For this first New Terra Decorating and Framing Newsletter we will answer a question commonly asked by our decorating clients.
"Can't I just go to a fabric store for fabric to reupholster my chair/sofa/etc.?"
The answer: No, unfortunately you cannot.
While most fabric stores have a section called "Decorator Fabrics" those are not necessarily upholstery-grade fabrics. And, no, a fabric that will make a gorgeous window treatment will not maintain its integrity under the more extreme condition of being repeatedly sat upon. [Note from Deb: I know this from personal experience. The fabric store fabric I used to reupholster a living room chair in 2000 left my home only a year or so later because the fabric pilled up and looked awful! It turned out to be a waste of time and money.]
When we shop for fabric for a client's reupholstery project we prefer to shop at our "to the trade only" decorator showroom. First of all, they have a fabric library...literally tens of thousands of fabrics to choose from. Through our showroom we have direct access to the fabric companies. We can speak to them about dye lots, usage possibilities, back-orders, etc. This benefits our clients, the end-users. Secondly, each fabric sample is marked with information on its recommended usage: sheer curtains, draperies, bedding, upholstery, etc. Third, and most importantly, the upholstery fabrics are marked with the number of "double-rubs" the fabric was able to tolerate. About "double rubs": Upholstery fabrics are subjected to a test in which a machine rubs them back and forth over and over until they begin to show signs of wear. The more "double-rubs" the fabric can withstand, the better suited it is for upholstery purposes. Also this allows upholstery-grade fabric to be labeled for light, medium, or heavy-duty use based on its "double rub score". The fabric for the chair seats in a rarely-used formal dining room can be light-use upholstery fabric, whereas the family room sofa, one of the most frequently sat-on pieces in the home, will look great for a long, long time wearing a heavy-duty upholstery fabric.
Call us if you are in the market to reupholster your favorite furniture (or call us for any of your home decorating needs). We help you select the most beautiful fabrics, the ones best suited for your needs. And, we know fabulous re-upholsterers!
Call Deb at 314-544-2555 to set up an appointment.