Re-upholstering furniture is such a fun way to rejuvenate old chairs and sofas and bring something new into your home. It is also environmentally friendly as it means that the furniture will be resurrected and saved from going straight into landfill.

But how much is it to re-upholster furniture and is it worth it? Is a question asked very often. To re-upholster furniture is not a cheap fix. It is very labour intensive. Quality fabrics must be used so that the piece can last for years to come and normally cushion fillings have to be replaced. Once the piece is finished it could easily cost more than a new piece of furniture, but then you become the proud owner of a beautiful, bespoke, individual piece, that could not be bought in a store.

Re-covering furniture involves stripping off the fabric and replacing it whereas re-upholstering furniture can mean stripping it right back to the frame and re-building it with new springs and fillings. It is only worth re-covering or re-upholstering furniture if it is good quality and the frame is solid and sturdy. Sentimental pieces are often worth bringing back to their former glory and unusual styles or designs are well worth renovating as they cannot be bought today or be easily replicated.

When it comes to choosing upholstery fabric, suitability is key and the end use must be understood. The following factors are to be considered. All fabrics used for domestic upholstery must pass a match test. It is always best to choose a fabric which is already fire retardant or match tested. Some fabrics, like pure wools, are inherently fire retardant. If the fabric is not then it can be treated, but this will incur an additional cost on top of the fabric per metre price. Some fabrics are not suitable for treatment, in this case a fire retardant interliner must be used. The next thing to look out for is the Martindale Rub test. This tests the durability of fabrics and grades them for suitability. 15,000 – 25,000 is suitable for general domestic use, 25,000-30,000 heavy duty and over that is suitable for commercial use. Will your furniture have heavy use or occasional use?

Finally, cleaning. Is the fabric washable or dry cleanable? Light coloured fabrics show up the dirt and if this happened how could it be cleaned? There are upholstery cleaners available to buy and professional cleaners that can clean the fabric in situ, but this is risky and can damage fabrics or lighten them. Most upholstery fabrics can be treated with a soil resistant treatment which again would incur an extra cost per m.

There are many great fabrics on the market today. They can be fire retardant, stain resistant and of a high rub test however, these tend to be plains and textures. Patterned and more decorative fabrics need more care and treatments.

Once the fabric has been chosen then those extra finishing touches are the next consideration. Colourful trimmings or smart studs will embellish the furniture, giving it that extra individuality. The design of the furniture can be slightly changed too, making it more traditional, ie adding deep buttoning, or updating it to fit in with a modern scheme.

Most types of furniture can be upholstered – three piece suites, sofas, occasional chairs, footstools and ottomans. Headboards are not normally suitable for re-covering as it takes too long to strip them off and new headboards are so good it is definitely worth investing in new. Headboard design is a brilliant way to add drama and luxury to a bedroom. From oversized headboards to shaped or deep buttoned, there are endless, stylish options for headboards.

If you are interested in re-upholstering a piece of furniture for your home, please email the details to Bryant Interior Furnishings or visit the showroom. It is advised to make an appointment before visiting, especially if you are bringing a piece of furniture with you.


Bryant Furnishings, Alma Road, Bournemouth

01202 528063