Best chair to use while sewing?

vicky4x4December 21, 2007

I asked my husband for a chair to sew in. I thought a computer type chair that had no arms and was adjustable would be good. Does anyone have opinions on this? What kind of chair do you use? I do have a lot of back problems and I'm a bit clueless here.


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I use a regular adjustable desk chair. However, if you have back problems, you definitely need something with good support, and my cheap-y chair is most certainly not that.

You could check out the various office supply stores, the good chairs there are made specifically to be used for long periods of time, and many have really great back support.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 8:02AM
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Vicky, I use an office chair...I love being able to swivel and roll around. If you have a bad back, you for sure need to have a chair with good support. Spend the money for a good one so you can sew for hours and not hurt!!! You deserve it!!!!


    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 8:17AM
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I use an office chair also. Mine is on wheels, is adjustable up/down and has an adjustable back.


    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 8:53AM
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I too use an office chair - same reasons as above. I took a class at Quilt University about setting up your sewing studio and there was quite a bit of time devoted to selecting the correct chair, and setting it to the correct height for your body. I would imagine there are probably articles about it as well. I think having an adjustable chair so that it is exactly right for you is important. Good luck.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 10:02AM
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Office chair first one was a cheapy (BIG MISTAKE) I quickly trashed it and purchased one with good complaints.


    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 7:50PM
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Good office chair here too, that swivels.

I lucked out yrs. ago when a firm I was at sold the older furniture after a remodel. I got 3 GREAT, strong & sturdy (I've had back problems) office computer chairs for a bit more than the price of have them delivered to my home. These have arms & I like them: I've got 1 at computer, one at the sewing (kitchen) table & 1 empty for guests.

You're smart to take time & opinions on this. Could you possibly go 'test drive' a few before you finalize your purchase? That'd probably be the best.

Mine doesn't have adjustable back, nor do the arms move, I don't mind that, but if you can try them out, pls. check that can push your tush (bottom) all the way back in the chair so your back is all the way up against the back of the chair & well-supported.

That's made the most difference to me (& my back) & I've sat for long hrs. at office computers for 17+ yrs.

When you set the height of yr. chair to your sewing table, try to set it so that you can sit comfortably w/ yr. feet flat on the floor & yr. hips & knees at right angles. This makes for a very stable & back friendly posture (taught to me yrs. ago by the chiropractor who's adjusted my back for 20 yrs.), allowing for long time sewing & less stress, fatigue.

Good luck w/ yr. search!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 9:22PM
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I like a good office chair, swivel, and on wheels, adjustable height, adjustable back, no arms. The arms on my former office chair ran into the sewing table, and limited my adjustment range.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 9:53PM
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For doing task work, such as sewing, a good office/task chair that has a seat that is adjustable is a benefit. The seat itself can be set to remain tipped forward just slightly. This helps to keep pressure off of the upper thighs, for better circulation.

Hope you have good luck finding your perfect chair! (:

    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 9:55PM
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Office chair, adjustable, no arms. I like it and have had it for a LONG time. My only problem with it is that thread gets cought in the wheels and they are a devil to clean. If anyone know of a good way to clean them I sure would like to know. Jayne

    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 10:09PM
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Vicky, you say that you want "a chair to sew in." Are you going to be sewing by hand? By machine? What type of table do you have? Do you also have good lighting?

The chair I was sitting on in front of my sewing machine was a hand me down from my aunt. Wood, and not the least bit adjustable. So I got one of those rubbery exercise disks. I believe it was made by Nike. It is blue. Got it at Wally World real cheap -- only twelve bucks.

The rubbery disk can have more or less air added, to be softer or firmer. It boosted me up in my chair. Made a big difference to be taller, almost looming over my machine. I could lower my shoulders all the way. If you raise your shoulders, those muscles will fatigue after a while.

Have you heard the recommendation to have your forearms parallel with the floor? And I think that most people don't sit close enough to the machine, so that their back muscles fatigue after a while, because of leaning forward. So be sure that your spine is as vertical as possible, and you'll be more comfortable. You ought to look down, instead of sideways at the needle area.

As part of my sewing room overhaul, I got three GALANT tables from Ikea. They are height adjustable. The two I use for cutting and pressing I brought to their highest possible position--actually greater than 36" tall. The other one for my machine I was able to lower way, way down. I can still use the old chair from my aunt, but no longer need the blue disk. I have adjusted the table, instead of the chair.

For hand sewing, the couch is comfy. I just make sure that I put a pillow or two underneath, so that my arms can rest.

Lighting will make a difference, if you are leaning to get your eyes closer to your work. More light = less need to lean.

Whatever chair you get, be sure that it will let you get close enough, high enough, low enough, etc. so that your body is in its ideal position. No leaning, and only enough tension to keep your spine vertical. How relaxed and limp can you get, and still sew?

Good luck finding a comfortable chair!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2007 at 9:14AM
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I use an adjustable office chair for my machine sewing. It is worth the extra money to get a chair that has an adjustable height, back and seat. I have arms on my chair that don't interfer with getting close to my machine. I like the arms because the chair can't get away from me when I am getting up.

Good luck in your shopping and let us know what you find.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2007 at 11:10AM
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I'm with Maryliz, the problem most of the time when machine sewing is that the machine is too high. If you're short like me, your hands are up above your elbows when you sit in a normal chair and use a machine, and this causes a lot of strain on your neck and back.

For the best ergonomics, you should adjust your seat so that your arms are comfortable at your sewing table/machine, especially if your machine sits on top of instead of being recessed down.

If you adjust to this and your feet don't touch the floor (mine definitely don't) use a platform to rest your feet (and foot pedal) on. You'll be amazed at how much more comfortable this is.

For me, switching to a built-in machine also made a huge difference because it brought the height of my work surface down to a more comfortable level.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 10:42PM
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Gulp. At the sewing machine, a very petite and feminine old, old, wooden ladder back chair with a cane seat. My tush finally broke through the caning, and is sort of suspended in mid air now, so I'm bringing the little lady rocker my mother had to the sewing room soon. My machine is in a cabinet and is just the comfortable height for me, as I'm tall. Sitting for long periods isn't really too pertinent for me. I have no clue how others sew, but I am up and down to the ironing board, looking at how the work in progress presents as it's hung on the wall, cutting something, getting tea. LOL. I can work for hours on end in the sewing room, but very little of it seems to be spent sitting at the machine.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 10:59PM
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I love this blog...thank you for all the tips...I am making my first quilt...and am sure I will be a quiltaholic. Biggest difficulty I have is in marking the quilting lines, especially a grid behind an applique. The muslim seems to move as I mark. Directions were to mark lines after sandwiching the three layers. I have a great kitchen island where I am marking. I am using an erasable marking pencil. I do not know if the problem is my skill, the muslin quality, the marking instrument or just par for the course. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 10:34AM
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