The chair belongs to the first saloon furniture set of the Károlyi palace. The fabric on it is the original biedermeier – neo rococo textile, proven by the silk wallpaper remains of the palace found during the excavations.
The chair was in very bad condition: one of its legs was missing, it had been re-upholstered twice before, the fabric was torn and full of holes. Basically the re-upholstering saved the original textile, as during the process the original textile wasn’t taken off, just a new layer was nailed onto it. So the edges of the original textile were ragged and damaged because of the nailing. The chair probably got soaked in the past as the colour of the upper pink layer strongly “bleeded” down and got ingrained to the layers underneath. The silk fabric dried out so it was torn immediately at the smallest touch. The textile of the back-rest was especially in bad condition.
The aim of the restoration was to save the original cover, as wholly original furniture from this period is very rare in Hungary. I removed the textile pieces carefully – the hardest part was to take out the nails without destroying the silk.
I created a cutplan of the textile pieces so I could place them back properly after cleaning. After the humifying cleaning process I fixed them to grainline, then needled them with a stainless insect needle.
The weakened state of the silk necessitated full underneath support. For this I coloured a cotton fabric to a similar shade as of the original silk. I laid the cleaned fabric onto it and sewed them together. I fixed the gaps with broad stitches.
At the end we nailed the textile back to the chair without straining it. So the fabric got strengthened and the object gained back it original beauty.