Know the Process: Upholstery and re-upholstery

The upholstery process may seem complex, and time-consuming. In the hands of an experienced professional, however, even the most difficult tasks will be completed quickly and to a high standard. To give you a better idea of what our dedicated upholsterers do, here’s a quick guide to the upholstery process.

Before we start:

Before any upholstery project begins, one of our sales team members will sit down with you and talk through exactly what you’re looking for from your re-upholstered piece of furniture. What will it be used for? Do you have a specific colour scheme/interior style that you’re looking to maintain? Would you prefer loose covers,  or fabric that is fitted to frame? What is your overall budget? If you have very specific requirements, it may be necessary for one of the team to visit your site to understand your needs better.
After this, you will then be shown a selection of fabrics which will suit your style and budget criteria. Once this has been decided, you will be provided with a written quotation showing a breakdown of costs, and advised of completion time. If you’re happy to go ahead, the re-upholstery can begin

Strip the furniture:

The first thing to be done is completely strip the furniture, to its framework if needed. Once all fabric is removed, a full and frank assessment of the piece can be made. If there is anything that needs to be repaired, such as the frame, any springs, or perhaps additional padding is required, then this can be planned for.

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Prep the piece:
When the issues have been identified, the furniture can then be prepped. This will include any repairs that are needed for the frame or joints which, in extreme situations, could involve an entire rebuild. Springs will also be replaced where necessary, and padding will be placed accordingly to create a comfortable base for your fabric to cover.
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Fit the fabric:

Fitting the fabric to the furniture piece is typically the most complex and time-consuming process, as it tends to get a tad fiddly. There are, however, two possible options for you to choose from; fabric that is directly fitted to frame, or a loose cover set.

Fitted to frame

Simply put, fabric that is fitted to frame is exactly as it sounds. Your chosen fabric is stencilled, and cut based on the furniture measurements, before being stretched around the padding and stapled in place. Finishing touches, such as the additions of deep buttons, can be added after the fabric is fitted for an elegant, upmarket look. Seat cushion covers will also be made to match.

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Loose Covers

If your sofa or armchair currently has loose covers, or you’re looking for a simple and easy maintenance solution to your upholstery needs, then having new loose covers made might be the choice for you. The furniture is assessed and prepped the same way, however, if it is in good condition it is unlikely to be completely stripped to its frame. As with fabric that is fitted directly to the frame, the necessary shape is drawn on your chosen fabric based on the measurements of the furniture before being cut and sewn together.

Loose covers typically comprise of a frame cover (the back, arms, and base), and a selection of cushion slipcovers. The great thing about loose covers is that they can easily be removed from the piece of furniture in question. You could opt to have multiple covers made, and they’re easy to clean, making them a versatile and long-lasting choice.

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As one of Bristol’s most recognised upholstery and re-upholstery companies, you can trust the team at South West Upholstery to create a stunning furniture or soft furnishing piece that you’ll love to have in your home or commercial premises.  Visit our Upholstery Projects page to see some of our recent work.
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