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The Home Depot

Upholstery Fabric Repair Guide

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Upholstery > Upholstery Fabric Repair Guide
Upholstery Fabric Repair Guide

Repairing upholstery may come in handy when you have an old piece of furniture that is an antique and you may not want to sell, but just isn’t looking its best anymore. Having to reupholster a piece of furniture in its entirety can be quite expensive, and we understand that. For that reason, we have compiled a list of tips that should help to be able to repair the upholstery that you already have on your furniture.


Instead of having someone professionally come into your home or take the furniture and reupholster it in some warehouse, why not just get a few materials and take on the task in your own hands?

  1. 1.What Type of Damage Are You Dealing With?

    If you have a piece of furniture that you really care about, fixing the upholstery is very important.

    Pinpoint the exact problem of what is wrong with your upholstery. Is there an actual and sizeable hole or rip in the middle of a piece of fabric? Has the fabric unraveled for no reason at the seam? Or perhaps just the seams have come loose and none of the actual fabric is ripped? For seams that have loosened you can either hand sew them back together, take the fabric off the piece of furniture then tighten the seams and reattach, or if it’s just a loose cushion try unstuffing it, sewing it then restuffing it together again.

  2. 2.What About Holes?

    If you have some of the same kind of fabric that was used to upholster the furniture in the first place, we recommend just cutting out and patching a small piece over the hole. Although it may be a bit more noticeable, it is the easiest and least harmful option to your furniture. If you have an extremely old piece of furniture this is the method that would cause the least amount of problems.

  3. 3.Why Fix the Upholstery?

    If you have a piece of furniture that you really care about, fixing the upholstery is very important. It not only lengthens its life span, but you are able to completely revamp the piece of furniture if you really want to. If you want to fix a small hole but end up not even liking the original color, that is the time to upgrade the furniture cushion and pick out some better fabric. Fixing the upholstery makes for a much better piece of furniture and also makes it able to sell again if you so choose. Of course if the furniture you’re talking about is a very old antique, we would suggest getting it appraised first so that you know what you’re dealing with before cutting into it.

  5. 4.Fixing a Rip in Upholstery

    Use a ruler for this one. Measure the size of the rip in the upholstery that you would like to fix and cut out a new piece from whatever fabric you’re using that is two inches wider and taller than the ripped piece. This makes room for mistakes and also just helps to cover up the rip nicer. Use hem tape and an iron to help you position the piece of fabric perfectly so that it blends in with the rest of your furniture. Make sure to glue the edges of the flaps of fabric so that it is sturdy and durable and will be able to be sat on if needed. Keep in mind that if you really can’t find the exact type of fabric for your piece of furniture you can also cut a piece of fabric from an area that no one really sees, perhaps within the side of an arm or the underneath of a cushion.


    Fixing upholstery doesn’t take very much time and when you do it yourself you will save a lot of money compared to if you had a professional take on the task or if you were going to get the entire piece of furniture reupholstered.

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