How to reupholster

How to reupholster

When you know how to reupholster you’ll be able to strip down a chair or sofa to its wooden frame and replace all the materials with new items. So you end up with the existing frame with new materials on it.

This is a great way of restoring your favourite chair or sofa to pristine condition. And can enable you to keep a piece of furniture that’s been hand down through the generations going for many years.

How to reupholster – What tools will you need?

You’ll need an upholsterer’s hammer. This should have a plain face of about 12mm in diameter. It doesn’t matter if the other end is a claw or is magnetic.

A ripping chisel – this looks like a screwdriver.

A web strainer. This tool enables you to get the webbing far tighter than you would otherwise.

Various specialist needles you need for doing different types of stitching.

A regulator is used for moving the stuffing about the scrim.

These specialist tools shouldn’t cost you more than $30. And they’re available to buy online.

You also need different materials that are used in upholstery. These materials include: Hessian and scrim for stuffing. Webbing to support your new springs. Bottoming that covers the base of the chair. And of course the material that will be the final covering for your chair or sofa.

Traditional upholstery consists of layers of varying thicknesses of woven and loose materials. The number of layers varies but they are always built up the same way. Webbing tacked to the frame takes most of the strain and supports the springs. A covering of strong Hessian is placed over the springs and the springs are attached to this, the same way they’re attached to the webbing. This forms a base for the first layer of stuffing. Scrim then encloses the first layer of stuffing.

A second layer of stuffing covers the scrim. This stuffing should be hair and is held in place by muslin. This also helps to create the final shape of the piece. And it stops the hair from sticking out through the top cover.

Many different fabrics can be used for the top cover. These fabrics can be man made or natural or even a combination of both. Nowadays many fabrics have to comply with the laws regarding the fire retardancy code.

Your first job will be to strip the chair back to its wooden frame. It’s agood idea to take photos of the chair as you strip it back. This way you remember what you have to do at each stage of the upholstery.

Once your chair is stripped check the wooden joints for looseness and re-glue where necessary. If the joints are very loose one, insider’s secret is to mix some sawdust with the wood glue. Also check for any woodworm damage and treat where necessary.

If you follow step by step instructions you will know how to reupholster a chair so you can restore it to new.

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