Your older pieces of furniture may often be better served by custom reupholstering them than having them go to a landfill. As long as you like the shape, the size and it fits well within a room, you are usually better off in the end to reupholster these items rather than buy new. It can save you quite a sum of money and you have so many more choices of fabrics from which to choose.
Testing Furniture Frames for Upholstering
The much older pieces of furniture are most probably better made and have strong bones (structurally sound materials) than newer pieces that are manufactured more recently, such as in the last 10 years.
The most important part of any piece of furniture in your home is the frame. As long as the frame is sound and well made, it is most definitely a piece to keep and reupholster into a new focal point in any room.
Inspect the frame on your furniture to find out the quality of the workmanship. Look at the joints on the corners of the frame. The highest quality frames that last for many years will have the corners secured with wood glue, dowels and screws. This is a sign that your furniture frame is a quality piece made from kiln-dried hardwood. This process removes all the moisture from the wood to help it maintain its shape and stability for many years. Green wood shrinks and cracks as it ages and soft wood bends and breaks easily. Wood with knots in it tends to crack as they age.
Plywood and particleboard on furniture frames are not very sturdy and pieces are generally fastened with only staples.
Testing a Sofa or Chair for Upholstery
Lift each side of a sofa by the arm and give it a hard shake. If the arms don’t wobble, the frame is in good shape on the ends. Pick up the sofa by the back and shake it. This should also not wiggle or wobble in any manner.
If your item is a sofa, or a living room chair, the springs should be in good shape. The best types of springs that have longwearing properties are coiled springs that are tied with twine down the framework. The springs in the shape of an S, do not last as long and can break easily as the furniture ages. Look at the dust cover underneath your piece of furniture. If the thin layer of material on the bottom is very tight, it is a good sign that it is a quality piece.
Lift the sofa of chair by one of its legs while leaving only the diagonal leg on the floor. It should stay together tightly without sections drooping down. Lift the rear and the front of the sofa or chair and take notice of the legs as you set it down. If both legs on one side touch the floor at the same time, it is very sturdy.
Press down on the cushions with your hands. If they compress easily, it is probably made of low quality foam, that an experienced upholsterer can add high quality and high lift items to and make it like new. Press on any other parts of your sofa or chair to determine the filling in them such as the back and the arms.
Why Consult a Reupholster Expert?
An expert in reupholstering can help you to decide on what type of fabric your piece would look good in and offer you many swatches of fabric from which to choose your decorator style.
New upholstery on one item in your living room can give you an entire new look when paired with a simple window top treatment in a matching pattern or color. Dining room chairs can be recovered in a thick luxurious fabric that brings density to your dining area.
You can breathe new life into a reading nook by recovering the cushion on it for a bright and whimsical pattern for children or a soft and luxurious fabric for your own reading pleasure.
We can help you with all your reupholstering needs. Our expert designers can help you choose the fabric to coordinate with your home furnishings and make your old piece of furniture into your newest piece of beauty.