Tag Archives: Chair

Anti what?

Did you ever see lace doilies covering the back of a chair or couch?  Think 18th & 19th century, or Byron.  Did you know that at one time they were more than decorative?  They had a purpose.

You see at one time men of the family oiled their hair with oil of Antimacassar DoilyMacassar.  It gave them that irresistible look, plus it hid the smell of unwashed hair.  Needless to say this oil didn’t do the furniture any good and over time, it would stain it to the point that the material would be ruined.   Somewhere along the line, an industrious homemaker came up with the idea to hang a doily along the area where her hubby’s moldy – oily head rested.  Problem solved.  Easier to wash a doily then to wash a chair.

Now the special use doilies became known as antimacassars.   Today we see similar chair protectors on the back of seats in commercial airlines or Amtrak coaches.

Needless to say, we have a display of these antique doilies in our store.  Look for them soon on our repurposed magazine rack.


A Long – Short Week

United States Olympic Committee headquarters i...
Image via Wikipedia. United States Olympic Center

Friday night, after a long – but too short Christmas break, I finally closed the classroom door and was happy to get home and hit my easy chair. Tomorrow, (Sat) we are heading to the store to add in some more lace and vintage material, then it’s off to the Antique Show here in Colorado Springs.

An idea for you teachers. Two years ago, I made seat back pouches for all my elementary student chairs. The kids would come in, put their books and personal items into the pouch, keeping everything off the floor and out of the way.  Naturally I used repurposed material. In this case, it was old car seat covers I had found, but any heavy canvas material would do.

Instructions:   Measure the width of your chairs and the length from the top of the chair to the seat.  I will bet that you creative types will already know how to sew the rest, but for those who don’t try this.  Take your length measurement times 2 1/2. plus 2 inch’s.  e.g If you measured 15 inches from the top of the seat back to the seat, then the length of the canvas you will need is about 38 + 2 or 40 inches.  The last 8 inches is the pouch part.  The first fold is at 15 inches.  The second fold, folded inside itself is at 30 inch’s  (I hem the top and bottom of the strip one inch before I fold anything, so that’s why the extra length.)  The width of the piece is two inches wider then your seat back.  Now sew the side edges and turn everything inside out.  Your pouch part is now on the outside and ready to be filled.  Slip the whole thing over the seat back and your done.  Do this 25 more times and you have a classroom full of happy kids with new seat pouches and a clean floor.

Until next time, recycle, repurpose and stay green.