Friday, June 22, 2012


Recovering a piece of furniture can require a lot of yardage. Most decorator fabrics are 54" wide. If you select a solid color or textured fabric, it will take less fabric for the project then if you select a fabric with a pattern or stripe.  A single inch difference in the width of the chair can change the yardage requirement by as much as 50%.
It is important before purchasing fabric for your project that your upholsterer has seen at least a photo of your furniture and knows the dimensions. It is equally important that your upholsterer knows the width of the fabric you've selected. Lastly, if your fabric has any type of pattern as in a stripe, check, dot, vine or flower, make sure that the upholsterer is aware of the size of the repeat in the design so that they can adjust the yardage requirement specifically for your furniture and fabric.
Using a solid color or all over textured fabric as a base line, your average sofa will need between 18 and 22 yards of fabric. A loveseat usually needs between 14 to 18 yards; a club chair will need 7 to 9 yards and an ottoman about 4 yards. A set of six dining chair can usually be cut from 2.5-4 yards. Patterned fabrics will  increase the yardage requirement by as much as 30%. This will allow your upholsterer to properly center and match the pattern where the seams come together.
Remember that the size and style of the furniture and the fabric that you select will affect the amount of fabric needed.
Our showroom displays over 400 fabric sample books. We have accounts with most of the major designer fabric companies. You can borrow books to view in your own home. We also can order larger fabric samples to help make your selection easier. However, it is not necessary to purchase fabric from us. We do not charge a cutting or COM (Customers Own Fabric) fee.
Finding the perfect fabric to compliment your other furniture, wall color, rugs or your artwork requires patience. Take your time; do not rush into making a quick selection. Settling on a fabric when it is not just right is never a good option. 
There are many things to consider when choosing your fabric: color, durability, texture, patterned or solid, size and scale of furniture it is going on, and of course price. 
Luckily today there are so many different choices in not only color and pattern but also the types of fabric such as: Chenille, Corduroy, Crewel, Crypton, Denim/Twill, Grosspoint, Jacquards, Leather, Matelasse, Mohair,  Print, Suede, Silk, Sunbrella, Tapestry, Ultrasuede, Velvet, and Vinyl. 
We carry sample books from the companies listed below, in addition we can order fabric from a company if you find fabric elsewhere. 
Robert Allen Fabrics, Avant Garde,  Barrow, Calvin, Duralee Fabrics, Greenhouse Fabrics, Italian Fabrics, J. F. Fabrics, Kravet Fabrics, Krupnick Brothers, Latimer Alexander, Maxwell Fabrics, Michael Jon Designs, Moygashel Linens, Norbar Fabrics, Pacific Hide and Leather, Pindler & Pindler, Silver State, CF Stinson, Sunbrella, Stout Brothers, Stroheim and Romann, Thibaut Designs, United Fabrics.

To Reupholster or to Slipcover?

Slipcovers vs. Reupholstery. This is a common question at Michael's. Reupholstery is more costly because all of the old fabric is removed from the furniture. We then re-pad the frame with a new layer of Dacron or cotton and apply the new fabric. Separate zippered covers are sewn for the cushions and the end result is a smooth, tailored like-new piece of furniture.
Slipcovers are less expensive then reupholstering, not because the person doing the work is any less skilled then an upholsterer but because none of the old fabric is removed from the frame, less time is spent on the project.  We cut and sew our slipcovers to individually fit each piece of furniture, similar to having a suit custom tailored for you. We can either fit the cover with a snug or tailored fit which will resemble an upholstered piece the best or we can make the cover looser in fit, more like the "Shabby Chic" look. 
The benefit of a slipcover is that you can remove the cover for washing or dry cleaning. The cover can also come off and you can use the original fabric that is under the slipcover. This is any easy way to achieve two "looks" in your home. You can have a dark or heavy fabric for the fall and winter months and then switch to a light colored fabric for the spring and summer.
Slipcovers tend to have a more casual appearance. Even the most carefully fitted cover will not be as crisp and tailored as an upholstered piece.
Some furniture is not appropriate for slipcovers. Leather chairs and sofa's are not good candidates as the fabric of the slipcover will tend to slip around over the leather.  Furniture with a lot of curves or details like diamond tufting and channels are also not the best candidates as the slipcover will go over the tufting and channels and the results are a bit lumpy looking. 
If your furniture needs to have the springs repaired then reupholstery is a better option. Most spring repairs require removing the fabric from the seating area to gain access to the springs. If we are reupholstering the piece, we do remove the fabric but not when making slipcovers. 
If your chair or sofa is in good condition but you don't like or are tired of the fabric, then a slipcover is a good option.
Slipcovers can be sewn from most of the same fabrics as we use for reupholstery. Heavy mohair velvets, leather or faux leather are not appropriate but we can make slipcovers from cotton, linen, velvet, tapestry and print fabrics.  If you want to machine was your slipcover then we recommend that the fabric be professionally washed, dried and pressed before we make the slipcover. Fabrics that have not been prewashed will require professional dry cleaning so that the covers do not shrink.
A well made slipcover will give new life to an out of date or tired piece of furniture without breaking the bank.  
A Collection of Recent Slipcover Projects From Michael's Upholstery