A good quality couch, with a well made, kiln dried hardwood frame should last for generations, but no matter how hard wearing and durable the fabric covering is, even a beautiful leather couch will require reupholstering at some point in its lifetime.
Depending on the construction methods used in the production of your couch, this could either be a DIY project, or one purely for the professionals.
Reupholstering your own couch, although requiring a little effort, can save your wallet a lot of distress.
Depending on the amount of damage, or wear, to your sofa, you may only need to repair a small piece; for example, if the arms have worn through or there are a lot of thread snags. So our method can be adapted to suit your circumstances.
- Turn the sofa upside down and start removing the frill, or covering, around the base of the couch.
- With the sofa upright again, remove, in this order – the outside back, the outside of the arms, the inside back, deck, and arms.
- If the cushions need reupholstering, remove the fabric from them, too.
- Lay out your new fabric, and using the old cover pieces as a guide, cut out the new pieces. Remember that on seamed edges to leave an overlap of 1.5’’, and on edges that are to be stapled (following the way it was originally done) add 2-3’’. This will allow you to pull the material tight.
- Either using a sewing machine, or by hand, start carefully stitching the pieces together, using the old cover as a guide. The former option is far preferable as couch fabric can be tough, especially if you’re sewing seams by hand.
- Use an upholstery thread and specialized needles to make the job easier.
- Next, it’s time to start attaching the cover to the sofa. You only need to do this if the original was attached, following in the same places where the staples were.
- If you do need to staple, use a heavy duty staple gun. These are readily available online or in any craft/DIY store, and pulling the material as tight as you can, staple away!
- Once the sofa has its new covers, give them a brush over, or a quick vacuum to remove any threads.
The Professional Route
The professional route is obviously more expensive, but much less effort. The price will be estimated on the size of the couch, type and amount of material required, and any extras, such as piping or back buttons. It can cost as little as a few hundred dollars right up to a thousand or more. Most professional upholsterers will offer to come and assess your couch, providing a quote for you to think about.
If you fancy trying it yourself, there are some great tips here for DIY upholstering: