How to clean and repair deckchairs
A step-by-step guide on how to care for a deckchair and replace the canvas
A feature in countless family photos, the humble deckchair has long been regarded as one of the essentials of summer. Portable folding seats were made in ancient times, but the deckchair that we know and love was christened in the 19th century. Made initially with a single piece of plain green canvas, a simple folding X structure and an upright strut to hold it open, little has changed in their design through the decades.
Keeping a deckchair in tip-top shape will enhance its impact and a few simple steps are all that’s needed to keep it looking its best. When not in use, it’s a good idea to store your deckchair folded and flat in a dry place, as wooden joints will expand if exposed to damp. At the beginning of the summer, oil the metal joints and treat the wood to a light sand and a coat of Danish oil to return it to its former glory. Canvas seats can be protected with waterproof spray, and spillages should be mopped up and washed off, then left to dry before folding away.
To replace your deckchair canvas, you will need
- 1.5m deckchair canvas
- Upholstery nails
How to fix a deckchair:
- Turn the deckchair upside down on a table.
- Remove the nails securing the old fabric at either end and pull away the fabric, noting how it is fixed.
- At the wide end, feed the fabric through the bars, and fold over an edge of 2-3cm.
- Roll fabric over the bar to which it will be fixed and, starting at one end, attach with an upholstery nail.
- Hammer in a nail to attach fabric at the other side, then one in the middle.
- Fill in with nails at regular 3-4cm intervals.
- Feed the rest of the fabric under the bar at the narrow end. Trim any excess, allowing 2-3cm for turning.
- Fold over the bar and secure.
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