Inspect the damaged area of the upholstery to determine if the fabric is stained, if it is threadbare, or if the foam is damaged. Some types of stains can be removed by professionally cleaning.
Know your upholstery budget and get estimates from more than one upholsterer. Small adjustments can sometimes be made in the estimates by switching to cheaper fabric.
Ask your upholsterers for a written estimate that details what will be replaced. Sometimes only the cover needs to be replaced, while other times deteriorated foam needs to be replaced.
Ask to see pictures of work the shop has done in the past. If pictures are not available, ask for references so you can talk to people who have used the upholstery shop's service in the past.
Expect to pay anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of the total estimate up front when dropping off your furniture or automotive items for upholstery, but be sure to get a receipt. Deposits are common.
Ask what type of warranty the shop or fabric supplier provides in case of a problem. Low cost fabrics and cheaper upholsterers might not offer any warranty beyond the time you pick up.
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Torn seams can sometimes be repaired by a hand sewn hidden stitch.
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