Reuse, recycle, restore it!
When choosing fabric, Mark says the most important thing to consider is abrasion count. Abrasion count is determined by how the fabric rates in the double-rub test, a standard used to check the fabric’s durability. The fabric is passed through a machine and rubbed back and forth, counting as one double rub. “You definitely want the highest count of the double rub,” Mark explains. An abrasion count of 9,000 to 12,000 would be for very light duty, where you’re going more for the beauty of the fabric chosen and not necessarily durability. The higher the abrasion count means the more you can sit on that fabric before it will start to fray or disintegrate.
A medium-duty fabric would be one with an abrasion count above 15,000, whereas anything over 30,000 double rubs would be considered heavy-duty. For a customer looking for extreme durability, Mark recommends a commercial grade fabric. According to sources, a heavy-duty commercial grade fabric would be 100,000 double rubs or more.
An equally important aspect is fabric protection, such as Scotchguard™. It’s important to know the stain-resistant properties put into the fabric to help resist dirt buildup, Mark explained.
As far as advice on re-upholstery estimates? Mark says, “Just because someone is a re-upholsterer doesn’t mean they do the same quality of work. There’s a difference between applying fabric and methods of application.” It’s important to check springs, glue joints, interior burlaps or materials, and the quality and density of the foam used. “An upholsterer has choice and control and can step into much better materials,” he said.
“My business is to build that piece of furniture better and make it last longer than industry standards,” Mark said. ”We’re still doing that old-fashioned workmanship with old fashioned quality materials.”
When choosing an upholsterer, Mark recommends visiting their shop. “Take a look at work that’s being done at the time. How do they approach their work?” he said. Ask for testimonials or recommendations of past customers.
“You have to be wary of someone who gives you too high of a price or too low of a price. That’s done by research. Take a ride to their shop and see what they do,” Mark encourages.
To learn more about Sterling Upholstery Co. Inc., visit www.sterlingupholsteryco.com.