Reupholstering A Couch, With No Prior Experience

Upholstery is a craft that dates back far longer than many we feature on Hackaday. It requires patience, attention to detail, and a series of specialised skills. If you fancy yourself to be like a young Jack White, you might have considered trying your hand at a piece or two. [darkpine] did just that, and the results are impressive.

The couch was sourced from an online bartering platform, and was in a sad and sorry state after years of use. According to the original owner, the couch was over 100 years old and had been passed down through several generations. Last reupholstered in the 1970s, it was in dire need of repair. Wooden trim was falling off, fabric was fading, and resident cats had been sure to leave their mark.

[darkpine] set about things the right way, stripping the couch back to its bare bones. Taking careful note of the original construction, diagrams were made to ensure the springs could be retied in the correct fashion. Fresh burlap was installed, followed by foam and a layer of cotton batting. Careful attention was then paid to the fabric covering, with hand stitching used along the arms to get an absolutely perfect pattern match along the seams. With the hard part done, the wood was then restored and waxed to a glorious shine.

The final results are astounding, especially when noting that this was [darkpine]’s first ever upholstery project. We don’t see a lot of this kind of thing around here, but it’s not completely unknown.

[via Reddit]

18 thoughts on “Reupholstering A Couch, With No Prior Experience

    1. Yeah, the OCD part of me triggered more times than I care to admit here, including the cover shot itself. The line the upholstery traces along the cushion front is not symmetrical! Argh!
      But…
      I don’t think that was the point. Doing something you have never done before, just by winging it and learning what you need to along the way, is *the point*. We all should try to do that.

  1. A little unorthodox of a post for this kind of blog, but I like it. (Mainly because the quality of work looks great and I learned something. …That and I’ve got my great grandmothers 19th century sofa in storage that needs reupholstering too.)

  2. It is not perfect, but that isn’t the point. You can pick it apart if you try, like virtually every project that ends up here with anything remotely resembling ‘prior art’.
    However, it is a good tale of starting from basically nothing and ending up with a good result by sheer perseverance and thoughtful action.
    I love that part, regardless of the subject matter, and so I actually do think this belongs here. :)

  3. As a first attempt at a task of such size, that requires so many different skills, I think that’s a fantastic job!

    Making is the art of DIY creation, learning all of the peculiar skill sets required to accomplish the task at hand. Great post!

  4. While I appreciate the experience in this, I’m not sure how appropriate reupholstering a couch is for Hackaday. I guess if it’s been a slow day, it’s better to branch out than to make up news.

    1. well, you see, it’s best to minimize vibrations in your speaker enclosures by using a heavy and reinforced object that has as few dead spots and opportunities for standing waves as possible, while balancing the space used and providing ample volume (in a cubic meter sense) to allow your drivers to perform optimally

      Since all of this ends up being quite ugly if you’re going to have a concrete enclosure large enough to hold a subwoofer, your best shot at passing your driver through the HAF (household acceptance filter, not the WAF because I’m egalitarian like that), is to upholster it and dress it up like a couch.

      It’s a hack.

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