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Why You Should Reupholster Old Furniture

11 October 2019 | 0 comments | Posted by Che Kohler in Ace of Trades

Importance of restoring old furniture

Purchasing furniture is not an everyday decision. There is much to deliberate when deciding to buy furniture. Aspects such as the look, the size, the material, the cleaning, maintenance and upkeep as well as the colour all play their part.

Finding the right furniture for your home can be tough, especially when there are budget constraints involved. In many cases, it is a long term purchase and something you need to love as you will be living with it for years to come.

Buying new furniture is a luxury many of us cannot afford outright and would need to finance or look at purchasing second hand, which all come with their concessions. One option many do not think about is restoring their old furniture.

Perhaps you a sofa that you've been sitting on for years. Maybe it's a set that was given to you by a family member. The fabric is old, dirty and worn out. Yet, it's your favourite couch, and you left with two questions:

Should you purchase a new sofa? Or, reupholster it? Tricky, right?

When it comes to reupholstering any item of furniture, consider the quality of furniture and its sentimental value before deciding. A new couch or chair might cost less than reupholstering but not last as long as older, quality furniture.

So how do you know if reupholstering is the way to go? Well here are a few benefits of taking on this route.

1. Changes in style

As people get older, their tastes change and look become dated. What could have been preferences for colour, patterns or design a few years ago could now be something that seems like an eyesore.

But this is certainly no reason to waste a good piece of furniture or dump it in the landfills. If you're doing some interior remodelling for you, you may want colour changes, unique design needs or a more contemporary look.

The right fabric could be all you need to turn that old sofa into something more modern.

2. Restoring or redesigning quality pieces

If your furniture piece is still in great shape except for the fabric and has quality construction, then reupholstering is a good option. Old furniture tends to be more robust as it was built in a time manufacturers were forced to cut corners in quality with mass-produced furniture.

When it comes to reupholstering any item of furniture, consider the quality of furniture. A new couch or chair might cost less than reupholstering but not last as long as older, quality furniture.

There are a few tricks to determining whether your piece is a candidate for reupholstering.

  • First, its weight – If your sofa or chair is heavy, it's probably well constructed.
  • The second is bottom - If it's a solid webbed bottom, not a hollow bottom covered by a piece of fabric screening, then the piece probably has coil springs.

3. Sentimental reasons

Another big reason for reupholstering is purely sentimental. It would be a favourite piece of furniture or one you inherited from your parents or grandparents.

There is an absolute personal satisfaction that comes from restoring a family piece. Perhaps you want to restore a family heirloom or update a unique piece that brings you back in mind to precious times. Reupholstering that original might not be a financial investment, but it can be your investment in sustaining a family history.

4. The environment

Instead of tossing out old and worn furniture, reupholster it to bring new life, and cut down on waste and further resource use. When a piece of furniture is reupholstered, the frame and springs are reused. This means less waste to be put into landfills.

In addition, fewer trees need to be cut down, and less new steel needs to be made. Fewer natural resources are being consumed, and less pollution is being caused.

There is also less transportation used, which also cuts down on emissions, fuel used, and unnecessary traffic. This also helps slow global warming.

Re-upholstery is a way of improving the beauty, comfort, and health of planet Earth.

5. Value for money

New furniture, while it looks beautiful in the store, is not being built as well as furniture from even just a generation ago and, for the most part, will not stand the test of time. Historically, the new furniture industry has been dictated to by the consumer, particularly when it comes to price.

Profitability for the manufacturer has usually been achieved by using cheaper frame construction, more inexpensive fabric, more inexpensive foam, more competitive and less padding, etc. The latest trend has seen production move to offshore factories to reduce costs further, particularly labour costs. So while you're paying an affordable price, you may be getting a vastly inferior product.

When a furniture piece is reupholstered, you should expect to receive at least 15 to 20 years of use, assuming normal wear and tear, which is usually an excellent return on your investment.

6. Restore for resale

If the furniture piece is still sturdy with a quality frame, keep it. The old furniture is built better, and frames can last up until 10 to 15 years this can make it an attractive piece for sale. Instead of selling a tattered couch for a few bucks, you can sell a restored piece at a premium price.

7. Cost comparison

Reupholstering an item can cost you more than purchasing a new sofa or chair; depending on the labour and fabric required. Whether the cost of reupholstery is worth it, it depends on the quality of the structure and the time cost saving. If the repair ensures the couch lasts a good number of years, it can be well worth restoring.

8. Needs change

The final reason for reupholstering for some, it could be that there are children in the home now, or pets in the house or the exact opposite. You might need a more robust material when you have small children and pets. When they are no longer around, you could opt for something more decadent.

Tell us your restoration story

Have you restored a furniture piece in the past? Was it a good choice? Did you keep it or sell it? Let us know in the comments below.

Are you looking to promote your business?

South African artisans and manufacturing business owners can create your free business listing on nichemarket. The more information you provide about your business, the easier it will be for your customers to find you online. Registering with nichemarket is easy; all you will need to do is head over to our sign up form and follow the instructions.

If you require a more detailed guide on how to create your profile or your listing, then we highly recommend you check out the following articles. 

Recommended reading

If you enjoyed this post and have a little extra time to dive deeper down the rabbit hole, why not check out the following posts on artisans.

Tags: Furniture , Restoration

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