Bringing new life back into a treasured piece of furniture needn’t be as expensive as you initially thought. Often, the largest outlay in upholstery is the fabric itself, which can easily cost around £40-£80 per metre. This cost can add up extremely quickly, especially on large furniture pieces like a sofa or wing chair. With discount upholstery fabric, you can reduce the costs quite significantly!
A common misconception is that these fabrics are inferior in quality. This couldn't be further from the truth. These fabrics are quite simply just no longer in production. They aren't made from inferior materials, on inferior looms, they are just no longer in production. It's actually far more likely that you'll end up with a superior quality fabric than you first imagined.
The most crucial step is to arrange for an upholsterer to inspect the piece(s) of furniture you wish to have reupholstered. An upholsterer should be able to indicate how much fabric will be required for the project and whether or not you wish to source this material yourself. Keep in mind the upholsterer will charge their fee on top of the fabric they provide. Their fabrics are commonly running line fabrics which means the fabrics are still in production and are therefore more expensive to source.
These fabrics are a great choice if you're frugal or on a tight budget.
It can be purchased from the high street, but this can still work out expensive due to the increased overheads. On the positive side, buying this way allows you to see the fabric there and then and compare it with other fabrics in the shop.
A cheaper alternative is purchase discount upholstery fabric online. Their overheads will be lower than the high street and still offer a great choice of fabrics to choose from. Good online suppliers will allow their customers to request samples of fabric (often free of charge) of your choosing. These samples are then delivered straight to your door! This isn’t as immediate as visiting the high street, but it can be far more rewarding and a lot less hassle.
Keep in mind when ordering upholstery fabric online that if the fabric has a pattern, pay attention to the repeat length as this can have an effect on how much material is required.
The downside to these fabrics are their limited supplies. As they are no longer in production there will be no more available to buy later. You'll want to ensure purchase enough for your project and perhaps an additional metre or two to account for mistakes.
It is always better to order more fabric than to buy too little. Large patterns can cost a lot more in material due to pattern matching. This, unfortunately, will produce a lot of waste. Depending on the pattern, this wastage can often be recycled and used to create cushion covers. Plain fabrics will always require the least amount fabric and therefore produce the least amount of waste.
Chenille upholstery fabric is the most popular furnishing material for re-upholstery projects. It is one of the more hardwearing upholstery fabrics and has a very appealing design. Chenille upholstey fabric is more prone to fading if placed in direct sunlight, so keep this in mind. This is especially important if you're planning to use your new upholstered furniture in a conservatory or next to a large window.
Jacquard upholstery fabric is also an excellent choice. Please do ensure the fabric is suitable for upholstery prior to purchasing! If there’s any doubt, ask the supplier if the material is suitable and if possible get a sample of the fabric.
Opt for a fabric which is flame retardant. Most upholstery fabrics feature a flame retardant back coat, which is often a white tacky coating on the back of the fabric. These coatings will adhere to the flame retardant standards of your country.
Finally, reupholstering a piece of allows you to really customise it to your very own preferences. You could even go with a patchwork look if you like.
Whatever you decide to do, good luck in your fabric search!