Upholstery How To # 1 – Find your center

One of the ways to make an upholstery job look great is to have the fabric on straight.  You also need to have the patterns line up, especially stripes.  Here’s the best way to do that.  On the frame, find the center of the front and back and mark with a pencil or chalk.  Now on the fabric, do the same: Find the center of the front and back and mark with a piece of chalk.  Notice I didn’t say pencil.  If you mark the fabric in the wrong place, pencil will not come out.  Chalk, you simply brush or blow it off and mark it in the correct place. As an upholsterer, I live by the center line!

3 thoughts on “Upholstery How To # 1 – Find your center

  1. Hi Joe: Quick question I hope you can answer for a PA diyer that is covering dining chairs. after unscrewing my PA House dining chairs found they used a 1″ frame insert instead of a whole piece of plywood for the seat. There was some sort of support fabric that was supposed to hold the center of the hole stable. It didn’t. The chairs feel like your sinking in the middle. Would you recommend replacing with a solid piece of plywood or is there a way to reuse the existing seat and support with some foam and hghly strog support fabric?

    • If you want to re-use the existing seats, you could:

      Staple 3 1/2″ polypropylene webbing in the open space and then cover the webbing with burlap. Do that only if you think your removable seat frame is strong enough.

      You could cut 1/4″ plywood, large enough to cover the hole and staple to your existing frame. This would be somewhat easier/quicker/cheaper than cutting all new seats.

      If you decide to cut all new seats out of plywood, try to use at least 1/2″-3/4″. Use your existing seats as a template.

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