When your favorite sofa gets an upholstery makeover, how does the process work?

Let’s start with the definition of “upholstery”. The term refers to anything that covers your furniture. The fabrics, cushions, padding, stuffing, and slipcovers can be included in that umbrella. Upholstery also extends to car seats, window curtains, and anything made with leather or some kind of textile.

If one wanted to re-upholster a couch, or something similar. Here’s how it gets done:

1. The piece is stripped down to its framework


2. The existing fabric, foam and straps are replaced, and there are a few ways to get this done. A few methods of stitching the fabrics and such are known to the upholstery experts.

Tufting: Involves the weaving of threads through a primary base, like a button. Tufting can be recognized by a regular array of dots on the surface of the fabric. The dots rest on depressions, which are caused by the tugging strings underneath.

Welting or ribbing: Threads making up the fabric are aligned in horizontal or vertical pairs. They run alongside each other in opposite directions. You’ll see different lengths, textures, and thicknesses of the strings for visual effect. You’ll also see multiple colored threads welted together in many different pieces.

8-Way hand tied: An array of coils are built into the bottom of the frame, and (as the name suggests) are hand tied from every direction, 8 times. Up, down, left, right, and each way diagonally. The coils comfortably support the weight of the fabric that sits on top, and the person enjoying the furniture.

3. Clean/polish legs (varies depending on material - wood or metal)
If you go into an upholsterer’s warehouse, you’ll see many spools of yarn, layers of felt/foam, cutting and measuring tools, and impressive displays of surgical precision. You’ll find the process very interesting, but just don’t bother the guy while he’s working on your Aunt’s favorite dinner chair.
Many places offer custom upholstery, which allows you to use an already made piece, using any fabric the buyer wants. But before you jump at the first company you see. Make sure you do some research on the kinds of services they offer. Restoration of older pieces is a service that’s probably offered by many upholsterers, as well.
How long does it take?  Some places will take a few weeks if they have a lot of requests. Make sure quality of work matches the time spent waiting. Ask around to find your best case scenario.
Some businesses specialize in re-upholstery or the custom upholstery of furniture from a certain time period, like Mid-Century Modern, the Modern, the atomic age. Some perhaps just work with antiques, or heirlooms. Make sure you’re not offering your business to a place that doesn't specialize in your particular kind of furniture.

How many years experience do they have? You wouldn't want a shoddy looking design after putting money into the customization or repairs.

Keep all this in mind, and you'll be on the up and up, in the world of upholstery. 

What we Offer

France and Son offers restoration and custom upholstery/reupholstery services for Mid-century furniture at a discount price. Restoring the timelessness, purity, and original shine of the piece you once loved, and brought home fresh from the department store, is our goal. 

Chat with Astrid at FranceandSon.com, for a free consultation on how to get started on upholstering your favorite pieces, today!
or E-mail us at cs@franceandson.com