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Retail Upholstery Fabric Terminology

Upholstery fabrics and textiles come in countless colors and patterns, which suit different styles and preferences. Retail stores offer many of these cotton, fleece, linen, and leather materials by the yard. While textiles are generally used on furniture when it is manufactured, specific fabrics can be applied to older couches, chairs and loveseats as well. Typically a professional will upholster these furnishings for a specific rate. Below you will see a few useful terms that apply to upholstery fabrics and textiles.

  • Spring Unit – This is essentially a collection of springs that form the foundation of a seat, back, or arm of a piece of furniture. Spring units are used in couches and chairs, and are wired and clipped together.
  • Holding Tie – Also known as a tough stitch, this is a stitch placed between a spring canvas and scrim. The purpose of this tie is to hold the stuffing tightly in place. Upholsters use a holding tie on various sofas and love seats.
  • Damask – A tightly woven fabric that is flat and typically has a certain design or pattern to it. This textile is usually made on a Jacquard loom, and can be applied to custom furniture. Damask is available through certain retail stores and wholesale distributors by the yard.
  • Jacquard – This is a method of creating elaborately patterned weaves in fabric. A mechanical Jacquard loom is used, and design instructions are given by the roller for certain materials like cotton, linen or fleece.
  • Nubby – A fabric that contains yarns of varying thickness. This textile often looks unique and irregular, but can be used to manufacture different types of drapes, furniture, quilts, and curtains.
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    On Time Rug Cleaning - Carpet and Upholstery Clean
    32 Warren St, New York, NY 10007
    Our prompt rug and carpet cleaners specialize in removing tough stains and odors out of all upholstery in commercial and residential properties. We also offer cleaning services for patio furniture.
    (212) 810-2171
    J M Upholstery
    1010 44th Ave Fl 5, Long Island City, NY 11101
    We are a premier custom upholstery company. We offer the finest furniture upholstery services in the area. You will always be fully satisfied with upholstery made in quality hands.
    (718) 786-0104
    ABC Carpet & Upholstery
    4544 Vernon Blvd, Long Island City, NY 11101
    Carpet Cleaning Installation/repair, Crime Scene Cleanup, Carpet Cleaning Services, Carpet Repair Streching & Drapery, , Carpet,Upholstery & Oriental Area Rugs Cleaning, Persian Rug Cleaning, Steam, Dry, Upholstery Cleaning, Deep Cleaning, Seat,Chairs,Dra
    (212) 819-9535
    ABC Carpet & Up
    339 E 104th St, New York, NY 10029
    We offer professional cleaning services for carpet, upholstery, rugs, and fabric. We can steam, dry, and wet clean your carpets and upholstery for commercial and residential properties.
    (212) 410-7700
    Astudillo Designs
    4332 22nd St, Long Island City, NY 11101
    Offering custom made furniture and upholstery. We do cushions, refilled headboards and antique furniture restoration. From vinyl repair to upholstery fabric cleaning, we are your first choice. Free estimates.
    (718) 784-3020
    Donis Upholstery
    190 Wyckoff Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237
    (1) Review Write a review
    (718) 456-3434
    User Review: "Did work for me and other members of my family I lost touch when he moved glad we found you . Ms taylor."
    Jeffs Upholstery
    1945 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, NY 11233
    (1) Review Write a review
    (718) 346-0316
    User Review: "This hole in the wall shop was referred to me by a motorcycle club but when I arrived jeff had negative things to say about..."
    Cerlos Upholstery
    217 W 231st St, Bronx, NY 10463
    Our company provides quality custom upholstery and sleep covers. We also do refinishing and pick up and delivery are both included. We have great selections of fabric to get the job done.
    (718) 432-8439
    A and H Distributors Inc
    10240 Jamaica Ave, Richmond Hill, NY 11418
    (1) Review Write a review
    (718) 846-3220
    User Review: "Visited by chance and discovered for myself a huge variety of upholstery tools, foam rubber and vinyl, even glue and spray..." - Nice (NY)
    Greentex Uphistry Supls
    236 W 26th St, New York, NY 10001
    (212) 206-8585
    Global Leathers
    253 W 35th St Fl 9, New York, NY 10001
    (212) 244-5190
    Simons Upholstery LLC
    601 W 26th St, New York, NY 10001
    (212) 414-1069
    Luther Quintana Upholstery
    114 W 26th St Fl 7, New York, NY 10001
    (212) 462-2033
    Peruvian Touch Upholstery
    135 W 29th St Rm 201, New York, NY 10001
    (212) 736-3270
    Simons Upholstery LLC
    207 W 25th St Fl 7, New York, NY 10001
    (212) 727-7106

    You can cover furniture with any type of fabric, but unless its specifically made for upholstery, it won't last long. Upholstery is generally thicker, stronger, and has a higher thread count in order to stand up against high wear and tear. Natural knits were originally used for furniture, with wool, leather, and cotton being the most prominent. The invention of man made fabrics like rayon and polyester brought about an increase in production. Man made materials have proven to be cheaper to mass produce, thus driving down retail furniture costs. They are easier to sew as well, since they can be produced specifically to be less easy to tear. Upholstery fabric can also be used to sew curtains and other drapery products. Since the textiles involved are often thicker than cloth used in clothing, they block more sunlight. Even silk and lace can be tightly woven to work in this fashion. Some textiles utilized for furniture are best reserved for only that purpose, like vinyl and leather, since they may be too heavy to hang as curtains. Other textiles like velvet, satin, flannel, and even fleece are thick enough to block the sun's rays, but are still comfortable enough for furniture. When looking for the right covering for your furniture piece, check with wholesalers and distributors first. You may be able to buy the pattern and type you want at a discount price. Unfortunately, sometimes wholesale purchases are impossible for the average consumer and you must purchase retail. These shops often have the same things available such as nylon, canvas, linen, and fleece as their discount counterparts, but they may also carry specialty pieces only available through this avenue. Certain silks, other high quality pieces, and patterns such as florals, plaids, quilts, and embroidery may only be available at certain stores. Search carefully before deciding what to decorate with.
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