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Re-Upolstery “HIDDEN' AREAS

One way of saving fabric and costs is to only have matched those areas which can be seen – perhaps not the outside back of a large sofa if it is against a wall; however this would mean you are unlikely to be able to use it as a freestanding piece elsewhere

in the room unless prepared to live with a mis-match.

If your chair or sofa has back cushions, you may feel able to get away with not matching the inside back as the cushions sit in front but this is only really worth doing if it is a particularly large pattern repeat, saving significant fabric.

Equally, only matching one side of cushions can cut costs at the time but does mean they can't be turned over for evenness of wear or in the event of staining, perhaps leading to more costs later.


In many cases, it is simply not possible to pattern match welts because of the size/shape of pattern or, if it can be, would prove extremely wasteful of fabric and increase costs. In those instances do rely on your upholsterer's experience to advise what best to do – it may be possible to use a small section of pattern, rather than the main design, or even a co-ordinating fabric; for example vertical or horizontal striped fabrics can look very effective with welts made from a solid band of colour matching one of the stripes.


Upholsterers automatically match centre pat- terns across inside backs (where there are no cushions), back and seat cushions; but there are differing schools of thought when it comes to inside arms, side panels, and kick pleats/skirts so it would be worth chatting this through beforehand to ensure the finished result is what you were hoping for. Your upholsterer will be able to advise what would look best given your

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Obviously, given the huge range of fabrics available, it is impossible to cover every pattern type but expert advice from knowledgable, specialist suppliers is invaluable at this stage in helping you make the right choice, rather than a costly mistake. Find your local expert in the pages of this Guide...

fabric or furniture style and which would be most cost-effective and guide you to an informed decision.


These may be used in two very different ways so it is important to clarify your instructions at the outset.

One way is to have the fabric pattern flowing continuously from the top of the piece (ie down the front of the inside back, down back and over seat cushions, down cushion fronts, and skirt) to the floor.

This is no problem on a chair but with a sofa, each cushioned seating area can be treated as an individual waterfall match. Whilst the patterns of each section are aligned to be at the same height on each cushion, the pattern does not flow across the cushions from side to side.

Alternatively, waterfall type matches may flow from top to bottom (as above) but the pattern will also flow across the cushions and seams side to side and your upholsterer will need to know which you require. Even with that level of pattern matching, though, it may not be possible for all seams to be matched in all directions.


There are some fabrics (eg plaids) which are almost impossible to fully match at seams, especially on shaped sections– a vertical match may not always give an horizontal match – so it is worth spending some time showing your upholsterer samples of your preferred fabrics and they will explain what can or cannot be achieved before you are committed.

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