upholstery 101

Thursday 7 May 2009
First up I'll admit I'm no expert at upholstery, having only recovered a few chair cushions and having one success really! But since a few questions were asked in the comments to the last post I thought I'd answer them - a bit of the blind leading the blind, but take from it what you will. Of course there are plenty of upholstery books out there which will probably be a better resource than little ol' me.

The wadding I used was just a package of two pre-cut polyester wadding pieces bought from Spotlight for the bargain basement price of $7.99. I don't think it is specific upholstery wadding, but it was nice and fluffy and was the right dimensions for what I needed so that's why I picked it.

I didn't glue the wadding to the foam purely for the reason I didn't have any suitable glue (a spray adhesive maybe?) to hand, I just roughly hand stitched the wadding down along the back edges and where it was folded over at the corner. The wadding seemed to stick pretty well and the cushion cover holds it all in anyway.

I did put zips in the cushion covers so I could wash them if necessary, and with a baby, a crazy dog and a sometimes clumsy husband I'm sure there is more than a reasonable chance of needing to! I just used the longest dress zip I could find because I couldn't any special upholstery zips and anyway the dress zips I used on the green covers that were on the chairs previously held up well. I put the zip in a centred application - basted the seam shut, sewed around the zip in a rectangle and opened up the seam. The colour of the zipper doesn't match exactly, and when someone is sitting on the cushion the zipper is visible, but that's only because it's an open backed chair and I'm not too worried about that anyway.

Finally I think the fabric makes a world of difference. The chenille type fabric I used is nice and thick so the stitches sink in and any crooked or dodgy sewing is hard to see! It's also fluffy so less susceptible to wrinkles, and it's nice and warm to sit on.

Anyway I hope some of you are inspired to go and give recovering a chair a go, it's pretty boring sewing but an easy way to update your furniture.

oooh gotta go, the Bold and the Beautiful is on - my guilty addiction since becoming a stay at home mum LOL!


  1. Thanks so much for the tutorial.


  2. Thank you sooo much for that information! I'm beginnning to think that something like 50% of sewing is having a go, so seeing what someone else has done is really valuable!

  3. Bold! LOL! I can't wait to be addicted to Dr Phil when I'm a stay at home mum!

  4. Great job! I made a set of slipcovers for my couch and loveseat, and I always swore "never again!!" But there are such fantastic upholstery fabrics out there...and my living room is sooo blah....I may have to give this a go!

  5. Great tips-I have a couple of books on upholstery but I also have a baby so no dice! Your tutorial will come in very handy indeed!