Room Decor: Reupholstered Furniture vs. New
When it comes time for new furniture, reupholstering what you already have might be a better option. But fabric selection is important.
Some fabrics aren't durable enough. Thin, loosely woven cottons or blends are not suited for upholstered furniture. Such fabrics make better curtains, bedspreads, and tablecloths.
In addition to type of fabric, width is another consideration. Most American-made fabrics measure 54-inches wide; 45-inch, 48-inch, and 60-inch widths can also be found. Most European fabrics are narrower. Specialty fabrics for things such as large drapes can be up to 100" wide, or more.
The wider the fabric is, the less you will need. Therefore, take into account the fabric's width when calculating yardage need.
If you select fabric with a pattern that repeats itself, more fabric is required because the pattern will have to be matched up. The larger the pattern, the larger the repeat, the more fabric you will need. Repeat patterns can run horizontal or vertical.
Some repeat pattern fabrics will state on the bolt what the repeat is. For instance, color variegation repeats can be as close as every 1/8-inches, while large floral patterns might repeat every 27th-inch. When using a repeat pattern fabric for a sofa, love seat, or over-stuffed chair, make attractive accent pillows using the extra fabric.
There are many different kinds of decorator fabrics suitable for upholstering a sofa, loveseat, stuffed chair, and seats of dining room chairs, stools, or other furniture.
- A woven fabric usually made from cotton, tightly woven with ribs that follow the length of the fabric
- Usually made of cotton, rayon, and/or silk. Brocade has a "tone-on-tone" (same color) raised pattern that resembles embroidery
- Tightly woven and heavy, usually made of cotton or linen, and comes in various weights: the lightweight variety is called "duck;" medium weight is "sailcloth"
- A decorative velvety fabric made from corded silk or wool; soft and plush- like fabric often selected for elegant accent chairs and stools
- Finely woven, thin cotton; usually "glazed," and printed with a pattern; most often floral or leaf- the heavier, unglazed, unprinted version is called "cretonne"
- Finely woven heavy cotton with raised velvety "ribs"
- Usually made from cotton or silk, but also available in linen or rayon; very finely woven, and lustrous; the pattern side is matte, the reverse side shiny
- A coarse type of cotton, thin and loosely woven; often used as an undercover fabric to add durability; because Muslin is inexpensive, lighter weight upholstery fabrics can be fortified with a backing made of this
Of course, there is also a wide variety of imitation leather and vinyl upholstery coverings to consider.
Average price for good quality upholstery weight fabric can be as low as $8 a yard, or as high as $60 a yard. More elaborate fabrics, such as top quality Italian micro suede, can run a whopping $300 per yard!
Your best bet is to purchase as good a quality of fabric as you can reasonably afford, depending upon the quality of the furniture frame it will be covering.
Did you know that HotBeanBags.com offers custom bean bag chairs made with fabric or material you supply? Check out the details for our custom fabric bean bags.
When well-constructed furniture becomes faded and worn, you may find it worthwhile to reupholster instead of purchasing new furniture. You might also opt to reupholster just the sofa or loveseat and replace other seating with overstuffed bean bag chairs to save money and give a fresh flavor to room decor.
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