Monday, 18 September 2017

Upholstery Buttons 101: What are They and How Can You Use Them?

Whether you’re just starting to learn about the world of DIY upholstery, or you’re looking to fine tune your skills, working with upholstery buttoning will prove beneficial, both in terms of practical skills and knowledge. Plus, upholstery buttoning will add the perfect decorative touch to your DIY projects.

How are Upholstery Buttons Different to Normal Buttons?
Upholstery buttons and normal buttons are very similar, however, there are a few stand-out differences. The main differences come in how they’re used. While upholstery buttons can be used for clothing, they are more commonly used as decorative features on furniture items like chairs, upholstered bed heads and cushions.

The other big difference is that upholstery buttons often don’t come ready- made like clothing buttons do. This is because there are so many different variations in styles, colours and etc, that having ready-made options to suit everyone’s varying upholstery needs would be no easy task. However, this does mean that you can have buttons made to your design specifications, regardless of whether you’re after a button that’s made from leather, fabric, vinyl or etc.

How are Upholstery Buttons Made?
Upholstery buttons are made with a heavy-duty buttoning machine, such as the Osborne W1 Buttoning Machine. The buttons are made by clamping fabric between two metal moulds (also known as shells), and different dies and button moulds are used, as required, to create different-sized buttons.

Upholstery buttons are also constructed with stronger shanks (the loop at the back of the button) than standard buttons, as they need to be able to withstand a lot of tension when pulled deep into the cushioning.

The following items are often used to make upholstery buttons:

-       Osborne W1 Buttoning Machine
-       Die & Cutter (in the size of your choice)
-       Moulds in the size of your choice
-       Fabric, vinyl and leather
-       A bit of muscle!

What Types of Upholstery Buttons are Available?
There are multiple types of upholstery buttoning available, including slab buttoning, diamond buttoning, and deep buttoning.

Here, we look at the uses for each of these types of buttons:

Stab Buttoning
When buttons are put in randomly or in a set pattern and can pulled to different depths.

Diamond Buttoning also called Deep Buttoning
Diamond buttoning creates an intricate pattern of buttoning and pleating. In traditional applications, the diamond pattern is first drawn on the reverse side of the fabric and has allowances for additional fabric, that is folded under into neat diagonal pleats, and flock is usually the padding of choice when working with diamond buttoning.

When you decide to work with diamond buttoning, you need to be prepared for a more labour intensive process. Diamond Buttoning is taught to final year apprentices and does entail a great deal of time and skill.  Should you wish to try it yourself the timeless finish will ensure your time and energy was well spent.

To learn more about upholstery buttoning and what options are best suited to your next DIY upholstery project, contact the team at Padgham Upholstery today!

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

A Novice’s Guide to Upholstery Supplies

 When you’re new to the world of upholstery, the abundance of upholstery tools and supplies and their different uses can seem quite confronting.

Chances are, you’ll find yourself asking ‘what is this? What does it do? And maybe even, ‘what is this called?’ After all, if you were to pick up a permanent marker without knowing what it was or what it did, how could you possibly know what it’s called?

Here at Padgham Upholstery, we get a lot of unusual requests from customers who aren’t sure what the items they’re looking for are actually called. So, when you’re struggling to find the right words to describe what you’re looking for, you can rest assured you’re not alone!

For instance, Coconut Fibre, which is used as padding in traditional upholstery, often gets called coir or even curly coir. We could be wrong, but we’re assuming novice upholsters have adopted these names because of how much coconut fibre looks like the fibrous material that’s found between the hard, internal shell and the outer coat of a coconut, which is called coir.

Some of our other favourites, include:

Upholstery Nails
Often used as a decorative trimming on upholstered chairs, upholstery nails are commonly referred to as the following:

-       Upholstery pins
-       Upholstery tacks
-       Decorative upholstery nails
-       Decorative upholstery pins; and
-       Decorative upholstery tacks

The good news is, if you head into our upholstery supplies store in Melbourne and asked for any of the above, we would still know exactly what you’re after.

Hessian is popular among upholsters because is supplies a strong base to work on and can be used in all upholstery projects, both antique and modern.

The names people use to refer to hessian are actually quite practical terms, because hessian does have a few aliases, depending on what you’re using it for. The most common names we hear are:

-       Burlap
-       Scrim
-       Jute Cloth

Lacing Twine
Lacing twine can be used in a number of arts and crafts projects, but is usually used for tying down springs when used for upholstery. It also gets called:

-       Lashing twine
-       Mattress twine
-       Butchers twine
-       Lacing cord

Webbing provides the foundation of a good upholstery job, so, chances are, you’ll probably pop in looking for some of this at some point. Even though it’s technically called webbing, if you refer to it using one of the following names we’ll still know what you’re talking about.

-       Strapping
-       Elastic

Dust Cover
In upholstery, a dust cover is used to conceal webbing and springs, so it’s designed to sit on the underside of upholstered chairs. This product is sometimes also described as:

-       Finishing cover
-       Black bottom lining
-       Black cloth

We also have people commonly reference staple removers as staple lifters or staple pullers, or Coil springs as conical springs and hourglass springs. While buttoning needles get mistaken for tufting needles and bent packing needles as potato bag needles.

Have you ever mistaken an upholstery product for something with a funny name? Let us know in the comments.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Should You Update the Upholstery on Your Bedhead?

Are you one of those people who not only love a good DIY upholstery project, but also love updating your décor as much as some people update their wardrobes?

Well, luckily for you, your upholstered bed head doesn’t have to be a long-term commitment, with a little creativity and the right upholstery supplies, you can completely transform the appearance of your bedhead.

How can this be achieved? It’s really quite simple, the below designs are just a handful of the ways you can change the style of your bedhead.

A Simple Two-Panel Upholstered Hanging Headboard

If you can sew in a straight line and use a staple gun, a basic, easily updated headboard is perfect for contemporary spaces, but depending on the fabric you choose and your desired colour palette, you can easily make it blend in seamlessly with any décor. You can also play around with different textures and patterns to help create your desired aesthetic.

All you need to do is purchase a basic hanging headboard, ideally in a plain colour, and drape your chosen fabric over it and secure it in place with your staple gun. Once you’ve had enough of it, simply remove the staples and replace the fabric with your next chosen design.

If you’re feeling particularly crafty, you could even make the actual bedhead yourself. To do this, you will need cut-to-size timber, upholstery foam, wood adhesive, screws and a measuring tape.

A Complete Bedhead Re-Design
If you want to completely transform your existing bedhead, there are two simple approaches you can take.

One is to make a slipcover to go over the top of your current bedhead. This is a less permanent solution and will give the illusion of a new headboard, but if you get sick of looking at your new one, you can easily revert back to the original design.

The second option is to completely remove the fabric from your existing headboard, and start from scratch. You can use the old fabric as a guide for how much fabric you will need to re-cover it. Also make sure you’ve allowed for approximately six inches of overlap, ensuring the fabric is able to cover the edges of the bedhead, as well as part of the back. If you need to update, or add foam to your wooden headboard, foam can be attached to the wood with a spray adhesive and then cover it with batting (this can be attached with staples). Then, all you need to do is hold the new fabric over the headboard and staple it into place. 

With either of these options, feel free to get as creative as you like. For a little extra flair, why not add some embellishments? For instance, nail-head trim around the edge of the headboard will add elegance to a classic or simple design, while decorative indentations like tufts can be added with buttons covered in the same fabric as your headboard for a more contemporary look.

To learn more about DIY upholstery, or for all of your project supplies, be sure to visit Padgham Upholstery – your one-stop upholstery shop.