Most of us already own several
upholstered furniture pieces. From sofas and loveseats to
armchairs and dining chair slip seats, upholstered furniture
is a staple in the overall look and design of a home’s
Unlike tables and shelves, the woodwork and craftsmanship
of a couch or chair is within the piece, not on the outside
of it. Many people associate the fabric of such pieces as
the “life” of the piece. Excitingly for those
who wish to change up the look of a piece, the fabric of
an upholstered chair or sofa can be removed and replaced
with new fabric of a totally different style, color, or
design. This is called reupholstery.
Reupholstering a sofa or chair can give the piece an entirely
new look. And, presuming the interior structure is in tact,
reupholstering can literally revive an old, worn furniture
piece and make it look and feel brand new. The quality of
the interior structure of a furniture piece is incredibly
important when buying a new furniture piece as well as when
deciding whether to reupholster an old one.
When looking at furniture pieces – old or new –
the weight of the piece will help indicate what kind of
structure is within it and perhaps whether or not it is
worth reupholstering. A quality sofa will be made of kiln-dried
hardwoods, which are heavy and much more durable than lighter,
less expensive options. The entire piece should have cotton
beneath the upholstery. Any hard spots might indicate that
cotton is not present and those areas will be more susceptible
to wearing and tearing because the fabric is directly on
the hard wood.
Reupholstering can be pricey, and some people are turned
off by the fact that you could buy an entire set of furniture
from a low-end furniture store for the cost it might cost
to reupholster one couch. However, it’s important
to consider the quality of the structure and design of the
piece you’re considering reupholstering. In general,
older pieces are better made than newer, cheaper pieces.
So while that entire living room set at the cheaper store
may have cost you less, it will also not last nearly as
long as an older piece.
Once you have decided to invest in the future of a piece
by reupholstering it, it’s a good idea to seek professional
help in the actual reupholstering process. A professional
will be able to use exact measurements to determine how
much fabric the furniture piece needs. Misestimating fabric
measurements can mean spending more than you need to on
fabric and having a ton left over, or worse, not buying
enough and then finding out the store is out of the fabric
you chose. A professional will also have the skills to make
sure that the pattern repeat of the piece is proper.
Reupholstering is much more than a simple re-application
of fabric. Done well, reupholstering will completely renovate
your entire piece of furniture from the structure to the
filling to the fabric on the exterior!