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Upholstery 101 Workshop!

Urban Source has been bustling with so much excitement this spring!

We had CLTV shooting a segment for an episode of Bring It Home Chicago, a photo shoot for the At Home section in Today's Chicago Woman Magazine, and our blog being featured in Chicago Home and Garden’s weekly newsletter Domestica!

As if that wasn’t enough, we held our first Upholstery 101 Workshop! It was right here at 1429 W. Chicago Avenue. The class was taught by the talented craftsmen from our workroom.

The 101 Upholstery Workshop reviewed the basics of reupholstering through a demonstrations of recovering a dining room chair seat cushion.


 We began with covering the basic supplies needed for any upholstery job. The supply list ranges from rubber mallets and magnetic hammers to staple guns and the right density of cushion foam. Most of these tools can be found at stores like home depot or Joanne Fabrics! Proving that upholstery is more accessible than you’d think.

 Of course, you will also need a great piece of furniture to reupholster. We shared tips on how to furniture hunt like an interior designer. We discussed our favorite (unexpected) places to find vintage pieces. Never underestimate what a day of diligent hunting through thrift store and antique shops can produce.

Then the guys taught the students how to replace the foam for the chair cushions. If the chair is an antique, the original stuffing of hay will most likely still be under the old fabric. This may be an interesting historically, but not so great for the sanitary functionality of the chair in your own home.


 We discussed the different densities of foam and how to cut it down to fit your specific chair. Did you know that you actually saw the foam with a knife?

 Another important step is the inclusion of the supportive webbing on the bottom of the seat. The guys shared their techniques for this application. Students got to try these tips first hand.

 Next we covered a few steps that most people don’t think about when they are beginning an upholstery project. One of those steps is fabric placement on the chair. If the fabric you choose has a visible pattern on the chair, you want to make sure that you consider how that pattern will be framed.

 Finally it was time to review the actual fabric application.  In other words, pull out your staple gun! This part may seem straight forward, but there is a lot of practiced technique involved in order to get the most polished look. The guys reviewed different corner folds and how to achieve the smoothest stretch over the cushion.


 Students were encouraged to try this for themselves. The guys stood by to offer helpful tips and tricks!

Lastly, we covered decorative extras. These considerations are really what give the piece of furniture a finished look. Some things to consider are: decorative trim and different styles of nail heads.

 Our first Upholstery workshop was a huge success! We want to thank everyone who came out to join us for our first workshop.

If you are interested in attending our next upholstery class or want information about other classes and workshops in the future-

let me know at:  april @urbansourcechicago.com