FABRIC! Ohh… don’t we all just love fabrics? Nothing can be more exciting than choosing a new personality for your favorite seat. The range of available fabrics is huge, ranging from woven textured, synthetic waterproof, leather to silk and much more.
When it comes to fabric, one could think of material to a piece of furniture, as clothes are to the person wearing them. Just as clothes can often be a direct expression of one’s self, the material chosen to upholster a piece of furniture can be an expression of either the owner’s style or a character he wishes the furniture to have.
The selection of the upholstery material can make the difference between a complementary piece that will blend in with the other furniture and elements in the room, or a piece that will demand attention and elevate the character of the room altogether!
For example, if the customer were to take a grayscale room and upholster the main couch with a simple black or cream fabric, it would blend in perfectly and make for an elegant and put-together feel. Whereas, if the customer were to choose a vibrant color for the couch and maybe a more textured yet subtle color for the pillows, a talented craftsman and upholsterer could easily transform the couch into the room’s centerpiece.
So let’s get started!
Before even choosing a fabric, one should take into account the character of the room that the furniture will end up in, and what he would like to achieve with the piece. Would he like a subtle piece that will blend in with the room decor without drawing too much attention? If so, the customer should go for a soft pallet or maybe a solid-color upholstery. Whereas, if the customer would like to revive the room, a more vibrant color would do the job.
Once the customer has decided where the piece will sit, it is important to understand what qualities the owner would like the fabric to have. There are fabrics that are especially made for outdoor furniture and can endure direct sunlight and water, making them the perfect choice for someone wishing to upholster garden furniture. There are also stain-repelling fabrics which are an all-time favorite for families with small children.
3) STYLE — EXPRESS YOURSELF!
We have finally arrived at our favorite part — choosing the fabric. Let’s use this sketch of a simple armchair as our example:
When looking at the sketch, we can clearly see that the different parts of the chair can be upholstered using different fabrics. A subtle and stylish way to use this idea to our benefit would be to choose a couple of parts (maybe the back of the chair and the seat) and upholster them using a different complementary fabric.
Notice that fabrics are not just about color, but also texture and feel. There are plain fabrics, textured fabrics and even floral fabrics to be chosen from; silk, satin, Cleantex and more.
4) PRACTICAL ACCESSORIES
There are many little “accessories” you can add to a furniture piece in order to make it more unique. Things that may seem banal and obvious actually have a lot of leeway, even starting with the smallest and most unnoticed details such as the seams and piping.
There are different types of seams. While the French seam is the most commonly used, there is also the slot seam, which is a stylish way of seaming a couch. This can be very useful, particularly when upholstering leather; notice that it is not suitable for all kinds of furniture.
Another “accessory” that can be taken advantage of is the piping. The piping is inserted into the seams in order to define the edges or style lines of a piece of furniture. There is also an option for double piping which will make the chair even more defined. This is a great way to express originality too as it can be done using a completely different fabric from the rest of the piece!
5) FINAL TOUCH
Adding a nail strip or just individual decorative studs can really give the piece that extra spark.
Capitonnage, or in the French term, point de capiton, is a decoration that can be added even if it was not in the original piece of furniture. The difference between adding capitonnage and adding ordinary buttons is in the decorative folds that the upholsterer will create using the material. These unique craftsman techniques are what make this decoration so special.
These methods have been around for decades and are still being used today — and for good reason! They give the perfect opportunity to express creativity and design ideas.
So after choosing the fabric and designing your unique and personal piece of furniture — while taking into consideration all the many options available — it is time for the upholsterer to get to work. This is, of course, where we come into the picture. Our team is very professional and we are more than happy to consult with our customers and help with any decisions along the way.