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Special Care Tips for Antique Furniture Re-Upholstery


One glance at antique furniture will show that these special pieces differ from contemporary furniture in many important ways. Made decades, in some cases even centuries ago, antique furniture exhibits construction techniques, styles and materials that require unique expertise to re-upholster without risk of damage. Passed from generation to generation within families, antique furniture holds memories and special meaning, in addition to the particular re-upholstery requirements. Without consulting a specialist for the re-upholstery job, antique furniture owners could end up with a compromised piece and heartache. The following tips offer important points to keep in mind when seeking re-upholstery help with antique furniture.

Compared to the furniture of today, antique furniture was made with different construction techniques and specific types of padding, both important points to be considered when making the decision to reupholster. Consider the springs, for instance, where antique furniture contains hourglass-style springs instead of modern furniture’s zigzag or mesh springs. In comparison to the springs of contemporary furniture, antique furniture springs provide outstanding comfort, but they must be fitted with care and tied-in correctly so that they maintain position and continue to provide excellent support. The re-upholstery service must consider the special nature of antique furniture springs in order to avoid damaging the quality of a beloved piece.

In addition to differences with springs, antique furniture is known for padding that uses older items such as horsehair and cotton felt, not the foam common to modern pieces. Foam destroys the integrity of antique items and makes them look awkward, not to mention feel less comfortable, which makes it essential for any re-upholstery service to keep this difference in mind.

While it may seem that no modern elements should ever be used in antique furniture, there are some cases of contemporary articles that prove more effective in older pieces. For example, the traditional tacks in antique furniture represent an exception that proves inferior to more modern solutions like staples. In contrast to staples, traditional tacks make larger holes in the wood frame and become more likely to cause the wood to split, especially when antique wood, which dries out with age, combines with the severity of modern heating systems. Remember, antique furniture was designed for the years before high-tech heating and cooling systems. Take note that an antique furniture re-upholster understands these differences in historical time, and offers staples in addition to traditional tacks.

Obviously, the re-upholstery of antique furniture requires special skills and knowledge, and not all upholstery services are equipped to offer this level of expertise. The job requires sympathy to the different construction and materials, not to mention the patience to work through a time-consuming task, where antique furniture re-upholstery work cannot be rushed at the expense of the pieces’ integrity. Be sure to research any re-upholstery service and read testimonials. Better yet, ask friends and family members for their opinions and valuable word of mouth, and always request to see examples of re-upholstery work. The expense may be greater in the short run for this kind of re-upholstery, but the long-term investment in antique furniture brings a satisfaction that proves priceless over generations.

It is a specialist skill, and most upholsterers are equipped to deal with antique style furniture in a sympathetic way. Unfortunately there are some upholsterers who are clearly out of their depth and can too often ruin antique furniture by stuffing the seats with rags!!

Antique upholstery is time consuming, and a rushed job quickly becomes apparent, when the seat area becomes bumpy or sinks.

There are many antique re-upholstery specialists throughout the country, who will sympathetically restore your antique furniture so that it will become your heirlooms of the future.

Whilst the cost of such work is inevitably higher than for modern furniture, with right upholsterer with and attention to detail, the finished product will be an investment for years to come.

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