How to Be Reupholsterer - Job Description, Skills, and Interview Questions

Reupholstering furniture is a popular way to revitalize a room and update the style of a home. It is the process of removing the old fabric and padding from a piece of furniture, and replacing it with fresh fabric and foam. The cause of this process is often due to the furniture being worn or outdated, and the effect is a renewed look and feel that can completely transform a space.

Reupholstering also has many benefits such as extending the life of furniture, improving safety and comfort, and reducing environmental impact. it can help conserve resources by using existing furniture instead of purchasing new furniture.

Steps How to Become

  1. Obtain a high school diploma or equivalent. Reupholsterers typically need to have a high school diploma or equivalent in order to qualify for entry-level positions.
  2. Learn reupholstering techniques. You can learn the basics of reupholstering through hands-on experience, online courses, or on-the-job training.
  3. Gain experience. Many employers prefer to hire reupholsterers who have at least two to three years of experience in the field.
  4. Become certified. To increase your employability, you may want to consider becoming certified as a professional reupholsterer. Certification is available through the Reupholsterers International Certification Program.
  5. Consider joining a professional organization. Consider joining the Reupholsterers International Association in order to gain access to career resources and networking opportunities.
The reupholsterer must stay current with changing trends in the industry and be capable of applying new techniques. To do this, they must regularly research new materials, methods and designs, as well as attend training courses and workshops to stay up-to-date with their skill set. Keeping current with trends and techniques help the reupholsterer stay competitive in the market and provide their customers with the best possible service. In addition, staying up-to-date ensures that the reupholsterer is able to provide quality workmanship, which not only leads to customer satisfaction and increased business but also helps to protect their reputation as a skilled professional.

You may want to check Upholstery Technician Supervisor, Upholstery Installer, and Upholstery Technician for alternative.

Job Description

  1. Measure and cut fabric according to client specifications.
  2. Remove existing upholstery from furniture.
  3. Sew fabric pieces together, if necessary.
  4. Apply padding, batting and other materials to furniture.
  5. Secure fabric to furniture with staples, tacks, glue and other tools.
  6. Inspect upholstered furniture for quality assurance.
  7. Reassemble furniture after upholstery is complete.
  8. Repair or replace worn out or damaged parts of furniture.
  9. Consult with clients, designers and manufacturers to stay abreast of changes in fabrics and trends in interior design.
  10. Keep up with the latest developments in upholstery techniques, tools and supplies.

Skills and Competencies to Have

  1. Knowledge of upholstery fabrics and materials
  2. Ability to measure, cut and sew fabric accurately
  3. Knowledge of different types of upholstery work
  4. Proficient in the use of staple guns, tacks, hammers, and other tools
  5. Attention to detail and strong problem-solving skills
  6. Ability to read and interpret instructions
  7. Ability to work independently or as part of a team
  8. Good communication skills
  9. Physical strength and dexterity to move furniture and lift heavy objects
  10. Time management and organizational skills

The ability to reupholster furniture is a highly skilled craft that requires an eye for detail, creativity, and patience. To be a successful reupholsterer, one must possess the physical dexterity to manipulate fabric, the knowledge of sewing and design principles, and the confidence to make decisions quickly and efficiently. A good reupholsterer can take an outdated piece and transform it into a modern showpiece with ease.

The rewards of reupholstering come from the satisfaction of taking something worn and making it look like new again. In turn, this skill can open up a wide range of opportunities in the furniture industry and can be a lucrative career path. However, without the right set of skills, the task of reupholstering can be extremely challenging and even dangerous.

Therefore, having the right skills is essential to the success of any reupholsterer.

Furniture Upholsterer, Upholstery Inspector, and Automotive Interior Upholsterer are related jobs you may like.

Frequent Interview Questions

  • What experience do you have reupholstering furniture?
  • How do you ensure a quality reupholstering job?
  • What techniques do you use to cut fabric for furniture?
  • How familiar are you with a variety of fabrics and materials used in reupholstering?
  • Describe the steps you take when selecting fabrics for a reupholstering job.
  • Tell us about a challenging reupholstering job you successfully completed.
  • How do you protect the furniture while reupholstering it?
  • How do you determine the cost of a reupholstering project?
  • What tools do you use for reupholstering furniture?
  • Describe your process for removing old fabric from furniture.

Common Tools in Industry

  1. Steam Iron. Used to press fabric and clothing, ensuring a smooth, wrinkle-free finish. (eg: Professional steam iron)
  2. Sewing Machine. Used to stitch fabric and clothing together. (eg: Electronic sewing machine)
  3. Hammer. Used to secure upholstery tacks and nails. (eg: Claw hammer)
  4. Tape Measure. Used to accurately measure upholstery fabric and furniture dimensions. (eg: Retractable tape measure)
  5. Upholstery Tacks. Used to secure fabric to the frame of furniture. (eg: Upholstery tacks with washers)
  6. Upholstery Needles. Used to attach fabric securely to the frame of furniture. (eg: Curved upholstery needles)
  7. Staple Gun. Used to attach fabric to the frame of furniture with staples. (eg: Electric staple gun)
  8. Scissors. Used to cut fabric and batting for upholstery projects. (eg: Heavy-duty scissors)
  9. Foam Cutter. Used to cut foam for cushioning and padding. (eg: Electric foam cutter)
  10. Awl. Used to make small openings in leather or vinyl upholstery fabric. (eg: Multi-purpose awl)

Professional Organizations to Know

  1. Association of Master Upholsterers and Soft Furnishers (AMUSF)
  2. International Association of Upholsterers and Soft Furnishers (IAUSF)
  3. National Upholstery Association (NUA)
  4. American Furniture Manufacturers Association (AFMA)
  5. Furniture Makers Association (FMA)
  6. Upholsterer's International Guild (UIG)
  7. Upholstery Craftsmen's Guild (UCG)
  8. American Upholsterers Trade Association (AUTA)
  9. Professional Upholsterers & Restorers Association (PURA)
  10. American Institute of Upholsterers (AIU)

We also have Upholstery Pattern Maker, Upholstery Sewer, and Upholstery Manufacturer jobs reports.

Common Important Terms

  1. Upholstery. The art of covering furniture with fabric or leather.
  2. Furniture. Pieces of equipment used to make a room or other area suitable for living or working in.
  3. Fabrics. Materials used for upholstery, such as cotton, silk, wool, and synthetic materials.
  4. Foam Cushions. A material used to provide comfort and support to furniture.
  5. Measuring Tape. A tool used to measure the size of furniture and fabrics for upholstery.
  6. Staple Gun. A tool used to fasten fabrics and foam cushions to furniture during upholstery.
  7. Sewing Machine. A machine used to stitch fabrics together for upholstery.
  8. Furniture Repair. The process of fixing damaged furniture, such as broken legs or frames.
  9. Carpentry. The art of constructing and repairing furniture using wood.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much experience does a typical reupholsterer have?

A typical reupholsterer has at least 5 years of experience in the field.

What types of fabrics do reupholsterers commonly use?

Reupholsterers commonly use a variety of fabrics including cotton, leather, velvet, and suede.

What type of furniture do reupholsterers typically work on?

Reupholsterers typically work on upholstered furniture such as chairs, sofas, and ottomans.

What is the average cost for a reupholstery job?

The average cost for a reupholstery job is between $600 - $1,200 depending on the size, complexity, and fabric used.

What additional services do reupholsterers typically offer?

Reupholsterers typically offer additional services such as custom cushions, pillows, and slipcovers.

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