Q: Is my old furniture worth recovering?
A: There are several things to consider. If your furniture is more than ten years old, chances are you have a frame that is better than anything you could buy today. "They just don't build 'em like they used to." Most modern furniture is designed to be mass produced and replaced rather than reupholstered and it is definitely not built to withstand inevitable abuse from children, pets, etc. If your frame has lasted this long with no major problems it should easily last another ten years or more.
Q: Is it cheaper to reupholster my old furniture or buy new furniture?
A: That depends on many factors. The best way to answer this question is to answer it yourself by getting an estimate on reupholstering your old furniture. Then, compare new furniture that you could buy for about the same price. Is the new piece as sturdy as your old one? At first it may be hard to tell. Try wiggling the arms a little. Do they move more than the ones on your old piece? Pick up one end. Is it as heavy as your old piece? Weight is a good indicator of solid construction. Are the fabric and craftsmanship warranted? Does the new piece have coil springs? (Your old one probably does.) All these things considered, reupholstery almost always results in a far better, stronger product with more attention to detail than anyting you could buy for even close to the same price.
Q: Where do I find upholstery fabric?
A: Most upholstery shops sell fabric and vinyl. It works like this: Fabric manufacturers provide your upholsterer with sample books containing swatches of all the different fabrics they offer and your upholsterer displays the books in his shop for customers to look through. When you have selected the fabric you want he will order it from his supplier. The sample book system allows for a MUCH greater selection than would be possible from on-site inventory. Also, you can be assured that the samples provided are suitable for upholstery use. Fabric stores do not always make this distinction correctly.
Q: How long will I have to wait for my fabric to be delivered?
A: In most cases the fabric can be in your upholsterer's hands overnight or in two days at the most. This allows plenty of time for him to inspect it for flaws or deal with any other issues long before it is time to actually begin work on your piece.
Q: May I supply my own fabric?
A: Yes. However, most upholsterers that sell material will quote you two labor estimates: One assumes you purchase your material from him and the other assumes you provide your own material. The labor rate when providing your own material is higher. This is because your upholsterer needs to have the same profit margin regardless of where you bought your material. Therefore, if you get your material someplace else, he must raise his labor rate to compensate for the lower revenue since it will still take him just as long (if not longer) to complete the job.
Q: Are there other advantages to purchasing my material from an upholsterer?
A: Yes. Perhaps the biggest one is that your upholsterer can always get more fabric if it is needed. If the material is flawed or if the family dog decides your newly upholstered piece is HIS, more fabric will still be available, sometimes even years later.
If you have a question, contact us. We'll try to answer as soon as possible, and we may even post your question on this page.