When To Reupholster Furniture

When to reupholster furniture. There are several ways to determine if your furniture is worth the work of reupholstering. To upholster furniture is to provide furniture, especially seats and couches, with...

To upholster furniture is to provide furniture, especially seats and couches, with padding, springs, webbing and fabric or leather covers. Furniture, automobiles, and boats can be reupholstered.

According to homestored.com, upholstered furniture is composed of three elements: frame, support system and fabric cover. When should furniture be reupholstered? It depends on the quality of these elements. Higher end frames, also called the carcass or bones, are made of hardwoods and are slowly dried in a kiln to prevent warping. To support the systems, the frame needs springs, webbing, and padding. These items are invisible to the eye, but are critical elements of upholstered furniture. The softness of the frame comes from stuffing that is placed over the springs and padding under the outside fabric. To separate cushions on higher end furniture, down feathers or a feather "plus" combination, covered with a layer of fiberfill, is the most common stuffing used.

Tools needed for upholstery are a sewing machine, other specialized tools and education or training.

"The first thing I would suggest is plan to go to upholstery school or take your piece to an upholstery shop," says Steven Blanchard, owner of Blanchard's Upholstery. He has been doing upholstery work for 17 years. "A lot of people think upholstery work is easy and inexpensive, but there is nothing easy about it."

To determine if furniture needs to be reupholstered, set it down and pick it up. "If you can pick up the furniture with one hand, then you need to throw it in the trash," says Blanchard. The second determination in upholstering furniture is the quality of the frame and the springs; if you don't have a good frame, you don't have anything worth redoing.

"I get a lot of people in here that want to reupholster a couch that they bought for $600," he says. "I tell them we have a lot of surface to upholster, and as we talk about the upholstery, I'll tell them point blank, throw it in the trash and go buy another one if that's what you want. Furniture that is under $600 does not need to be reupholstered for another $600."

Upholstery fabric comes in a wide range of colors and textures. Blends of natural and manufactured fibers make the fabric durable and easy to clean. One should choose fabric that is easy to clean if they have a family or if they use the couch a lot. The most common types used are cotton, linen, wool, rayon, nylon, acrylic, olefin, polyester, and silk. Fabric on couches typically comes with a stain and soil repellant finish, homestored.com states. If the fabric is not treated, purchase a spray on form at a hardware store and apply it to the fabric directly. Fabric protection gives the owner time to pick up or blot away spills before they soak in. However, it does not prevent damage to the fabric. If the couch did not have a stain repellant applied to the couch before purchasing, then one needs to apply it themselves.

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