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Could I use old velvet curtains to cover a chair?

(9 Posts)
thenewaveragebear1983 Sat 04-Mar-17 18:58:21

Dh has a hideous interesting chair. It's quite funky in its own way, but covered in yucky 1980s Draylon and has seen better days. I have a pair of very stylish mustard yellow velvet curtains. Would be quite retro in the right sort of room but I can't see us ever using them. So..... Could the two somehow be put together?

The chair has a removable seat pad thing that I reckon I could make a loose cover for on the sewing machine, and perhaps add some unusual buttons. The body of the chair is a wooden frame underneath, so I 'm guessing a staple gun will do it. Whatcha reckon?

I should add, I've not attempted this sort of thing before but I can sew and I'm pretty neat. And realistically, if it's awful I can just remove it? Excuse the mess in the picture! The base is a tubular steel circle and the chair swivels.

Whileweareonthesubject Sat 04-Mar-17 19:16:44

You'd need to be careful that the velvet all goes in the same direction as the colour will look different in each direction. You'd also need to be careful to prevent fraying and make the seams strong enough to withstand a lot of movement when sitting and standing up, as well as the inevitable shifting around in the chair. How is the cushion section attached to the rest of it? You will need to measure carefully to be sure you have enough fabric - you might be surprised at how much you need. Are you going to remove the existing cover? If not, you'll be covering over dirt and dust. You might want to practise first on a couple of old bed sheets, or even buy a pair of 'value'ones for a few pounds, rather than find out halfway through the job that you need more fabric / specialist tools etc and then you end up with either no chair, no curtains or a huge bill for tools.

thenewaveragebear1983 Sat 04-Mar-17 19:26:47

Thanks for your reply. I'm not worried about the quantity- each curtain is 145x 330 cm. I hadn't considered the pile (is that the word?) of the velvet, so will have to look more closely at that.
The seat cushion fits on the chair by a sort of hood over the back, it is loose/ unfixed except for this hood part which hooks the cushion onto the frame. I would remove the original cover on the cushion definitely but possibly not on the chair body just in case it's awful!

Does velvet fray terribly? Is it difficult to sew? I was concerned about the weight of it, but hadn't considered the other things.....

I'm not worried about losing the curtains- they've been in the lift for years and so I won't miss them and they aren't precious. Their resale value is less than the cost of the equivalent fabric so it's not worth even selling them.

wowfudge Sat 04-Mar-17 22:37:09

Whileweareon is right about the nap, or pile, of the velvet. You might need to strengthen the seams, etc with interfacing of some description too. There's bound to be a tutorial online.

OnePlanOnHouzz Sun 05-Mar-17 07:45:12

And keep it away from fire as won't be as fire retardant as upholstery fabric would be.

Whileweareonthesubject Sun 05-Mar-17 09:13:57

With the quantity of fabric you have, I'd definitely be doing a practice run using sheeting cut to the same size. You'd need to make sure you cut all pieces so the (imaginary) pile runs in the same direction as it would on the velvet. You'll be surprised how much fabric you need. If the sheeting toile works out, you could use it as a barrier between the old covering and the new, as this would help prevent damage to the underside of your velvet from any tiny bits of dust etc on the old - you'd be surprised how much dirt and dust there is and how much damage or can cause to a delicate fabric when pressure (body weight) is applied. The point about fire resistance is also very relevant - all upholstery components have to keep a certain standard of fire resistance. You should check whether there is anything suitable that can be applied retrospectively.
You mentioned buttons - where do you plan to place them and will they have any function beyond decoration? eg: will they be used to secure the cushion in place? If so, you'll need to think about the strength of the velvet and the buttons - any pulling could cause tears to appear. You might also need a long needle (several inches long) .
Sorry if I sound negative but my late dad was an upholsterer and I remember Joshua heart would sink when a customer would insist on using certain fabrics to 'match the curtains ' etc as some fabrics look great but are not built to take the wear and tear of being part of a chair or sofa.

BreakfastAtSquiffanys Sun 05-Mar-17 09:18:20

As a first upholstery project, velvet is the last thing I'd use.
It's thick, it frays, the nap is a pain

Whileweareonthesubject Sun 05-Mar-17 09:20:22

Joshua? How, how his heart would sink. Bloody auto-correct!

thenewaveragebear1983 Sun 05-Mar-17 09:49:56

Cool, you've convinced me! The fire safety thing is an issue really as we have an open fire. I might still cover it, but I think I'll buy some more hard wearing fabric!

Anyone want some mustard yellow velvet curtains??

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