Let's face it, homes need constant maintenance - walls need repainting, broken lights need fixing and dripping roofs need sealing. Furniture is sometimes sidelined as stains and discolouration can easily be hidden by drapes or blankets. However, why hide defects, when you can visit an upholsterer and make your furniture look as good as new? Upholstery lifts years off surfaces - be it just a stain removal, or the complete furniture makeover you're looking for, it is an upholsterer's job to make preserving your furniture more appealing than buying new pieces. Although you may be tempted to do a DIY attempt with your upholstery, the end result will surely not be anywhere near what an upholsterer can achieve.
Upholstery normally refers to all the products that make up the softer parts of furniture, mainly the fabric used, the padding, webbing and the springs. Our ancestors made use of animal hair, hay, straw, wool, grass and any material which could make a surface more comfortable to sit on. Materials have obviously evolved substantially over the centuries. The process to restore furniture is quite intensive as it requires craftsmanship and intelligent design. When doing a complete makeover, upholsterers would be required to install new fabric, springs, foam and new arm caps to bring it back to its former glory. Although new technologies are being introduced in this sector, the final product of handmade work remains more satisfactory.
If you just need a slit in your fabric resewed, upholsterers also offer repair service. No one likes ripped chairs or springs coming out of their sofa. This is where upholsterers enter the picture to make your resting experience more comfortable.
Some offer a wide selection of fabrics but you can provide the fabric yourself and even choose to change the design completely. Select the fabric texture and its colour wisely because they will affect the overall ambience of the room they're incorporated in. Nowadays, there is a large variety of textiles to choose from: be it foam, synthetic or genuine leather, polyester (vinyl), microfiber, velvet or other fabrics. How do you choose which material best suits your furniture? This depends on a lot of factors which you need to think about. Do you want your upholstery stain resistant? Will it be directly exposed to sunlight? Is it easy to clean? Will pets deface the upholstered surface the moment they climb on it? Are you ready to maintain it regularly? The shape of the actual furniture also needs to be taken into consideration since some patterns may not look well on curvy and bulky bodies. Also think about the other upholstered furniture present in the same room to avoid having a style mishmash. The upholsterer will have the necessary expertise to help you make the right decision for your furniture.
Although the exterior fabric is essential, the interior materials chosen are still important because they determine the furniture's level of comfort. When possible, upholsterers use the original stuffing, but when this is not possible, identical material is hunted, whether it is the springs, the fabric or the webbing which is being restored. Fillings may also be customised to the client's likes, be it fibre, feather or rubber. It all depends on the level of comfort you're looking for, and the upkeep you intend to undertake.
A few tips to prolong your furniture upholstery: avoid sitting on the arms of chairs and sofas, avoid placing them in direct sunlight or invest in effective sun blocking curtains or blinds and train your pets to restrain from climbing onto your upholstered furniture. Moreover, if you're not so keen on cleaning, better opt for leather upholstery as it's easy to clean.
The types of domestic furniture which can be upholstered are endless: chairs, armchairs, sofas, settees, ottomans, bed headboards, couches, recliners and pelmets can all be restored. Whether it is living room or outdoor furniture, upholsterers can recover it from any state it may have sunken to. Furniture upholstery can be started afresh, fabric can be completely replaced, the existing padding can be refurbished and furniture can be modernised to the customer's requirements.
Antique furniture should be given special attention because it needs to be maintained regularly if it is to be passed onto future generations. Family heritage would be greatly appreciated if it is restored to its original state and it's worthwhile to repair if you wish to uphold its prestige. Although some upholsterers may specialise in antique furniture, they are skilled to work with whatever style their clients request, whether it's classic, modern, contemporary or retro.
Apart from working on the cushioning of furniture, upholsterers may also offer additional services. Some may offer pick up and delivery, wooden frame repair, fire restoration of furniture, furniture painting and upholstery cleaning. Upholstered furniture can also be created from scratch to create tailor-made furnishings.
Upholsterers can also work on commercial furnishings such as restaurant seating, bar stools, theatre and cinema seats, office furniture and clinical chairs. Padded walls is also a feature that is gaining popularity in commercial establishments.
Your vehicle needs the same maintenance as your home and as its engine and parts are serviced once a year, its interior should also be taken care of. Upholsterers can renovate car seats, refurbish roof linings, upholster door panels and recover carpeting. Regardless of the vehicle type and age, an upholsterer will revitalise it. They will repair any rips and tears in your leather seating and also create convertible tops, canopies and box trailer covers. If your classic car has been neglected, an upholsterer will make sure to restore it and make it look like new.
Apart from exterior maintenance, boats also need internal makeovers due to the damage that the upholstery may have suffered at sea. Boat canopies, covers, seating and carpeting can all be revamped to make the boat more comfortable. They can also work on canopy or sail repair.
Thinking about upholstering a furniture favourite? See these top tips to help you pick the right upholstery for your piece.