How to Riempie a Chair: 11 Steps

A riempie chair is a classic piece of furniture that is made with a wood frame and leather thongs or strips woven together. The weaving creates a strong, comfortable seat that can be both beautiful and functional. If you have a riempie chair that needs repairing or you want to create one from scratch, follow these 11 steps to bring your chair back to life.

1. Gather your materials

You will need a riempie chair frame made of wood, preferably hardwood like oak or mahogany, leather thongs or strips (either pre-made or cut from leather belts), and basic tools like pliers, a sharp scissors or a utility knife, awl, and a hammer.

2. Prepare the leather strips

If cutting your own leather thongs from belts, use sharp scissors or a utility knife to cut the desired width (usually about ½ inch) and slightly longer than required for the chair’s frame.

3. Clean the chair frame

Remove any dirt or old riempies from the chair frame. Tighten any loose joints and repair visible damages like cracks or splintered sections.

4. Measure the spacing

Determine how many holes you will need along each part of the frame where the leather weaving will be. Make sure to keep even spacing so the seat looks uniform.

5. Mark the holes

Using a pencil, make marks at each spot where you would like to make holes on the chair’s frame for attaching the riempie strips.

6. Drill or pierce holes

Carefully drill small holes (just big enough for your chosen leather strip width) with an awl at each marked spot in the frame. Be sure not to drill through to the other side of the wood.

7. Soak the leather thongs

Soften your leather thongs by submerging them in warm water for a few minutes. This will make them more flexible and easier to handle.

8. Weave the seat

Starting at one corner of the frame, thread a leather strip through the hole, leaving 2-3 inches extra on the bottom to later secure it with a knot. Begin weaving the leather thong into the desired pattern across your chair seat. Use pliers, if necessary, to pull tight and create tension in the weaving as you work.

9. Repeat with additional strips

Continue weaving until you’ve covered the entire surface of your chair seat.

10. Trim excess leather

Once all strips are properly woven and secured, trim any excess leather length from each thong end to about 1 inch.

11. Secure all ends

Using your awl or needle-nose pliers, create small knots on each end of the leather thongs to prevent them from slipping out of the holes on the chair frame. Push them down as needed with a hammer for better security.

Now that you’ve successfully riempied your chair, sit back and enjoy its beauty and sturdiness. With proper care and maintenance, your riempie chair can last for generations!

The post How to Riempie a Chair: 11 Steps appeared first on The Tech Edvocate.

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