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A Beginner’s Guide to Upholstery for your Home

People are becoming more aware of the impact that fast furniture has on the planet. A lot of furniture is very difficult to recycle because it’s made of composite materials – items such as armchairs and sofas will find their way into a landfill eventually. In Britain, 1.6 tonnes of furniture either ends up incinerated or left somewhere on the earth to fester. By making the choice to buy furniture that is built to last or re-upholstering a tired piece, you’re making an eco-conscious choice and reducing your carbon emissions whilst breathing new life into your living space.

Not only is household upholstery good for the environment, it combats the sameness of mass-produced furniture. Reupholstering a piece of furniture can instantly brighten up your space as well as becoming a fantastic talking point. People are rejecting generic furniture that simply doesn’t last in favour of one-of-a-kind, special, gorgeous furniture pieces that will last a lifetime and then some. Household upholstery also just looks beautiful! Whether it’s a bespoke piece of furniture made just for you or a re-upholstered sofa, it can look pretty much any way you want it to. Pieces like this are always timeless and classic. The possibilities are endless to make your living room, bedroom, dining room, and so on, look effortlessly stylish.

A lot of household upholstery has stemmed from timeless 1970s styles, an era of fantastic and good quality furniture. We see a lot of Parker Knoll furniture come through our workshops and with their incredibly sought-after Statesman Chair with its classic 1970s retro design, we’re not surprised!

Upholstery Materials

The material of a household upholstery piece is arguably the most important element. It depends entirely on what you like and what your lifestyle is like. Leather is a popular choice as it is easy to wipe clean but it requires a bit more care than other materials. Fabric is the most popular choice amongst our customers due to there being infinite possibilities! We work with an array of fantastic material supplies so depending on what our customer wants; we know exactly who to go for to get the best result. Fabrics that are typically used for upholstery services include cotton, wool, linen, polyester, acetate, hemp, acrylic, nylon, to name a few! As fabric upholstery is so agile, a blend of yarns can be used to create a truly original and unique piece.


Our team is made up of the best of the best. Our highly experienced upholsterers and sewing machinist can reupholster just about anything that our customers ask for. Customers often come to us with household items such as sofas, chairs, three-piece suites, footstools, ottomans, dining chairs, bedroom chairs, headboards, and so on, to reupholster and revitalise. If you have an item that was once loved but it no longer fits your style, or it simply needs a refresh, reupholstering is a fantastic option. Never underestimate the power that the little things, like headboards and cushions, have in bringing new life to a room!

Why us?

Here at SWU, we’re on a mission for sustainability. Upholstering tired furniture reduces the amount of carbon emissions by a LOT. We’re hugely passionate about quality over quantity – the fact is, most mass-produced furniture is not built to last a few years, let alone generations. Being a family run business, we understand how special a family treasure can be. This business actually started three generations ago in Bristol in the Ball family’s Grandad John’s garden shed! We’ve stayed true to our roots, growing and developing our upholstery services in Bristol.

Whether you would like bespoke furniture made with top quality materials, a re-upholstered sofa, or other household upholstery services, we’ll be with you every step of the way of bringing your dream to life.

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