From Start To Finish

These chairs from the 40s/50s are often platform rockers - this one has a simple construction in its base that allows it to tilt back or recline in just one position. Sinuous springs or "S" springs need no attention other than a new burlap cover + spring pad to keep all padding above it intact. But they are double spring systems, with a short coil spring unit in cushion that sits on top of sinuous attached to frame.

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Danish/Wicker/Rattan Webbing Again

Time for a refresher on applying new webbing for your open frame seating such as most Danish open arm chairs, sofas and loveseats, wicker and rattan frames.  I've been selling webbing repair "kits" since 2006 when my daughter found a chair in the trash at university far from home and needed materials to fix and reuse.

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Happy Downton Abbey New Year!

2014 will see my 5th year in the storefront at 3614 E Lake St, and third year of styling a "Downton Abbey" window at the start of a new season of episodes from this favorite British period drama.  I avidly collect French and English textile samples for the shop and love showing their possible applications for upholstery/home decorating - in both an historical sense (even if the piece is a Victorian styled handcarved American walnut antique, such as the parlor chair above) or a cleverly eccentric application such as this midcentury modern chrome sofa reupholstered for designer Jacqueline Fortier in Bennison'scarefully rendered handprint "Chinese Pheasant"...

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The Bells Are Ringing...

This Saturday August 3rd, Miller Upholstering will be closed to attend the wedding of a Client-Turned-Friend - which can happen sometimes, and it's great when it does!

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From Start To Finish

Here's a post from a while back that had lost it's image links. 

Someone was asking about Cogswell chairs just yesterday, so I thought I'd refresh this old post from 2013.

Michigan has a long held reputation for quality furniture manufacturing. This midcentury Cogswell reclining chair is from The Luxury Furniture Corp. of Grand Rapids aka "Furniture City".   My client remembers her dad driving the family around town weekends in their Studebaker, on the hunt for good furniture all the while admiring their city's industry and teaching the kids a thing or two in the process. This chair was one such piece she remembered as being purchased during one of their family outings.

These chairs from the 40s/50s are often platform rockers - this one has a simple construction in its base that allows it to tilt back or recline in just one position. Sinuous springs or "S" springs need no attention other than a new burlap cover + spring pad to keep all padding above it intact. But they are double spring systems, with a short coil spring unit in cushion that sits on top of sinuous attached to frame.

There are a few trim panels, or just strangely shaped and applied pieces to deal with because of the very shape of the chairs. No modifications will be made by me, I'll redo it as it was before only I'll close that front post edge better than the previous upholsterer.

The attached spring cushion has these long flap things that are to extend down and become the outsides of the chair's base. They must be patterned and sewn inside-out during construction of the welted and waterfalled seating cushion. It's a challenge to keep all the pieces straight in your head while bringing all to the machine to cord and seam properly, but eventually it gets done. 

I added a new layer of cotton and dacron poly over the existing spring unit (a contained spring unit, not muslin covered marshall springs) and existing cotton. No need to scrap what's there unless it's incredibly dirty from being stored in a barn or something - which this was not.  

Moved on to arms:

Now it's coming together...

A large pattern like this does not necessarily have to be matched - the single welt cord separates the broken pattern in such a way that it doesn't offend. If client had been particular about matching it would have required up to 2 yds extra fabric, which would have increased the project costs by a coupla hundred.  There was really no need for this. 

My personal fun is in matching button fabric to pattern. Again, not always necessary, I just felt like it.

Pretty cute, I must say! Fabric chosen by my customer is a Pindler & Pindler favorite double woven or pocket weave called Samantha in the color Garden. It was one of our favorite patterns here at Miller Upholstering a few years ago and did dining chairs and pillows from this same fabric for other client projects. 

Catching Up

I've become acquainted with fellow upholsterers on Instagram from California, down to Texas, over to Jersey, the Carolina's and Georgia, from to Vancouver to Belgium, Norway and France. This is stimulating for me in keeping up with decor trends and technical methods practiced in other workrooms and fun because it feels a little like having pen pals, as I did when I was a kid. While you still hear some people say "upholstery is a dying art", I'm happy to report we are


busy and the upholstery trade for new and antique home furnishings is alive and well. I continue to book well into this summer with projects like this...

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LoLa Art Crawl 2012

End of August, Miller Upholstering participated in Longfellow neighborhood's art crawl, LoLa 2012.  This is an Eastlake chair frame that guest Mosaic and Assemblage artist Glen Riddle and I worked on together.  This chair is available for show or sale by contacting me at the shop.  Glen and I would like to see it traveled around and enjoyed if not purchased outright, instead of sitting in storage!  

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Vintage Clothing, Jewelry and Textile Show

Cats Pajamas Productions

hosts a vintage sale twice a year in the Twin Cities. I've attended in years past as a shopper. Last weekend, as a vendor to show a selection of vintage yard goods I sell at Miller Upholstering and to invite people to visit the shop on East Lake St.

We load in and begin set up.

Soon enough we've created a little mock-up of the storefront at 3614 E. Lake St. In Minneapolis...

Fellow vendors are also ready well before doors open early for pre-sale shoppers. This is


from Minnetonka...

Some ladies with fantastic antique hats and footwear

As a dedicated follower of fashion, this season's runway shows haven't offered much to me in the way of inspiration in women's wear - just not seeing anything that really grabs me. But what I find most exciting is the growing awareness locally in fashion and accessories for men. Not in years has individual expression in men's dress and grooming been so accessible, attractive, wearable - and i suppose socially acceptable, but this would require a lengthy socio-political post on why this is happening. But it's nice to see the influence and integration of a "vintage philosophy"; quality materials, excellent and personal service in retail and online environments, and a variety of unique design. The same is being said about (slow)food, (independently produced/fringe)music and entertainment, (slow)clothes... (slow)government ... Well, that doesn't ring as well, probably need a different word for the much-in-demand movement for a people's democracy as opposed to a multinational corporation-run world of manipulating big box capitalism run amuck. The awareness is happening everywhere though and lots of people we talked to during the show said the same - people are wanting to talk about it - but I'll say more later on all that - or not!  More pics, please, of the show...

My vote for Best In Show - vintage wingtips, boots and brogues reworked by Zen The Freshmaker forGreenwich Vintage.

A professional cobbler, here he's resoled the classic styled shoe and sewn in Pendleton plaid.

This is so Andrew Martin to me, which I love and find inspiration for interior applications. When Greenwich Vtg Ltd makes a bricks and mortar presence, Miller Upholstering will be a strong supporter - I'm already a huge fan.

Next, I loved Nancy Adomeit's vast collection of cuff links and necktie barclasps. many others did. Minneapolis' own The Missing Link is also supplier to the fine and popular Martin Patrick 3, so if you missed the show, you can select something fabulous at this carefully curated store in the warehouse district.

Even better than the collections of vintage clothing, textiles and jewelry were the stylish and creative shoppers...

Baskets full of vintage fabric - just the tip of the iceberg of the collection held by  LulaVintage and for sale at Miller Upholstering.

A shopper stops to talk textiles with Rhesa Schwartz of RagsAndHollers on etsy, who also sells her vintage fabrics at Miller Upholstering

Good friends who shop together ...

And finally the show was over, we pack up and return to our shop in the Longfellow neighborhood of East Lake St.

Where you can always find vintage and new fabric for your DIY projects or custom interior orders!

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Location: Mpls/St. Paul