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Reupholstering versus buying new furniture?

Buying new can be good but reupholstery can be better. Whilst buying new you often have a selection of fabrics to choose from, the option to recover or reupholster gives you full control of all the finishing details from contrast stitching and pipping, to having it pipped or braided where it was not before, or to make it plain and remove any kind of decorative finishing. You also have the choice of using any fabric you like.

It is often a more sustainable choice as you would not be using up more of the earth’s resources to create what has essentially already been created.

In short,

  • More ethical 
  • Total control over all aspects of the furniture 
  • Creating something you really love and that reflects part of your creative ideas 
  • Creating something unique to you
  • Creating something to be proud of 
  • Supporting local crafts people in your area                                                    

Is upholstery worth it ?

Generally speaking upholstery is like most things in life, the more you can afford to spend the better quality product you will get. As a result of this any potential resale value will be higher and the chances of keeping your furniture out of land fill and being used is greatly improved.

Restoration and reupholstery both play a part in updating and prolonging the life of furniture thus helping to get the most out of the original manufacturing outlays, be it energy or materials consumption and therefore contributing to a more circular economy. Rather than replacing everything, by only replacing what needs to be replaced will also help cut back on further consumption of new materials.

The physiology of spending that little bit extra on things has been found to install a greater sense of care when it comes to looking after and maintaining items of furniture. This will obviously help with the longevity of furniture.

Why is upholstery so expensive ?

Reupholstery and upholstery cost is all relevant to the quality of the materials used and the type of upholstery that is involved in any particular piece of furniture. For example an antique chair using tacks and other traditional techniques and materials of upholstery will be more labor intensive than its modern day foam and staple equivalent.

You will also find that the price of one new chair or sofa vs the cost of some others will vary hugely. This is also partly to do with the quality of the materials used. You might have one frame made from chipboard the other from solid beach with maybe walnut, glass, or engineered steel legs and latex foam instead of some other cheaper alternatives. 

Cushion fillings will also affect the cost of a piece of furniture for example 1kg of duck feathers will cost around £4 whereas if you would like down feathers this would cost £104 per kg

As you can see there are vast differences in types of labor and material costs.