Glossary of basic upholstery tools

Glossary of basic upholstery tools

Upholstery work requires a variety of specialized tools to get the job done right. From cutting and measuring tools to fastening and sewing equipment, having the right tools on hand can make the difference between a professional-looking finished product and a subpar one. Whether you are a professional upholsterer or a DIY enthusiast, this list of upholstery tools can help ensure that you have everything you need to tackle your next project with ease and confidence.

Air compressor. A machine to store pressurised air for using pneumatic tools, such as an airgun stapler and blower.

Air gun stapler. A pneumatic stapler with a fine wire staple, used for securing fabrics, linings and foams to wood. The air pressure can be adjusted.

Button press. A tool used to cover buttons with fabric for tufting projects.

Curved needles. Semi-circular "C" shaped needles used for hidden stitching, attaching springs etc.

Diagonal Pliers. Used for removing staples and tacks. Best is the points are thin, and the blades are blunt.

Double ended needle. Used for blind stitching, edge stitching, tufing and buttoning. Is very sharp with points at both ends.

Dressmakers pins. Smaller than T-pins, these are short, sharp pins for attaching light to medium weight fabric.

Dressmakers tape. A long flexible measuring tape using 1.5m to 3m long.

Hot glue gun. Used for attaching decorative gimp braid and trim.

Knives. A variety of knives is handy for upholstery work especially when stripping off old fabric, including craft knife, scalpel blades.

Long ruler. A long metal or wooden ruler at least 1m long, used for drawing straight lines on fabrics, foam and linings.

Magnetic hammer. A tool for securing fabric to the frame or wood using tacks or decorative nails.

Mallet. A wide headed hammer made from either a rubber, nylon, wooden or skin.

Mattress needle. A long single ended needed used for sewing through thick stuffings or installing buttons.

Measuring tape. A metal retractable measuring tape used for general measuring of frames, foam and fabrics.

Piping cord foot. A sewing machine foot that allows you to sew fabric around cord for piping.

Regulator needle. Used for regulating and manipulating stuffings, holding corners, folding pleats, using flexible metal tack strip etc.

Ripping Chisel. A flat headed chisel used with a mallet for removing old tacks.

Scissors. Upholsterers will use severall different types of scissors. Fabric shears for cutting material fabric, long bladed scissors for hessian, linings etc, short sharp trimmers for small trimming and release cuts.

Seam ripper. A tool for unpicking threads on sewn seams.

Sewing machine. Used for sewing seams, covers, piping, cushions.

Space setter. A plastic paddle shaped tool used to hold and evenly space decorative nails.

Square ruler. An "L" shaped ruler used for squaring up fabric when cutting out.

Staple gun. A hand-held tool that uses staples to secure fabric to wood.

Staple remover. A special staple removing tool with a clamp for holding onto the staple.

Tack remover. Used with or without a mallet for removing old tacks and decorative nails.

Tack hammer. Has a magnetic end for placing tacks into position.

T-Pins. Skewers with a flat bar top, used for holding linings and fabric in place.

Upholstery Pins. Skewers with a circle loop top, used for holding linings and fabric in place.

Webbing stretcher. A tool for stretching jute webbing when installing.

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