removing fabric from eames shell chair
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removing fabric from eames shell chairPosted by jason strzelczyk at May 05. 2005
I have two eames shell chairs on which the naugahyde material has begun splitting at the seams. Has anyone had any success removing the material? More importantly is there a safe way to remove the adhesive and (presumably) foam which is stuck to the fiberglass?
Re: removing fabric from eames shell chairPosted by Jeffrey Rous at May 05. 2005
For some period of time the fabric was glued on but at other times it was not. Usually, when you see the shells on ebay with the grey painted back, they had been covered with fabric that was not glued on. I have heard that getting the glue off cleanly without destroying the fiberglass is impossible (actually, as I remember it, it was the glue that damaged the fiberglass). So you might want to thing about recovering the chairs. I am not sure how difficult this is, but I did see a couple of recovered chairs in Architectural Digest a while back.
Re: removing fabric from eames shell chairPosted by Clint Woodside at May 06. 2005
i will say... stay away from Methylene chloride... see my thread: modifying my eames chair.
it took the finish off the fiberglass where i applyed it.
Re: removing fabric from eames shell chairPosted by Matt Pierce at May 06. 2005
I've stripped an Eames Armshell chair with good results. I carefully cut the seams of the viynl material to save for a pattern later, and most of the foam came off with the upholstery. I started removing as much foam as I could with my hands and then rubbed a lot of the glue and foam with my fingers. I ended up getting the stubborn stuff off with a natural, orange cleaner. It worked really well at softening the glue and didn't harm the fiberglass at all. I washed it with water and baking soda and a soft cloth and it looked perfect. There are issues with the upholstered chairs though - the later versions had the mounting screws drilled through the seat, so you'll have those holes viewable from the seat, also, mine had a series of 4 small holes drilled in the curve of the seat for the air to escape from the cushion. No bother to me, I just use it as a side chair in the bedroom, but some might find it unsightly.