — Upholsterer