Shrunken Sweater Chair Reupholster

4 Materials
30 Minutes
Easy

I took my favourite shrunken sweater and gave life to one of my antique chairs.
reupholster chair sweater shrunken repurpose, painted furniture, reupholster
reupholster chair sweater shrunken repurpose, painted furniture, reupholster
I took this
reupholster chair sweater shrunken repurpose, painted furniture, reupholster
Here is the original chair. Someone long ago had reupholstered it in a green-grey velour. Sure its sturdy but it's not me.
reupholster chair sweater shrunken repurpose, painted furniture, reupholster
Here is the underside so I know it was professionally done. I didn't want to meddle with it so I decided to keep the old fabric on the chair to add support to my shrunken sweater.
reupholster chair sweater shrunken repurpose, painted furniture, reupholster
First step is to see if the sweater will work. Mine was a wee bit too small but nothing some stretching couldn't fix.
reupholster chair sweater shrunken repurpose, painted furniture, reupholster
So I used my legs and pulled on the sweater. It also helps if you can get someone else to help. You will hear some cracking sounds as the sweater stretches this is the felt bonds breaking don't worry your not hurting the sweater but check to ensure you are not making any holes where you don't want holes.
reupholster chair sweater shrunken repurpose, painted furniture, reupholster
I was finally happy with how much it stretched out
reupholster chair sweater shrunken repurpose, painted furniture, reupholster
I cut the sweater down the exact middle of the back from the bottom to the middle of the back of the collar.
reupholster chair sweater shrunken repurpose, painted furniture, reupholster
I stapled the middle of my fabric to the middle of the underside of the back of the chair.
reupholster chair sweater shrunken repurpose, painted furniture, reupholster
I made sure the corners would tuck around the back rail of the chair without puckering.
reupholster chair sweater shrunken repurpose, painted furniture, reupholster
reupholster chair sweater shrunken repurpose, painted furniture, reupholster
Then I stapled the middle of the fabric to the middle of the front of the bottom of the chair.. I then worked my way from side to side of the chair pulling and stretching to keep the wrinkles and puckers at bay.
reupholster chair sweater shrunken repurpose, painted furniture, reupholster
Trim the extra fabric off and you're done.
reupholster chair sweater shrunken repurpose, painted furniture, reupholster
My finished chair has a lovely pop of cloud in my accent colour.
For full directions check out my blog post below:
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To see more: http://yesterdaysantiquesandfunkyjunk.wordpress.com/2014/08/08/346/

Have a question about this project?

5 questions
  • Bev Pike Dietz
    on Jul 19, 2018

    Windering if it gets "pills" from being sat on ?

    • Nicole Mahoney
      on Jul 19, 2018

      Hi Bev, the sweater felted because I accidentally shrunk it and it sort of had a little rib to it to begin with so it does not get little “pills”. I think it is because of a combination between the felting and the original construction of the sweater.

    • Joni Sassone
      on Mar 3, 2019

      Give it some time. That is wool. It will pill. I’ve had several felted purses, and eventually the pilled. You may have to shave it once and a while.

  • Dorothy Sittler
    on Feb 23, 2019

    I am wondering why you did not remove the seat from the chair.

    • Nancy
      on Feb 23, 2019

      Looking at the bottom of the chair, it doesn't appear to have a removable seat. I don't see any screws holding it on.

    • Dorothy Sittler
      on Feb 23, 2019

      SORRY


    • Terri
      on Feb 23, 2019

      From the post: . I didn't want to meddle with it so I decided to keep the old fabric on the chair to add support to my shrunken sweater.

    • Nicole Mahoney
      on Feb 23, 2019

      Hi Dorthy,


      It’s exactly what everyone else had said. It didn’t want to change anything on the chair that I couldn’t reverse and the seat did not come off these ones. These chairs are from the mid to late 1800’s so I didn’t want to make irreversible changes. The back legs are attached to the side of the chairs and the front legs are screwed into the bottom of the seat. It’s just the style of them. If you need to remove the seat for the chairs you are doing by all means do it. Not all chairs are made the same.


      -Nicole

    • Dorothy Sittler
      on Feb 23, 2019

      I do not quit. If it went together then it will come apart.

    • Rebecca Platt
      on Feb 24, 2019

      I agree Dorothy.

    • Wyldecent
      on Feb 24, 2019

      Not everyone may have your skill set Dorothy and as is it is an antique it could be damaged in the process. She did a nice job of resusing a sweater that was ruined, isn't permanent and didn't damage the chair in the process. It is also easier to remove if she wants a different cover in the future.

  • Lucy
    on Feb 23, 2019

    People are suggesting removing the seat cushion for an easier recovering, but I don’t see any sort of bolts or screws underneath the seat cushion to accomplish this ... it is glued down? It’s a great looking chair!

    • Terri
      on Feb 23, 2019

      The original upholstery is stapled to the bottom of the chair (if you look closely you can see the staples) and she didn't want to remove it so just reupholstered over it using the same technique as the original.

    • Nicole Mahoney
      on Feb 24, 2019

      In this style of chair the seat cushion is not removable as most chairs from this century.

  • Gaylynn Collins Schiller
    on Feb 24, 2019

    I’m wondering if you are going to have a problem with the knitted fabric coming unraveled? Perhaps turning under the edges could prevent this!

    • Nicole Mahoney
      on Feb 24, 2019

      Hi Gaylynn,


      the sweater is felted. In the post I write about how I ruined my favorite sweater because I washed it in hot water! Oops!


      That process felts wool so it will never unravel again. You don’t have to worry about it coming apart. There are many many posts on the internet on how to felt wool. But it has to have a high wool content for it to work.


      Nicole

    • Gaylynn Collins Schiller
      on Feb 24, 2019

      I didn’t think about that!!! Have had that happen to me before when my housekeeper washed a cashmere sweater!!!! OMG!!! I don’t have many super nice sweaters and I thought I would die!!! Great save on the fabric!!! And the color looks beautiful on that chair🙀

  • Susan
    on Feb 27, 2019

    Great idea to reuse something that would otherwise be thrown out. We all have or have had a favorite sweater, etc., so why not incorporate it in a different way and still hold onto it awhile longer? Fabulous

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