Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Victorian Parasol Recovering Part 1

This past weekend the talented Claudine taught me how to recover parasols. I have a few Victorian parasols and several vintage umbrellas in the stash that I would like to recover and use. Since this was my first foray into recovering I chose my simplest parasol. A medium sized parasol probably from the 1870-1880s with a bamboo handle and seven metal ribs.

The original white silk covering was attached to the frame but the silk was badly shattering. I removed the cover and kept it as a reference for the original trimming design.

From the Stash:

  • antique parasol

  • 1.5 yards of off-white silk taffeta

The taffeta I'm using is somewhat heavier than the original parasol silk. The original silk is more of a heavy china silk. However, since I only had a bunch of fine china silk and I needed something firmly woven I decided to go with the taffeta.

The first thing we did after removing the original covering was to measure the circumference of the parasol and evenly space the ribs. This allowed us to use a pattern from one section as a template for all the sections. Without this step you would end up with each section of the parasol being a different size and shape. If you have a complete section from the old cover you could use that as a base.

Using the base pattern I then made a muslin mock-up and used safety pins to test it on the frame. I had to take in the pattern by approximately 3/8 of an inch on each side but finally had something with the proper tension.

Part 2 will be trimming the parasol.

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