A Free and Open Island - Reupholster an armchair

The Free and Open Island of Ama Gi is a place in the virtual environment Second Life devoted mainly to the promotion of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).

This island is owned by Trade Flow and inhabited by two groups:

the 4freedom group, founded by Catharina Jacobus.The 4Freedom group meets every Sunday to discuss further development. Everyone is welcome to participate.
the Free4all group, managed by a Board consisting of five people regularly chosen by an election open to every group member (1 head, 1 vote). Currently the Board is formed by (in alphabetical order):

More in-depth information about the Free4all group can be found in the About Us page.

The Group


The Free4all group is an international group of Second Life users devoted to the promotion of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), according to the Free Software Foundation and Open Source Initiative definitions, respectively.


We are located on the AmaGi island, property of Trade Flow, one of our group members and currently also a Board member. The South half of the island is allocated for the group.

How To Join

Joining the Group is easy: after logging in to Second Life, search for free4all in the Search window under the Groups tab. Select the group name on the list, click the Info button and then click the Join button on the Group Properties window.

Feel free to IM the Board members inworld and to drop by AmaGi. Since we're mostly European (4/5) the best time to meet us on the island is usually by Europe's evening, roughly from 1pm to 4pm SLT (21:00h to 24:00 GMT). You can also check our user pages here on the wiki and send us an e-mail. Although there are some dragons and radioactive people on the group, we don't bite... Most of the time. ;-)

Re-upholster an armchair

This type of chair is among the easiest to cover. The opportunity to learn about the very particular know-how of tapestry, which requires patience and specific tools.

Reupholster an armchair

A traditional craft, tapissier decorateur cannot be improvised. It requires two precious allies: time and patience …

The traditional method with seeds (small nails with flat head and point) involves a complete overhaul of the seat.
It begins with stripping down to the burlap.
The fabric is removed keeping the pieces (template for later cutting if necessary), the old nails are removed using a stripping chisel, to expose the seat.
Reviewing the upholstery is a simple step but on old and damaged seats, it is often necessary to install
Repair the woods
The carcass is then glued (wood glue), then the wood cleaned using a dewaxer and passed through steel wool.
For refurbishment, it is then sufficient to apply a layer of tinted wax (Les Frères Nordin, Libéron, Syntilor, etc.).
Then comes the rather complex step of strapping, which consists of strengthening the seat of the chair with jute straps.
The work continues with the horsehair (vegetable or animal).
On the old upholstery above the seat, we make “laces”, using string to prick, forming loops loose enough to be able to slip the rolled hair.
This must be well ventilated and evenly distributed.
It is then a matter of “wrapping” it, compacting it and wrapping it with padding cloth (hemp and jute), pulled and fixed with seeds.
Once the canvas has been pointed on the rebate, it is time to proceed with the “ground stitches” on the drawing of a square.
It is then necessary to prick on both sides, with a plaice (double pointed needle) and string to prick, on the line marked with “houzeaux” (large pins with head).
At each point, the wire should be stretched and the horsehair crushed.
The “folding”, for the final shape of the seat of the chair
Folding gives the final shape of the seat: the additions are removed, the canvas is re-stretched by folding it down to the sides; the excess is cut, folded back and nailed, still with seeds.

If a professional takes only a day and a half to redo a chair in this way, it takes three to four for a beginner.

But on this heathered armchair, in good condition, only the fabric needs to be changed. No need to strip the seat: the work comes down to laying white canvas, wadding, upholstery and jaconas (cotton fabric, fine and light).

However, each step must be executed with care. And do not hesitate to start over, because any wrong maneuver would be detrimental to the appearance and comfort of the seat.

Reupholster an armchair in 8 steps:

Reupholster an old armchair: re-upholster the seat
Cover the seat with white canvas.
Cut by adding 5 cm.
Lay the fabric respecting the grain, stretch and point (6 mm seeds) the center of the front, then the sides.
Lay a layer of wadding on an armchair to be upholstered
Lay a layer of cotton wool.
Same principle: cut, adjust but without stretching or pointing.
The wadding is held by the fabric.
When the seat is finished, do the same for the backrest.
Cutting the upholstery fabric
Cut the fabric by taking 10 cm more margin and taking into account here the positioning of the stripes.
Be sure to be precise and work with a tape measure.
Center a striped fabric on an upholstery chair
Follow the direction of the stripes and above all, take your markings to center them in the right place, both on the seat and on the backrest.
Fix the fabric of an armchair to the upholstery nail
Appoint the tissue with 3 mm seeds.
Remove them, then tighten the fabric before nailing it permanently.
Use a tapestry hammer with a magnetic head (magnetized).
Sew the cover of an armchair
Adjust and fold up the fabric following the configuration of the feet and angles.
Cut off the excess.
Like a hem, finish in hidden stitches with the curved needle.
Fix the jaconas canvas under the armchair
In order to hide the straps under the seat, finish by installing the jaconas canvas (here gray blue or brown).
Cut by stretching the canvas and nail it using 6 mm seeds.

Practical advice

• Choose a resistant fabric, such as thick canvas or wool velvet, and do not neglect the quality. Avoid fabrics that are too soft.
• To hide the seeds (small nails), apply braid.
• Tools and supplies are available from upholstery specialists, from certain restorers of seats and on the Internet

Rent Collection

This page will detail monies paid and monies due for parcel rent.

Monies paid and due payments to Trade

Looks like Foxman is not contactable despite the IMs and emails sent to his paypal address. We do have a situation where many have paid him and I will assume this has been paid and will deduct that from this months payment, that means I will not ask those who paid him to pay again and will not use group monies to make up the difference. I will post full accounts on JIRA for board members inspection.

Currenly Foxman owes the group 1750L$ + 52.00US$ + any further donations


ISTE Tour visit
Debian Day party outcome, amazing!!
4Freedom starts a [petition] for Linden Labs on free virtual creations (petition not completed yet, so help is welcome)


Current renters map can be viewed here, as well as instructions on how to rent on Ama Gi.

For renting information, an accountancy system is being developed and will probably be ready by April. Meanwhile, please see the Rent Collection page.