We are back home and the projects are rolling, remember the stunning hand woven vintage zig zag fabric from Bolivia? Well, it met a 1950's French chair and they're getting on very nicely.
Arriving back to grey raining London and hearing the horror stories of the summer which had yet to arrive was a bit of a jolt. However our spirits were lifted by the lovely faces we had missed, and the boxes of beautiful South American fabrics showing up one by one. It would be an understatement to say we were 'chomping at the bit' to get into the long list of projects we dreamed up and sketched out whilst we were away. It even seemed like the greyness outside only made the fabrics look more amazing.
This stylish mid century French chair and it's partner from a previous trip to the continent had been waiting patiently at home for us and oh did we have some Bolivian loving to give them.
At roughly the ripe old age of 60 the chair frames had some story telling love marks and I didn't want to loose these, for one I love a good story, and these guys have serious character. However the thick varnish of mid century style was tired, so I stripped them right down to the natural wood, and then oiled them back to life keeping some characterful stories in tack.
The original seats were filled with grass which is quite typical of French upholstery, but having kidnapped them to (now) sunny England, I used Coir (coconut hair) instead. The Coir retained in bridle ties gives a good solid and comfy covering for the hardy original springs which were so powerful they had actually made the old chairs quite uncomfortable.
The beautiful hand embroidered arrowhead join has taken pride of place down the centre of both the seats with the original outside border sitting at the top of the seat backs. As tradition in the 1950s the under side of these seats had been finished with staples but as the hand woven fabric had set a high status, the idea of staples here seemed conflicting. Instead I decided to take them back in time a little more and used decorative tacks to mark the completion. One of the telling signs of a hand woven fabric is the loom set up rows at the start of a panel. In South America these were a couple of inches using all the colours in a mini stripe testing them out, checking they worked together and setting the tension. I loved the thinking and planning which must have gone into these rows before the weaver launched into the next month of weaving on this one piece. So as not to loose this history I kept a section of this at opposite back corners of each chair (shown in the photo above).
This matched up pair are now available on our new website here.