Having furniture reupholstered can feel like a daunting task. You’re basically asking your upholsterer to perform plastic surgery on your furniture, as it is stripped down to its frame and then rebuilt from the ground up. Reupholstering can be costly as well, so it’s important to know everything you can about the process before you begin.

Before you decide to start a reupholstering project on your furniture, take a hard look at it. You’ll want to look beyond the fabric to the furniture’s frame and see if you can observe certain attributes that make your furniture a good candidate for being reupholstered. Take a look at the bottom of the frame and see if it’s hardwood and kiln-dried. Also, be sure that the corner braces are strongly in tact as well. Take a moment to test the furniture out and make sure that it is stable and doesn’t rock or move around while you’re using it. Once you’ve checked and tested your furniture, it’s time to choose your fabric.

Before you invest in costly fabric, it’s extremely important to be sure that the fabric you choose is intended to be used for upholstery. You may find the perfect fabric pattern, but make sure it isn’t meant to be used for drapery or quilting. Also, check the back of the fabric sample for the durability. This will be represented by a number, such as 25,000, which indicates the number of abrasive rubs (done by a machine) the fabric withstood before if failed. A heavy-duty rating starts at 30,000 rubs. Take a fabric sample home with you and place it on the piece you want to reupholster to be sure you really like it. You’ll want to look at it a few days in different lights before you decide.

With the fabric chosen and ready to go, call your upholsterer…you are on your way to having the reupholstered furniture you really want.