Feeling behind the summer trends? Dull furniture making you blue? …Reupholstery to the rescue!

Decorating your home for a new season doesn’t have to mean buying all new furniture. Working with what you already have is a great way to create unique pieces without contributing to overconsumption.

Of course, deciding to reupholster a piece is one thing, but actually undertaking the project is another. Here are our tips on things to consider before embarking on your upholstery journey.

1. Consider the shape of the piece

Reupholstery can change many things about a piece of furniture, but it cannot change the shape. Therefore, we’d recommend starting with a piece that has a shape you already love.

You can never go wrong with an interesting shape!

2. Address the integrity of the piece

Unfortunately, not all furniture is up to the challenge of reupholstery. If your piece is particularly old and battered, analyse whether the task of reupholstery will be worth your while. You don’t want your item to fall apart during the process!

Some key things to look out for are water damage, mould, woodworm and general instability.

A broken chair with torn upholstery

3. Rub Count

Once you’re sure you want to reupholster something, you need to pick fabric. Rather than plumping for the first thing that catches your eye, you should consider the rub count of fabric.

The rub count of a fabric indicates its durability. A rub count of at least 40,000 is recommended for an item that will endure frequent use. This doesn’t mean that fabrics with lower rub counts are completely useless. Less durable fabrics are perfect for purely decorative pieces, or smaller projects like cushions.

4. Amount of Fabric

The next major decision is how much fabric you will purchase for your reupholstery project. We recommend that it’s always better to have too much fabric than too little.

If you underestimate how much fabric you need, your project might never be finished. On the other hand, an excess of fabric leaves you room to make other smaller projects. Even the smallest offcuts can be useful. Our ReFound journals are made entirely using offcuts!

5. Choose traditional

Modern reupholstery techniques may be quicker, but the results are often not as long-lasting. For this reason, we recommend sticking with traditional upholstery techniques.

Traditional upholstery involves hand-stitching and stuffing and uses many sustainable and recyclable materials. What’s more, if you’re working with an antique or vintage piece, traditional upholstery methods will retain its authenticity.

With the fundamentals out of the way, it’s time to get creative!

Reupholstery is all about expressing your unique style, but here’s some inspiration to get you started.

Bright Colours

Bold Patterns


If you have any further questions about reupholstery – or if you have a project in mind for us – get in touch! We would be happy to help you realise your vision.

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On The Square Emporium is one of Ireland’s Largest Antiques shops stocking thousands of vintage and antique items including Edwardian, Georgian and Victorian furniture, desirable collectibles and stunning decor ideas for your home. Can’t find what you are looking for? Contact our team for help on sourcing it!