Saturday, March 18, 2017

Beginner's guide to reupholstering a sectional sofa: STEP ONE

STEP ONE:  CHOOSE THE FABRIC
(finished couch) 
After I had my sectional, I raced to Joann's and looked at all of the upholstery fabrics.  My heart sank as I saw the $30/yd prices.  I needed 20+ yards.
 
I looked online.  I found two fabrics from two different sites I liked that were quite a bit cheaper.  One had a pattern and one didn't.  I decided to try the one without a pattern first so I wouldn't have to worry so much about matching up lines.  It was a good choice.  I ordered a sample and waited (not so patiently) for it to get here.
Once the sample arrived, I made sure that it was the color/feel I wanted.  It draped well, wasn't too stiff.  I left it on the floor for a day and made sure that it wasn't the type of fabric every single hair in my house would stick to (we have 4 girls and a cat - fabrics that attract hair are a no-go in our house).  It passed the test.
 
I put the sample next to my 3-year-old as she ate two different meals.  I watched as she wiped her Cheeto hands all over it as she ate and played with it.  I didn't even tell her why it was there - I think it just comes naturally to a 3-year-old to wipe their dirty hands on whatever is closest to them.  I took a quesadilla and rubbed it all over the fabric.  I made sure I could get all of the marks off of it without washing it in a washing machine.  It passed the test - better than I expected without any stain treatment or scotch guard.
 
I read the reviews online and looked a photos of projects other people had done with this fabric.
 
When choosing fabric for upholstery, take a look at the double-rub count.  This tells you how durable the fabric is.  Most fabrics at Joann's or other online discount stores were around the 30,000 to 45,000 range.  This fabric was fleece backed and could withstand up to 100,000 double rubs.  At only $6.98/yard before any discounts, I was sold!
 
(The fabric I chose was Hudson Dolphin, found here.)
 
Always order more fabric than you think you're going to need.  Always.  I ordered 22 yards, which ended up being just over what I needed but if I did it again I would still order 22 yards for the size of sectional and 7 cushions I did.  It would have stressed me out to come down to the wire on fabric.

After I had the fabric, I was ready for STEP TWO.

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