Thursday, October 11, 2012
I was delighted to read, in the November issue of Real Simple, 3 things pros know about upholstery. Whenever people buy furniture or have it reupholstered, it behooves them to inquire about the care instructions of the fabric. Fabrics come labeled as W,S,WS and X. "W" means that the fabric can be treated with water-based detergents, this is the easiest method of cleaning. "S" means that the fabric can be treated with only solvent based cleaners (the foam in Resolve foam cleaner on a clean cloth) It is important to try it out on a part of the fabric not seen to make sure there is no color transfer. "WS" means that the fabric can be cleaned with either solvent or water. "X" means that no solvents or detergents can be used.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
A customer brought in a settee (from the 1800's) to be reupholstered. It was in pretty bad shape and needed a lot of work to bring it back to where it should be. Because of all the tack holes, I had to re-glue the entire piece. After this, the webbing needed to be replaced and retied, along with new edge roll. I removed the original horse hair, washed and dried it and replaced it in the seat and back. I then added foam over the horse hair and sheet poly before attaching the fabric. Variegated gimp finished off the piece. I think you can see by the before and after pictures that the job was an improvement to the piece.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Customers should be careful when buying furniture made from "Bonded Leather". Bonded leather or reconstituted leather is a material made of varying degrees of genuine leather combined with other substances to give the appearance of leather at reduced cost. There is a difference between bonded leather and Naugahyde or Faux Leather. Bonded leather is made from the scraps of leather which have been ground up and laid flat with a finish on top. This finish is then plaited (stamped) with a pattern to have the look of full grain leather. Faux leather or Naugahyde is a plastic material with a tricot backing and then stamped or plaited to give it the look of leather. A customer came to me recently wanting me to repair her leather sofa. She was told it was bonded leather and yet when she showed me the sample of the material, it was not leather, but indeed it was faux leather. When a customer buys bonded leather furniture, they should ask the seller to confirm that there is actually leather in the material.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Many times I am asked by customers if I re-tie the springs or replace the foam or cotton batting on their furniture. It is important to note that a good reupholsterer always takes the piece of furniture down to the frame. At this time, the frame can be inspected and when needed, can be reinforced or the joints can be re-glued. In addition to the frame, the springs are evaluated and replaced if broken or contorted in such a way as to be deemed unusable. The springs are then re-tied to created a nice long lasting seat. Springs in other areas of the piece are also evaluated and re-tied if necessary. Polyester, cotton batting and foam are replaced to provide a comfortable piece of furniture. I have had many pieces of furniture in my studio where there is one or two covers over the original. This piece has not been reupholstered, it has simply been recovered. The value of a truly reupholstered piece of furniture cannot be exaggerated.