The old armchairs in our homes often have a sentimental value, which is why having them restored is the best option for preserving them. Michel Pages, upholsterer and Daniel Roux, cabinetmaker restorer at "Le Manoir de Gilles" share the secrets of an old-style restoration with respect for traditions.Interview by Caroline Delman.
When should you restore your club chair?
Anytime! You can always restore a club chair as long as the structure still holds a minimum.
How does a club chair restoration work?
We remove everything, the strap, the springs, the padding and of course the skins. If the structure is damaged we restore it. But it does not matter if it is not aesthetic because it is not visible. Then we redo while starting with the strap and the springs. We then garnish the armchair with vegetable hair (natural fiber), contrary to current practices which consist in stuffing the whole armchair with foam. Finally we put the setting in white then the skins (cowhide or sheep leather).
How long does it take to restore a club chair?
At least two weeks. Everything is done by hand. In addition, the skins must dry for 2 days.
How much does it cost to have a club chair restored?
From 1500 to 2500 euros and sometimes up to 3000 euros. It depends on work and demand. We can also duplicate a club chair by replicating the structure identically. Then the customer decides on the type of leather he wants and the color.
What is the lifespan of an old restored club chair?
It can last 30 years! Unlike an armchair bought today which lasts about 15 years.
What are the reasons why people come to have their club chair restored rather than buying a new one?
It is essentially sentimental in addition to the fact that the club chairs of today are no longer made in the rules of the art of yesteryear. These are often armchairs that have been in a house for decades and that belonged to the grandfather or the grandmother. Some customers even come to take photos of the different stages of the restoration.
Finally how to best maintain your club chair?
From the time of purchase you can wait two years before waxing. Then wax it once a year and it will last for decades! Le Manoir de Gilles 7 Passage du Chantier 75012 Paris