Re-do and Recycle!

(These were reupholstered for one of my clients. The red zebra is also on the back of the chairs and it's fun to be able to see it from the window outside. Wish I had a before of these...but no dice.)

One question I get quite a bit is, "Is it worth it to reupholster a piece of furniture, or should I just buy new?". My answer is always the same..."Yes, it's worth it." Did you know that the biggest landfill problem we have is old and discarded furniture? Typically, we just decide at some point we don't like the fabric on a sofa anymore or maybe the stained wood. Maybe, it's just a cheapy Ikea piece that we don't think is worth investing in to recover. So many of us will cut back on our paper towel usage, we'll recycle cans and glass and newspaper, but when it comes to furniture we just set it out on the curb for the garbage man. So, I thought I'd show you some befores and afters of some old furniture and let you see what an amazing transformation you can get with just a bit of elbow grease or by investing some money back into them. Following, you'll find a detailed article on what the process entails and how much yardage you can expect to need for different sized pieces. We offer reupholstery services at our shop and we have a bazillion fabrics that you can choose from in all price ranges. Our labor for reupholstery is about $45/yd, but keep in mind if new foam, stuffing or other unexpected needs pop up...those are a bit extra as you'd imagine.

9-11-08 chair before.jpg
9-11-08 chair after.jpg


(via designsponge)

(inoui design collective)


(hannah stanton via designsponge)

Important Tips for Upholstery

These are tips for measuring furniture that is to be upholstered. Following these tips should ensure you a more correct measurement of yardage. These tips are only guidelines. We do not take responsibility for incorrect measuring or incorrect usage of these tips. If you have any questions feel free to contact us.
  1. Organize Make a list of the different sections of your piece of furniture. Figure A is an example of the different sections a chair may have. The sections on your list should be the ones where fabric is going to be applied. Remember to measure both the length and the width of each section.
  2. Measure Always measure the widest parts of each section. For example if your chair has a T-shaped lip to its cushion/seat. Measure the top of the T, for it is the widest part of the section. Figure B shows a sample for a chair. If possible, also measure a piece of furniture before you take off the old fabric. This will give you a more accurate measurement.
  3. Calculate Add all your measurements together and divide by 36 to get the approximate yardage needed for your project.
  4. Over Estimate Give yourself 2 1/2 inches allowance for most seams. Also always give yourself some extra yardage for mistakes and in case you made a mis-measurement. You can always use the left over material for pillows accessories, etc.
  5. Motifs Patterns with large motifs and patterns that need to be lined up will require more fabric. It may be helpful to plan out you pattern pieces first.
  6. Skirts If you are adding a skirt to your piece of furniture, two or three extra yards will be needed.
  7. Wefting and Piping Adding any piping of wefting to the edges of furniture will require an extra yard or two.

The following site is a calculator for estimating fabric.

Patterned Fabric Additional Yardage Estimation Chart

Fabric WidthPlain Fabric3" - 14" Repeat15"-19" Repeat20"-27" Repeat28"-36" Repeat37"-45" Repeat46"-54" Repeat

First add the fabric's vertical and horizontal repeats together (for example, a 7" vertical repeat plus its 10" horizontal repeat gives a 17" total). Then find the appropriate column on the chart, and increase the yardage estimate by the percentage indicated.

For example: The yardage estimate is 5 yards of 54" wide fabric to cover a chair and the pattern on the fabric repeats horizontally every 10" and vertically every 7". Add up the repeats (10" + 7" = 17") and find the appropriate column (15% for this example). 15 percent more fabric is needed to cover the chair while matching the pattern at the seams. 5 yards plus an extra 15 % is 5.75 yards.

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