YOUR MOST COMMON REUPHOLSTERY QUESTION ANSWERED, "IS THE PIECE WORTH IT?"
"HI, I'M CALLING TO FIND OUT IF I GET SOMETHING UPHOLSTERED, IS THE PIECE WORTH IT?"
Most typical phone calls ask the same question I get everyday day at my shop, and I can sum up the in 4 words: "DO YOU USE IT?" Why throw the money into something you look at. The worst constructed furniture will last years if it's never put to the test. The only other side to that statement is if you have a wood exposed piece that they don't make anymore. Then it's worth it because you can't replace it!
Most of us work hard for our money and typically have little or nothing left over. I vouch for that; I'm a tradesman/craftsman! Years ago, you didn't have to ask that question. Things were made with pride and quality. A typical piece had a hardwood that was glued, dowelled, and held together by strong webbing. There was no question in any of our grandparents' minds that what they bought was inferior. It was made in America. America took pride in everything they made and sold. Slipcovers were also popular because most pieces had a "tailored" look that made them snug fit, and the fabric was so inexpensive that you could have ordered two sets for summer and winter. They even had READY MADE covers; WHY? Because most of the furniture had the same style, solid back, two-seat cushions, so that when you manufactured them, it wasn't a waste of time or effort– it fit! You didn't suck with an overflow of covers to be sold! I even used to do plastic covers.
No more! What has changed is the styles of furniture. Everything now has overstuffed cushions, padding, and poor frames. A plastic cover would not hold up to the amount of "flexing" it has to do on a soft piece… I'd be married to it by fixing it every year. PASS.
I'll even pass on just recovering something. The furniture of years ago, you could "Just recover." It was made right. No questions about it; 20 years later, it would still be in great shape! Most newer furniture is made to last for the life of most warranties, which are mostly one year.
Back to the question: "Is it worth it?" Knowing that the answer is yes, I need to make sure that however the piece is done, I need to improve on that one-year mentality. Guess what. If I upholster something, if there's a problem, I'm the guy who made it. So I can fix it. Imagine having a business that you would have so many comebacks because I just "recovered it" Then I'm just as bad as most furniture stores, EXCEPT I have no one else to blame but me and my upholsterer! Sorry people, I want to sleep at night knowing that I will not get calls of things falling apart.
So, whether it's a current "mass-produced" piece or an heirloom that you're interested in upholstering, I refuse to give you back an inferior product that makes your hard-earned money wasted, like most other products we buy. It has to be done the right way, or GO BUY NEW! Unused items last because they are not put to the test!
My other advice. If it doesn't fit your budget, save for it! It will be one of the best investments you can make on quality stuff. You don't see things MADE IN AMERICA anymore, and if it was, it would cost more money!