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How to Prep Your Chair for Reupholstery

How to Prep Your Chair for Reupholstery

How to prepare your armchair for reupholstery

So, you want to reupholster the tatty old, armchair sitting in the dusty corner of your bedroom? 

Do you have the perfect fabric in mind, but have no clue how to even prepare your armchair?

Sound familiar?!

The starting is easier than you think! Follow these 9 steps how to prepare your armchair for reupholstery: 

  1. Label each fabric panel. Use a marker to write the name of each piece of fabric. Include a directional arrow pointing in an upwards direction. 
  2. Measure each fabric panel. Use a dressmakers tape to measure the width and height of each piece of fabric. Add 2cm to each sewn edge. Add 5cm to each stapled edge. 
  3. Create a cutting plan. Plot out the fabric pieces onto a grid to determine the amount of fabric to buy. Download a free copy here. Round up to nearest half meter. Add 10% extra for patterns or large stripes. Ensure the directional arrows are all going in the same direction.
  4. Remove arms/legs. Do this only if they are meant to be removed &/or if fabric is under them. It is helpful to number the feet so they are put back into the same place. 
  5. Remove the fabric. Start taking off the last thing the previous upholsterer would have done. Usually this is the bottom dustcover. Take lots of photos during this step. Useful tools are: screwdriver or tack/staple removers, pliers, scissors, hammer or mallet.
  6. Save fabric panels. Each time you remove a fabric panel, keep aside and bring to class. In some cases we can use these for pattern cutting. 
  7. Remove unusable layers. Any foam, wadding, stuffings, lining that cannot be reused careful remove and dispose of them. Take lots of photos of each layer so you can replicate it in class. 
  8. Remove the cushion cover. After removing the cover, use a thread ripper to unpick it. Your zipper can be replaced in class.
  9. Bring to class: Your chair, old fabric panels, reusable foam, feet/legs, new fabric and cutting plan. 

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