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The Elements of Custom Reupholstery


To reupholster a furniture piece means to replace the existing fabric that covers the entirety or a portion of the piece. Reupholstering can be a pricy endeavor, though, so it should only be done on pieces that are well constructed. On a mass produced piece, the cost of reupholstering will often outweigh simply buying a similarly constructed piece. If a piece has major structural damage, it also may not be worth the cost to salvage the piece when compared to simply buying a new one. However, reupholstering is an excellent option for antique pieces such as a family heirloom or a well-constructed piece purchased from an antique store.

To determine whether a piece is a quality antique piece worth custom reupholstery, the frame of the furniture piece should be examined. Strong structure is built with hard woods such as ash, maple, or oak. On the contrary, mass-produced, inexpensive furniture is often constructed of plywood. Where possible, the legs of the furniture piece will be part of the overall structure. The exception to this rule is when a different wood has been used for the legs for appearances – woods such as ebony or mahogany are commonly used in this way. Another telltale sign that a piece is of high quality is the use of wood glue and dowels in the frame construction.

Custom reupholstering an antique piece allows the owner of the piece to recreate it to fit their specific wants and needs. Most obviously, the owner has the option to choose a fabric that fits his or her personal style and that will complement his or her home. With nearly endless fabric and style options, reupholstery of an existing piece is one of the most customizable methods of picking personally pleasing furniture that exists.

Reupholstering has come a long way as far as customization. Where customized reupholstery once only entailed a choice of new fabric, it now includes much more. One large consideration taken into account by reupholstery professionals is the firmness and type of springs desired in the seat cushion of a piece by the owner. Because reupholstery involves stripping a piece of its fabric, the inside cushioning of the piece is exposed. Therein, an opportunity exists to change both the cushioning itself and the springs that support it. Does the owner prefer firm, fluffy, hard, or soft? Does the owner prefer a sink-in feeling upon sitting down, or a firm bouncy seat? These are all options when it comes to reupholstering a piece.

Reupholstery is an excellent option for someone who wishes to breathe new life into an old, worn, family-owned piece, or for someone who found a piece via a curb sale or antique store that they have determined is worth saving. Giving the owner the ability to update the fabric on the exterior of a furniture piece as well as revamp the cushion and spring consistency within the piece, reupholstery is the ultimate in customization of a furniture piece.

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NYC Furniture Upholstery | Manhattan Commercial Upholstery | New York City Sofa Reupholstery
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