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Revamp tired furniture with upholstery fabric

If you have a tatty looking chair or a sofa that has seen better days then give it a new lease of life by having it re-upholstered using upholstery fabric.

Are you wondering what kind of fabric is used for upholstery? Take a look at this handy guide to inspire you for your next upholstery project.

Fire regulations for upholstered items

Fire regulations for upholstered items

If you are having your furniture professionally upholstered then your upholsterer should ensure that everything meets the current fire regulations.  This may mean that you have to have your upholstery fabric treated or it may be possible to use a barrier cloth.  Your upholsterer will be able to advise you. 

You may see a fabric that is advertised as being suitable as an upholstery fabric but this doesn’t always mean that it has been treated to make it fire retardant; it means that the fabric is hardwearing enough to withstand the wear and tear given to upholstered furniture.  This is measured by a rub test – the higher the rub test quoted the more hardwearing the fabric is.

Lots of choice

Upholstery fabric can be made from a wide range of materials - including heavy cotton fabric, velvet fabric and wool fabric. Wool fabric is inherently fire retardant so doesn't need further treatment. There are some stunning upholstery fabrics available which can make a great statement in your room when used on a chair or sofa.

There is also a variety of patterns available from popular plains, checks and stripes and all sorts of printed designs.

Tartan fabric is a popular choice for upholstery and great for bringing a highland look to your scheme, available in a wide range of traditional and contemporary colours so suitable for all styles of homes.

Do it yourself?

Do it yourself?

It is possible to do some of these tasks yourself with a few simple tools such as a heavy duty stapler, screwdriver and claw hammer. Drop in seats or stools are an easy project to make a start on. Take care when removing the old cover as you will be able to use this as a template when cutting out the new upholstery fabric.

Headboards, if they are a straightforward shape, can also be a suitable project for a beginner and you will end up with a unique item that perfectly co-ordinates with your scheme. Top tip - if you are re-upholstering a double or king size headboard choose an upholstery fabric which can run horizontally so that you don't have to join pieces together.

If you are feeling ambitious there are many colleges which run upholstery classes where you will be able to learn to tackle more complicated projects.

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