1960s Viking Artline Chair

An armless "slipper" chair bearing a mfg tag as seen below came in to be repadded and reupholstered. You can google Viking Artline (Images) and see all kinds of chairs like this still in existence and for sale. Are they worth it? Well yes, if used in a practical manner. Slipper chairs typically were meant to be bedroom chairs, so the sitter was usually just a pile of clothes or blankets more often than not. Or a person sitting briefly to put on their shoes or slippers, hence the name. But occasionally could be brought in for extra seating when company comes, or just to fill an area in a room that could use a chair of high style and low profile.

People today like to take chairs and use them for purposes in which they were not intended. I'm asked frequently to reupholster delicate ladies parlor chairs and the person will say, "I want to use it as my office chair" because they've seen all these great staged pics on apt therapy, Pinterest and such, but that purpose will not often warrant the high cost of reupholstery (which even a simple chair takes hours and hours of doing=$$$) when considering the amount of stress and use it'll receive, not to mention the weight of the person intending to use it in this new way. This chair was made economically - the factory cut labor and materials by using long bolts instead of block and dowel joinery (these come looseand need to be tightened periodically). Suspension "s" springs instead of hand tied coil (as they may have a decade earlier, or in a more expensive chair even for the time). This doesn't mean it's a "cheap" chair and not worth reupholstering. If used humanely, it'll last another 50 years and that's more than you can say for a similar looking one from Homegoods or any number of places that will have a fast deteriorating foam as padding and will need to be reupholstered in 5 years - then


probably not worth it!

Web across the opening horizontally for support. This may be a little stronger than just burlap or a scrap fabric foundation - but you could use that too. Just something for the rest of padding to lay on before upholstering. Originally was a piece of (caved in) cardboard.

I personally love this stuff. A recycled fiber pad, grey felt carpet pad, I think my supplier calls it "trunk liner", there are a few thicknesses. I love this stuff for wood frame - even spring cover,before I apply cotton. Professionally upholstery applications for years had us applying foam to the frame or "foam skin"... A foam with a hard rubber side meant to face the wood and last longer. But it doesn't. I'm not overly fond of foam and the idea of its use for everything.

Putting the original layer back on. It's okay that it's flat. This chair is supposed to finish with a slim line. Just replenish what's there with enough new cotton that you don't feel wood thru the new fabric.

Good ol vintage


to be used as contrasting welt cording for this project. Miller Upholstering has a great selection of vintage fabric and vinyl for interiors.

Laying out the sides of inside-back to pattern new ones in fabric. Could pattern off the wood too and add a bit for padding and seam allowance, but the old ones are in good enough shape to get a good fitting pattern. This would not be as likely if they were torn up, then i would def go off frame. It's tricky sometimes to go from vinyl to textile, or vice versa, because whatever you're working with now is going to behave differently than the old cover. As in garment armscyce sewing, you have to ease in the extra fabric from the plate into the smaller section that will be the side.

Above... You can see the weave of the textile is supple - it will allow me to sew more fabric in a smaller space. There is a lot of room for error here though, and with some fabrics you want to get it right the first time the needle puts a hole in materials! As with vinyl or leather - those needle holes are permanent so you want precision.

Back is fitted over cotton and felt then upholstered to frame. Moving on to seat, the side here must be fitted to just the right curve and amount of ease so the chair keeps its bullet-like profile at front edge.

A wider basting stitch can be seen in photo below. This is in case I have to take it apart and adjust the curve and amount of ease. A tighter machine stitch will finally join the side to the plate when I'm satisfied it fits the front "nose" of chair correctly.

I use the old layer of cotton first, then a new layer. Seems like a lot of new cotton to fit over, but it compresses, fills the sewn curves of the new cover and makes the finish smooth, not lumpy.

Takes some muscle and know-how to get the new cover on evenly without over-stretching the textile. Even if you've sewn it to correct fit, you can stretch it out disproportionately in trying to get the new cover on. You have to be careful.

As you pull down on the cover, the overhanging cotton should be pulled away or lightly shoved back in and not be wrapped under and stapled over. You should not be stapling over padding ever, but have the wood coverered w padding right to the edge.

Tightening up the leg screws and a few at the back attachment put this chair right again, as it had simply loosened with wear.

Here it sat in shop, waiting for its owner to pick it up. It was to go into their 60s retro basement, but sometimes people get these home and decide they want to enjoy them upstairs in the living room, which is fine as long as they regard the kind of new traffic and wear it will get receive vs. the kind of use it was designed for.