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Question DetailsAsked on 3/21/2018

Reuse cotton upholstery batting in 100 year old sofa?

Removed the velvet to find horsehair/moss combo on corners and thick layer of cotton...thick. then covered/tied coils.

Can I clean and reuse the batting,?

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1 Answer


I don't see why try to save it is being commercially done by an Upholstery firm - trying to reclaim it would cost far more in labor than any materials savings.

Plus trying to clean it - going to fall apart undoubtedly, and most likely the cotton at leat will be all lumpy. I suspect the sphagnum or sea moss (assuming that is what you have - common from WWII rationing era and from WWI and earlier - will totally disintegrate if removed or handled, at that age.

If a DIY job to get a "clean" padding start with new. I suppose, since doing this takes some patience and skill, if it is not all lumpy you could spray with a deodorizer/disinfectant, then overlay with foam and/or cotton or polyester batting. That would leave the original padding in place and retain the overall padding shape so you would not have to reconstruct that - then just build it up with new padding, though if the current padding is significantly lumpy or if the springs are not consistent strength will result in lumpiness and bulges - not a very good second choice, in my opinion. I would just start from the basic frame and springs and all new from there on out.

Remember, if you go with the overlay option or probably with new (uncompacted) material too, that the new fabric will have to be larger than the original so don't just use the old as a cutting template. Easier to start at the long edge and staple it, then work from there across center and out to each end, stapling as you get it stretched into place, then trim excess after it is all done.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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