All pieces of furniture eventually break down and, when this happens to cherished, precious pieces, owners want to proceed to fixing and restoring them to their good condition. However, sometimes they ask themselves whether they should keep a vintage or antique design, or transform the piece into something more modern. The decision depends on certain factors and asks for bits of essential knowledge.
Identifying the Type of Hardware
The key to completing such task is to have matching hardware pieces, which won’t end up ruining the whole structure or compromise its image. Knowing the hardware that suits your furniture may not be a simple business though. To attach support systems to frames and upholstery layers, one may need pins, wire nails, staples, clips, clamps and hooks, machine-cut iron tacks, zips, braces or snaps. All of these come in different sizes and shapes.
Traditional and Modern Materials
As far as hardware is concerned, when working with the different types of furniture one has to separate between the appropriate materials and techniques for traditional furniture (materials: cotton, canvas, animal hair, hemp twine, jute, coconut fiber, duck or goose feathers etc.) and the ones for modern furniture (such as synthetic webbing, foams, elastic straps). When a piece has to be reconditioned and a switch of materials or techniques is possible, it is best to think of the maintenance (will it be difficult?) and the frequency of use. Using precious materials on a frequently used piece of furniture may not be the best idea concerning your finances. Also, these may not be as long lasting as desired.
The Differences Between Antique and Modern Techniques
This knowledge is useful when you are dealing with very old furniture produced through non-industrial methods. At the end of the 18th century, machine-cut shanks started to be used. However, the heads were hammered by hand, still. With the first decades of the 19th century, both shanks and heads were being machine-made. Upholstery tacks today are cut steel, fine or improved. The latter type comes with a larger head. Also, magnetic methods are being largely utilized. Also, there are burred shanks and gimp pins which are smaller than thin nails. These have replaced the 18th century copper pin nails. Tacks have been cheap for a great deal of time already, and are used in traditional upholstery.
The Benefits of Switching to Modern Methods
Modern application techniques are not as damaging as some believe. The new tools cause less stress to the frame. When hammering in tacks by hand, more damaged can be produced. The modern methods also involve applying a complete performed unit which calls for adding only one row of metal fasteners. When working by hand, each upholstery layer demands a separate row.
When the hardware is discontinued, it may be troublesome to try to replace it. It takes some perseverance and also a bit of luck to come across what you need. The original manufacturer or seller may still be able to provide the pieces. However, this is not always to be expected. If no solution comes from the original seller, you can look for reproductions of the furniture in cause. These will come with matching reproduction hardware. Ultimately, you can just inspect the worn out pieces in your broken furniture and find new ones of similar shape and size that are a close match to those. Make sure to be careful with the length of the screws especially, as you wouldn’t want to drill any additional holes into the furniture.
Some companies are specialized in reconditioning vintage furniture or transforming it into modern one, and can be found online. They regularly have impressive inventories of fabrics and hardware to suit different eras.
Kate William has experience in writing on topics related to business. She is a freelance writer and writes at regular basis.