The search for the fabric I’d use started with what I had in my fabric bin already. There were all kinds of soft fabrics and denims. Calah wasn’t keen on those but recommended some fabrics of her own. Lauren got involved and sent me inspiration like:
Looks cool, but at a minimum of $174 because you have to buy at least a 56sqft, it’s a little outside the price range.
Interesting in concept, but it’s £95 per metre–whatever that even means!
At only $24.99 a yard, it’s certainly the most reasonable of suggestions, but there’s no guarantee it would look good in person. I also didn’t know how durable it would be. I was thinking that I’ll do all this work, spill something on the chair, and then there’s a big stain and I’m sad.
I kept looking and found a metric that I hadn’t thought of: butt durability!
Think about it! You have a seat cushion, and that means people sit down. How many times can someone sit down and stand up before the fabric goes away altogether?
The industry has a different term for butt durability. That term is Double Rubs!
I found a fabric that is rated to 50,000 Double Rubs!
The color and durability rating seemed to be consistent with what I needed, so I bought it. It feels like mid-century fake leather, so that seemed good.
The next step was to cut the fabric and turn it into cushions.
After careful measuring and adding on some extra, I had my first piece.
I stretched the fabric around the board and used Calah’s electric staple gun to put the first staples in place, starting from the middle and going out from there. But with the first staples in, I wanted to see if it even could look good.
I kept going.
I then remembered that I needed to drill an air hole so the cushion could deflate and inflate properly. But I got it in time.
Every so often, I didn’t hold the staple gun firmly against the board as a pressed the trigger, and I got some squishes. Every time that happened was a new unpleasantness.
It took a while, but I learned to press the trigger with my index finger only and smoothly while keeping the rest of my hand stable.
It’s not like it really mattered because it was a first go, and I’d have to redo the whole thing anyway.
The corners are a real bear.
I reassessed and realized I had the opportunity to build in a way to keep the cushions in place while also being removable for cleaning!
I bought anchors.
and the corresponding screws
I also had to do a little more planing to get everything aligned just right.
I took the anchors out to staple the fabric in place. Once complete, I added a layer of thin fabric to the underside and replaced the anchors.
Ultimately, the result wasn’t perfect, but I’ll take it!
You might say, “Hey! That’s not the same chair as in the photos above!” You’re right! It’s a set of two, and this was a better photo.