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“Looking for an Upholsterer”

by Prince Of Petworth August 26, 2016 at 1:45 pm 25 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Victoria Pickering

“I want to reupholster a headboard with fabric that I own. Anyone in popville have a recommendation in the DMV? Willing to drive a bit if its a good (and cheap) place! Dr. Google wasnt much help!”

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  • MeToo

    I’m also looking for an upholsterer, for two vintage armchairs. So far I’ve only found services that are more expensive than buying new chairs, which is stupid. Bring the recommendations on!!

    • textdoc

      “So far I’ve only found services that are more expensive than buying new chairs” — Unfortunately, this is how things appear to work with reupholstery. I assume this is because it’s more time-consuming/labor-intensive to remove existing cushioning/fabric from a piece of furniture and add new cushioning/fabric than it is to manufacture a brand-new item — especially if the piece being reupholstered is mostly or completely covered by upholstery (as opposed to, say, a wooden dining chair with an upholstered seat).
      I’m always surprised at the naivete/optimism of people trying to give away sofas on Craigslist who say things like “Needs reupholstering, but good bones or “Upholstery damaged by cat, but sofa is structurally sound.” Unless it was a VERY expensive sofa in the first place, it will cost more to reupholster than to buy new.

      • MCTDC

        Ditto this. Upholstery work is really expensive. On my last reupholstery project, I bought my own fabric from an online retailer called Modern Fabrics, based in Charlotte. They salvage remnants and unused top quality upholstery fabrics from furniture manufacturers in NC and re-sell them at deeply discounted prices. By buying my fabric from them and taking my chairs to D’Carlo Interiors (in my reply below) I was able my project cost on the low end, but it is still a significant investment.

  • Cleveland Park runner

    I do not, but this seems very DIY-able with the acquisition of a staple gun.

    • CatieCat

      I think you overestimate my skill set!

    • textdoc

      Depends on how many curves/non-straight lines the headboard has. If it’s scalloped or something, I’d bet it would be difficult to DIY reupholster.
      For what it’s worth, “tufting” (that thing with buttons that’s often associated with the midcentury modern look) is apparently not as hard to do as I would’ve guessed — I’ve seen several blogs where people took a plain IKEA sofa and tufted the back themselves.

  • CatieCat

    This is my q! My mom had it done to a bed in California, and they were able to add the fabric AND keep the piping (probably wrong word) on top of the headboard, if that makes sense. Basically its a little more complicated than fabric and a staple gun, but may resort to that if I cant find an economical solution here!

  • 2Corries

    I’ve used EC Robinson in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria. Not sure if he’s still open, but he used to do good work at a good price.

  • RIAres

    John at Woodbridge Upholsterers on Rhode Island Ave NE if they are still open! You’ll need to call because I don’t think they do walk ins. These guys are great, they re-upholstered 2 chairs of mine that had water damage and did a fantastic job and are reasonably priced. They will do pick up and delivery. He’ll give you a quote for the work beforehand.
    Address: 2308 Rhode Island Ave NE, Washington, DC 20018
    Phone:202 529 6220

  • AgaetisByrjun

    I had a chair reupholstered at Yi’s Interiors in Rockville and they did a terrific job. If I remember correctly, fabric plus labor came out to about $500.

    • textdoc

      I’m intrigued… how big of a chair?
      I have a chair that is ridiculously comfy but dates from the 1970s and is upholstered in harvest gold. (It also has a skirt, which adds to its out-of-date look.)
      I’ve been using slipcovers on it for a while, but if I could get it looking brand-new for $500 I would be very, very tempted.

      • AgaetisByrjun

        It’s a slipper chair and while I don’t have the dimensions, Target (where I bought the chair) may have some online so you can see how big they are. I fell in love with a fabric so I paid $100 for the chair then spent $500 to get it reupholstered. I don’t know how wise that was, but I love my chair!

        • textdoc

          Ahh. My chair is bigger size-wise and also would be more complicated, since it’s an armchair. (Not a wingback chair, but roughly that general size.)
          Still, I’ll keep the Yi’s Interiors rec in mind!

      • bbb

        I have a chair that sounds a lot like yours — it’s a club chair that belonged to my grandmother and also had a horrible skirt. K&S Upholstery in Rockville reupholstered it for us for about $700 (which included free pickup and delivery, plus the fabric we chose was not the cheapest). We got a lot of quotes and that was by far the best deal we found. Upholstery is never that cheap, but we love the look of the chair now that it’s been redone! It went from looking really frumpy to quite sleek and modern.

      • Contessa of Cleveland Park

        If you do any sewing at all….

        Summon up your courage, cut off the old fabric at the seams, and use the resulting pieces as a pattern for the new cover. That’d give you a basic result (no piping, etc.), and you’d have to be careful if you’re using new fabric that’s patterned or “napped” and requires matching; but it’s eminently do-able!

  • stacksp

    Leather clinic in Rockville


  • navyard

    RAM Leather. Some of the furniture stores in town use them to reupholster items that are damaged during delivery. Leather and fabric.


    I HIGHLY recommend D’Carlo Interiors on Georgia Avenue. I had dining chairs reupholstered (box seat with welt cord) on my vintage mid century dining set with fabric that I bought. His prices were 20-25% lower than all the other upholstery shops I called across the DMV. Carlos, the owner, did extraordinary work and he did it quickly (IIRC, it was three or four business days and during the December holidays).

    • CatieCat

      Thanks, this is actually super convenient, I’ll give them a call!

  • I can also recommend a good upholsterer & furniture repair place – Palomo Furniture and Interiors. I came across them as they were referred to me by a woman who works at Ethan Allen.
    703 430-9056
    [email protected]
    They can pick up as well. They did a great job recovering a wing chair for me as well as 3 couch cushions. AND were able to fix a busted leg on a mahogany 3-nested table set that was my grandparents. Be happy to forward a photo [can’t in a post].

  • MorgaNado

    Creations by Taylor in Edgewater.

  • xindc

    Hi, I have a friend who’s passionate about her business and job w/c is upholstery.
    But she’s in Richmond, Va.

    Haleh is her name.

  • Cleo42

    I used Mr Robinson in Alexandria for cushions. He did a great job on those. And I liked supporting a small multi generational family shop. http://www.ecrobinsonupholstery.com

  • The NeighborHood Reporter

    I recommend ” A&Jad’s Re-upholstery 2756 Duke Street ,Alexandria Va. 703-751-8070. Used to work for him and he does do a great job. Also will pickup and deliver your Furniture. I had worked for him and learned a great deal about furniture restoration.

  • Delia Lopez @ DC Quality Upholstery has done several chairs for me. 202.291.2603


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