Remember the Turkish Tufted Fainting Couch done by the master himself, Kim Buckminster of Falls City, Nebraska? Here he is again, but this time he’s teaching lots of ‘greedy for knowledge’ upholsterers how to properly restore a piece of horsehair stuffed, diamond tufted furniture. (He scoffs at foam.) Kim, or Buck as he is known, is a perfectionist like you wouldn’t believe. Enjoy your class…His diamond pattern has been drawn on the bottom of the burlap as well as the underside of the green velvet. He is working from the bottom to the top in about 7″ rows. He ties in some ‘bridle stitches’ which hold sections of the horsehair in place.
The goal: Unclumped, PLACED horsehair built up to a 2″ height across each row.
Now he pulls the cotton batting down on top.
From the bottom, he pushes a twine threaded tufting needle up through the marked burlap to get the tufting started. He makes an indentation using his finger in the cotton and the horsehair, but not all the way to the burlap base.
After each tuft has been started in the cotton, he re-threads the needle and pulls the twine up through the marked fabric and starts working on top of the fabric.
He starts in the center of the bottom (if I remember correctly) and works out to each side. The diagram he made to start with allows for the height and width of the tufts so when he pulls the buttons down, the fabric is pulled snugly, forming the tuft with a little coaxing. All folds should face the bottom of the piece.
Here he is working so fast, his hands are a blur. He has threaded the button on one end of the twine and he’s pulling it down in place. He then ties a double wrapped knot and snips the excess twine.
Finished with the tufting, he pulls the sides down and attaches the fabric. The fabric will now form natural folds right next to the buttons on the edges.
He let the whole class work on a leather tufted piece. He showed us and let us feel how the horsehair is supposed to be placed up there in between the tufts. NO pushing, just placing. Teacher is very particular.
See more of Buck’s work at BuckminsterUpholstery.com.
And the best thing is, he really enjoys sharing his knowledge. Thanks Buck.