Monday, 19 June 2017

How to Choose an Upholstery Fabric

Are you keen to get started on your latest DIY upholstery project, but can’t decide which upholstery fabric will best suit your needs?

Well, read on! Here, we run through everything you need to know before you select your upholstery fabric.

Know Your Brands
At Padgham Upholstery, we only stock the finest, most reputable fabric brands. As such, we only supply quality products that will help ensure your final project is everything you hoped it would be.

The brands we recommend include:

-       Warwick Fabrics
-       Zepel fabrics
-       Wortley Group
-       Verve Designer Fabrics
-       Laine Furnishings
-       Elliot Clarke Fabrics
-       Gummerson, Hoad & JW Design
-       Mokum
-       Charles Parsons

All of these brands of upholstery fabric are available online through Padgham Upholstery, here.

Types of Fabric Available
There are a lot of different fabrics you can use in your upholstery project. Which type you choose will depend on the overall aesthetic you’re trying to achieve, what type of project the fabric will be used for, and what sort of wear and tear it will need to withstand. Also take into consideration any relevant care and maintenance tips, and whether or not a particular fabric is stain-resistant or not.  

Some common fabric types you’ll be able to choose from include:

-       Linen
-       Leather
-       Cotton
-       Wool
-       Cotton Blend
-       Vinyl
-       Acrylic
-       Polyester

You can learn more about these fabric types, as well as a host of others, here.

Understanding the Martindale Test
When choosing your upholstery fabrics, make sure you check the durability of the fabric to see if it’s suitable for the project you would like to complete. For instance, the strength of the fabric you choose will depend on whether you’re upholstering a decorative chair that rarely gets used, or a piece of furniture that receives a lot of traffic.

The Martindale Test, also known as the ‘rub test’ and ‘abrasion resistance’ will determine the durability of a particular fabric.  The Martindale Machine does this by pulling a fabric taut, as small discs of worsted wool or wire mesh rub continuously against the fabric in an oscillating circle. The material will be inspected periodically for any wear and tear, and the test will continue until two yarns break or when there is a noticeable change to the fabric’s appearance.

Under the Martindale Test upholstery fabrics are ranked according to the following scale: 

-       Decorative Fabrics (less than 10,000 rubs)
-       Light Domestic (10,000 to 15,000 rubs)
-       General Domestic (15,000 to 25,000 rubs)
-       Heavy Duty (25,000 to 30,000 rubs)
-       Commercial grade (30,000 plus)

When choosing your fabric, talk to Padgham Upholstery about its score on the Martindale Test, and what it means in terms of appropriate application methods.

Extra Considerations
Lastly, always make sure the fabric you choose will suit the overall style you’re hoping to achieve.

For example, you wouldn’t choose a decorative damask fabric for a children’s chair, just like you wouldn’t put Bob the Builder printed cotton on a formal dining chair.

Take care when choosing the colour, pattern, and texture of your fabric, and make sure it will suit the overall style of the room your project will be displayed in.

To learn more about the different types of upholstery fabrics and their various applications, as well as our comprehensive selection of DIY upholstery supplies, view our upholstery fabric online, or visit our Melbourne-based store today.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

What are the Different Types of Webbing Used for Upholstery?

 Zepel's Sari print,  James Dunlop's Mauritius and unknown 

Webbing forms an important part of the upholstery process and is the foundation of a good upholstery job.

But, exactly what is it?

Made from a strong fabric that is woven as a flat strip with varying widths and fibres, webbing is used in couches and chairs as a flexible base for the seating area.

To ensure an optimum finish, the spacing of the webbing needs to be suitable for the type of chair you’re upholstering and the type of webbing you’re using, and it needs to be extremely resilient and long-lasting.  

Different types of webbing usually attest to the era the chair was made, but when it comes to modern day upholstery, you have plenty of types to choose from!

Jute Webbing
Jute webbing has been around for hundreds of years and is often used for traditional upholstery projects. Jute webbing is usually applied to support a coil spring base. Applied using a webbing stretcher and staples or blue cut tacks, there are two weights of jute webbing to choose from. 

Elastic Webbing
Elastic webbing will create a firm seat, which is usually softer than one made using jute webbing. The webbing needs to be stretched to its maximum size, by hand, before it’s ready for use. It should also be applied in a criss-cross pattern (basket weave) and should be at least a four-stripe length when used for seating. Elastic webbing can be applied using staples, tacks or webbing clips.

Pirelli Webbing
This is a superior, rubberised type of webbing that is commonly used on mid century furniture. This type of webbing can only be used on furniture that has been built strong enough to withstand its strain. In some cases it can only be used one way (not crisscrossed), and should be applied using staples, tacks or webbing clips into routed channels.

At Padgham Upholstery, we offer a number of upholstery services and products at our Melbourne-based store, which includes the supply of quality webbing materials. Check out our range online, or visit us in store to view all of our quality upholstery products up close and personal.  

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Master the Art of Upholstery

Books and DVDs are always invaluable resources, especially when it comes to DIY upholstery.

Whether you’re just starting out, or have been dabbling in the art of upholstery for years, this selection of instructional books and DVDs will help guide you through your upholstery journey, equipping you with the knowledge and skills you need to perfectly execute your next project.  

Sit back and relax as industry leaders unravel the magic that is upholstery. These step-by-step DVDs will guide you through a selection of tutorials that will help you improve your skillset.

Rebuilding a Coil Spring Seat
Developed by our very own talented team, Adrian and Dianne run through the various steps and techniques you need to know to rebuild a coil sprung chair.

By the end of this 46 minute DVD you’ll know what you can recycle and how to use the tools/what techniques can be utilised when rebuilding a coil spring seat.

RRP: $32

Traditional Upholstery Workshop 1 DVD
Covering drop-in and pin stuffed seats; this DVD offers a step-by-step demonstration on how to reupholster a Victoria Reproduction Queen Anne Chair seat to its former glory, using traditional methods and materials.

If that wasn’t already enough, this comprehensive tutorial is then expanded on to show you how to restore an Edwardian Chair with a pin stuffed seat.

RRP: $40

Traditional Upholstery Workshop 2 DVD
As a continuation of Traditional Upholstery Workshop 1, in the second part of this series you’ll learn about reupholstering a Victorian nursing chair. Learning about unsprung, blind and top stitching techniques, as well as how to create a roll edge is easy when you’re being taught by no other than UK furniture expert, David James.

RRP: $40

If you’re a bit more traditional in your approach to learning, and would like a well-written, illustrated upholstery guide, you can’t look past these fabulous books that definitely get our tick of approval.

Upholstery – A Complete Course
This encyclopaedic guide to upholstery, courtesy of David James covers everything there is to know about upholstery techniques and the tools and materials that are required to master the art form.

Covering everything from traditional handwork to the latest industrial techniques, this book gives you an overview of the industry, as well as five step-by-step projects that will allow you to put the explained techniques into practice.

RRP: $55

Upholstery Techniques & Projects
This book is a must-have for every upholster, providing endless inspiration with 30 detailed projects, 60 colour photographs, and 300 lined drawings, which depict each process in fine detail.

RRP: $50

Danish Tutorial
Another great resource from our talented team, this book looks at how to upholster a Danish chair. You’ll learn how to choose foam densities, calculate dimensions, upholster cushion covers, and more!

RRP: $9.70

All of these products, plus more, are available from our online store, or, if you prefer to do your learning in person, ask us about our classes. We always enjoy sharing our industry knowledge with other lovers of upholstery.