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Furniture Upholstery

The Ultimate Guide to Determining the Cost of Reupholstering Your Couch

Updated: Mar 5

1. What are some of the main factors to consider when reupholstering a couch?

ANSWER: The design of the couch determines the reupholstery cost. For example, a tight back with loose seat cushions is generally less expensive to reupholster compared to a couch with loose back cushions and a skirt. Generally, if it requires more labor, due to the additional fabric, the complexity of attaching a skirt properly diamond tufting, etc., it increases the overall cost. Additionally, the age of the couch is a significant factor. Older couches often have better-quality wood frames and are likely to include coil springs, which need to be re-tied as part of the reupholstery process. Although reupholstering older couches can be more expensive due to the labor-intensive process, it's usually considered worth the investment.

2. What is the cost of fabric to reupholster a couch?

ANSWER: On average, fabric prices for reupholstering a couch range from about $45 to $75 per yard. Some basic fabrics may cost less than the average range, while premium materials, including high-end designer fabrics or specialized materials, can run into hundreds of dollars per yard. The durability of a fabric is often measured in Double Rub count or Wyzenbeek Rub test; I would say anything above 30,000 rubs or with higher double rub counts is more durable, making them suitable for furniture that will see frequent use. The weave of the fabric also influences its durability. A tight weave generally indicates a more durable fabric that can withstand wear and tear better than a looser weave. Similarly, thicker fabrics tend to be more durable. Also, fabrics treated for stain resistance are especially useful for households with pets, children, or high traffic.

3. Is it worth it to reupholster a sofa?

ANSWER: If the sofa boasts a high-quality frame and springs, it often makes sense to reupholster rather than replace it; Furthermore, the decision to reupholster is not solely based on financial or practical considerations but on the sentimental value attached to the piece. A sofa that has been part of significant life events or handed down through generations carries memories and emotional value that cannot be replaced. In such cases, reupholstering allows you to preserve these memories while updating the piece to fit current decor trends or to restore its original beauty.

4. Is it cheaper to reupholster or buy new? 

ANSWER: If an individual is buying a high-quality sofa, it is worth buying it. However, lower-cost new sofas often compromise on quality; they have weaker frames made from less durable materials like softwood or particleboard. They may also utilize lower-quality springs, such as zigzag springs or elastic webbing, which do not provide the same level of support or longevity as traditional coil springs found in higher-quality sofas. Also, the fabric on cheaper sofas may not be as durable, leading to quicker wear and tear. This means the sofa may need to be replaced more frequently.

5. How many yards of fabric do I need to reupholster a sofa?

ANSWER: The larger the sofa, the more fabric it will require. A standard three-seater sofa typically needs between 15 to 22 yards of fabric. If the chosen fabric has a pattern that needs to align correctly across the sofa, more fabric may be necessary to accommodate the repeats. Also, sofas with more complex designs, such as those with numerous cushions, tufting, or pleats, will require additional fabric.

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