26 Apr 2016

Spring is here. With it comes warmer nights spent outside on the patio grilling dinner or just enjoying the fresh, fragrant air. However, if your patio furniture’s cushions are covered in mildew or are faded, faded, torn, or in an otherwise rough condition, it your time outdoors won’t be quite as enjoyable.

Updating your outdoor furniture with new upholstery can give you an entirely new living space to enjoy during the warmer months. Choosing the right outdoor fabric and replacing the cushions, if necessary, adds comfort and personal style, and can be an extension of your indoor living space.

Outdoor furnishings are designed to be durable, and outdoor fabrics have been vastly improved over the years in not only quality but also in the colors and patterns available. It used to be just thick, heavy-weight canvas in limited colors, but now there are vast designs, fabric weights, and weaves that are perfect for outdoor entertaining.

When you’re ready to pick out your new outdoor upholstery, there are a few things to look for in the fabric you choose. A good fabric will be fade, moisture, and stain resistant, as well as easy to clean. You’ll want fabric that is 100 percent solution-dyed acrylic, which means that the color is added to the fabric while it is in a liquid state. The color is in the actual fibers, not just printed on top of the fiber. This ensures brighter and longer-lasting colors. Also, you may want fabric with a protective coating, one that is water-resistant, to help with odor, stains, mold, and bacteria.

If you need new cushions, make sure that the filler is made from materials designed for outdoor use. Otherwise, your outdoor upholstery will mildew from the inside out. The professionals at Burchell Upholstery can help you choose the fabric and filler that is best suited for your outdoor space and will give you the most use.

Updating your outdoor cushion upholstery can give you an entirely new space to entertain family and friends while the weather is nice. With all of the available style options for outdoor fabric now available, you can make the space stylish and comfortable. Once you update your patio furniture, be sure to maintain it with regular maintenance like wiping down the cushions after rain, and occasionally washing them with mild detergent to remove surface dirt.

Contact Burchell Upholstery when you’re ready to give your outdoor living space a facelift for spring.

13 Apr 2016

While we love to give you sophisticated and luxurious looks for all of the “adult” rooms in your house, we also enjoy getting creative for kids’ spaces, too. In fact, one of our biggest products was partnering with Holland America Line to create custom children’s areas on nine of their cruise ships. For those areas, we made over-sized novelty upholstered soccer balls and paint cans to foster a fun and inviting environment. Here are five more fun upholstery ideas for the kids’ rooms in your home.

1. Themed Headboard

It’s easy to incorporate a theme into a child’s room with bedding, decorative accents, and colors. However, the headboard can be a fun and unexpected way to reinforce the theme, too. Some themed headboard examples include:

  • A seashell-shaped headboard for an “under the sea” theme
  • A castle-shaped headboard for a prince or princess room
  • A headboard that looks like a soccer ball, baseball, etc.
  • A basic headboard that uses fabric that fits the room’s theme

2. Poufs and Floor Pillows

Create a reading-friendly space with cozy poufs and floor pillows. Kids can have a hand in designing them by picking out the shapes or fabrics that they like best. Since the pillows will be used in a kid’s space, feel free to have fun with bright colors and bold designs.

3. Canopies

We can take our expertise in creating drapery and use that to make a whimsical canopy perfect for a princess’s bed. For an ethereal look, use light, sheer fabric. Add another touch of fun by using fabric that has embellishments like flowers or butterflies. Or, if privacy is needed, you could go with a little bit heavier fabric that will make the bed feel like a secret hideaway.

4. Fabric to Color On

Create a few pillowcases or small throw pillows using fabric that kids can color on. Let them use washable markers to get creative, then just throw them in the washing machine so they can do it all over again. It’s a fun way to encourage creativity, and kids will enjoy having a hand in the design of their space.

5. Fun Chairs

Kids will love having a chair that’s custom-made to their interests and taste. For the girly-girls, a chair shaped like a high-heel would be perfect. Sports balls, favorite characters, baseball mitts, and crazy colors would all make fun chairs for a kid’s room.

One of the benefits of custom upholstery is that the possibilities are nearly endless, which is perfect for creating an imaginative and fun space for children. Contact Burchell Upholstery if you’re interested in adding some excitement to your kids’ rooms.


06 Apr 2016

Spring is a time of renewal, change, and new beginnings in nature. We think that it can mean the same for your home. Maybe you’ve done your spring cleaning and noticed that your furniture isn’t looking as fresh as you’d like. Or, perhaps the brightness and airiness of spring are emphasizing the drabness of some furniture pieces that are a little outdated or worn. Whatever the reason may be, spring is a great time to utilize new upholstery to give your home a fresh and inviting feel.

Liven up a neutral furniture arrangement with a bold and colorful ottoman or bench. While it makes sense to keep your bigger furniture pieces neutral to allow them to remain timeless and classic, smaller pieces like ottomans and benches are easier to update more frequently. Using colorful patterns like florals, Moroccan prints, and tribal or western prints will give the room a pop of color for spring without being too overwhelming.

Step out of the box by using large prints on an accent chair. It might be tempting to stick with something safe for an accent chair since it is still a significant piece of furniture. Spring is a great time to try something new and go with a bold, large print. You can find bold patterns in black and white for a more subtle, modern statement.

Use modern fabrics on traditional pieces. Create a unique contrast by pairing a traditional wingback chair or tufted couch with a modern fabric print like Dalmatian, or pixel-printed fabric. Your room will be instantly updated for the new season, and the furniture will make a great conversation piece for your guests.

Use a lighter fabric on windows to allow for more light. An open weave or sheer fabric on windows will let in the warm spring light, and if you choose a fabric with metallic elements, that will bounce light around the room even more. Plus, nothing says spring quite like soft, flowy curtains blowing in the breeze. If you want your curtains to last a while, look for fabrics that have UV resistance and offer UV protection.

Making a few small changes to the upholstery in your home can completely update it for the new season. Contact Burchell Upholstery if you’re ready to give your furniture a fresh new look for spring.

30 Mar 2016

When you’re investing in the perfect upholstery job for your furniture, there are many things to consider before you make your purchase. Style, color, price, pattern, and comfort all come into consideration. But, what about stains? Have you given stain-resistance a some serious thought? Dining room chairs, comfortable sofas, and cozy armchairs all see a lot of traffic in your house, and they are prone to accidents. Here are a few tips to protect your investment.

Start With the Right Material

One of the luxuries of getting furniture reupholstered is being able to pick a type of fabric that best suits your lifestyle. If you’re choosing fabric for a piece of furniture that is in a high-traffic area, consider something that is pre-treated to resist stains, durable fabrics, or nylons, which are generally stain repellant.


There are many household cleaners and fabric treatments on the market that promise to keep your upholstery clean and stain-free. For furniture that is covered in a more delicate fabric like suede or silk, you’ll want to do plenty of research to find out which products are safe to use on your furniture. One of the most tried and true brands on the market is Scotchgard, and they have products for nearly every material.

Make Furniture Rules

If you have a piece of furniture that is especially valuable, or one that you really love, make a rule that no one is allowed to eat or drink on it. Keep any messy kids’ toys or games away from it, and consider putting it in a room that doesn’t get as much use as a family room does.

Discourage Cat Scratching

Cats’ claws seem to have an almost magnetic pull to our nicest pieces of furniture. If your furniture is under warranty, cat scratches might not be covered, and you don’t want a few scratches to ruin your whole piece of furniture. Some solutions for cat scratching that have worked for people are:

  • Bitter apple spray
  • Sticky strips or double-sided tape applied where the cat tends to scratch
  • Providing a different scratching surface

Professional Treatment

Commercially-applied treatments are different than at-home treatments. They penetrate the fabric, bond to fibers, and can repel stains for years. At-home sprays mainly coat the fabric, which requires frequent application.

Protecting your upholstery investment allows you to enjoy your beautiful furniture for years and years without constantly worrying about stains or damage. Contact Burchell Upholstery if you’re ready to invest in upholstering the furniture for your home.


23 Mar 2016

With a long winter of sitting inside, hosting football-watching parties, and keeping the windows and doors shut for far too long, it’s time to freshen up our furniture with some spring cleaning. Upholstered furniture is susceptible to staining from spilled food and drinks. Additionally, fabrics tend to hold odors from pets and spills. Here are five of our favorite tips for spring cleaning your upholstered furniture to rejuvenate it for the new season.

  1. Vacuum

Give your furniture a very thorough vacuuming. Lay a sheet on the floor, remove all of the pillows and cushions from the couch, and lay them on the sheet. Use the crevice tool on your vacuum to get into all of the tight spaces and along the seams. If you can’t remove your cushions, use the crevice tool to get everywhere you can. Use the brush attachment to vacuum all sides of the cushions and the couch frame itself.

  1. Upend your furniture

Tip your couch or chair on its front so it forms a triangle. Using the soft brush attachment, vacuum the back and the bottom of the furniture. While you have access to the legs, use a soft cloth and polish to dust and condition them. Wipe down all sides of the legs and make sure they are all still screwed in tightly.

  1. Spot treat any stains

Upholstered furniture is typically marked with a cleaning code from the manufacturer so you know what can be used on the fabric. The code can be found on the underside of a cushion, on the platform, or on one of the tags. The most common codes are W (water-based cleaner), S (solvent), SW (solvent and water-based), X (dry clean only).

If you know what type of stain it is, you can do some research on what best removes it from fabric. Just make sure the stain remover recommended works with the cleaning code.  Always test the stain remover on an inconspicuous spot to make sure it doesn’t affect the color. Spot treat the stain and allow it to dry completely.

  1. Remove odors

One of the easiest and most natural ways to remove odors from your furniture is to sprinkle the smelly spots with baking soda. Let it sit for 30 minutes, then simply vacuum it up. If your sofa or chair is extra smelly, you could even leave the baking soda on overnight.

  1. Rotate cushions and freshen up pillows

If it works for your furniture, rotate the cushions. You can extend the life of your cushions if you periodically rotate them. For your throw pillows, toss them in the dryer on the air or fluff setting with a couple of tennis balls. They’ll freshen up and lose the dust they’ve gathered in one easy step.

If you plan on doing major spring cleaning, it’s smart to save your furniture for last, so it doesn’t collect all of the dust you rustle up while cleaning the rest of the house. Starting the season with fresh, clean furniture will help your home feel more comfortable and enjoyable. If you clean your furniture and find that it needs more than just a deep cleaning, contact Burchell Upholstery to discuss your options for recovering your furniture pieces.

16 Mar 2016

Leather has been used to create furniture for years due to its durability, attractiveness, and versatility. While it does have a lot of pros on its side, it might not be the best choice for everyone. Thanks to advances in technology, there are many faux leather options available that rival real leather in looks and performance. Each material has its pros and cons, so let’s take a look at both types of fabric so you can make the decision that’s best for you.

Advantages of Authentic Leather

There is nothing that quite matches the luxurious look, smell, and feel of real leather. Since leather comes from individual animal hides, no two pieces will be the same. They’ll all have their unique, natural characteristics. Unlike most types of fabric, leather becomes softer and more attractive over time, and also more comfortable. The durability of leather is hard to beat thanks to its soft yet strong texture. Most leather pieces are treated to help prevent stains, which also makes them easy to clean. Typically, you only need to wipe it down with a clean, damp cloth.

Disadvantages of Authentic Leather

The biggest disadvantage of authentic leather is its source. Since it is made from animal skin, some people find it to be a controversial material. Also, the chemicals used in tanning leather have been known to lead to nausea, headaches, and respiratory issues. Leather also doesn’t just look more expensive than its faux counterparts; it is more expensive. It does tend to fade when exposed to constant sunlight and, if it is not treated, it will absorb liquid and potentially stain due to its porous nature.

Advantages of Faux Leather

Well-made faux leather can come very close to authentic leather in look and feel while costing you much less. No animals are used in the production of faux leather, and since it is machine-made, it has a consistent coloring. There are typically more colors available for faux leather since it can be dyed, and it is less susceptible to fading than real leather. Faux leather is typically made from PVC or poly- materials like polyurethane. Polyurethane is recognized as an environmentally-friendly synthetic material that can achieve a high-gloss finish. Faux leather requires little maintenance and can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth.

Disadvantages of Faux Leather

While real leather has a porous quality, faux leather is typically not breathable – especially if it is made from PVC. Faux leather does not age as beautifully as its authentic counterpart, and it does tend to tear or puncture more easily as well.

When it comes down to it, choosing between faux and authentic leather will depend largely on your budget and your views on using animal products. If you’re still unsure which material suits your needs better, the professionals at Burchell Upholstery can help you make a decision that best suits your needs.

08 Mar 2016

When you’re selecting fabric for furniture upholstery, there are a number of things to take into consideration. Of course, you’ll want to choose a color and pattern that fit your style and your home’s interior. Durability needs to be taken into consideration if you’re upholstering dining room chairs or a piece of furniture that gets a lot of use. Another factor to take into consideration is whether you want to use fabric composed of natural or synthetic fibers.

The fibers used will determine how a fabric will look and feel, how it’ll wear, and how easily it can be cleaned.

What’s the difference between natural and synthetic fabrics?

Natural fabrics are composed of fibers found in nature that come from either animal or plant sources. Synthetic fabrics are made from fibers that are manufactured or created by scientists. While manufactured, they may still be made from some natural materials like cellulose or wood pulp.

Popular Natural Fibers

Here are some natural fibers commonly used in upholstery

– Cotton takes finishes and dyes well.

– It is strong and versatile, but it can easily wrinkle and stretch.

– It soils easily and needs protection against stains.


– Silk comes in different textures. Reeled silk is smooth and shiny, but spun silk is more textured.

– It is a strong fiber that can last a long time if not exposed to sunlight.

– It is an expensive fiber that is mainly found in high-end fabrics


– Wool is wrinkle and soil resistant and very durable. However, it does need to be protected from insects.

– It is often found in more expensive fabrics and usually blended with synthetic fibers.

– It can be dry-cleaned or cleaned with a mild detergent.

Popular Synthetic Fibers

Take a look at some commonly-used synthetic fibers.

– Developed as a synthetic silk, it has good luster and a luxurious look.

– It is resistant to shrinking, mildew, and pilling.

– Acetate is usually used in blends to add softness and luster to other fibers


– With a soft and wooly feel, acrylic is used to create plush velvets.

– It is quick-drying and resistant to fading, insects, and mildew.

– Acrylic fibers can be washed with soap and water.


– It is a blend of polyester and polyamide.

– Microfibers are strong, durable and resist abrasion, insects, and mildew.

– It resists soiling and wrinkling very well, making it great for frequently used pieces.

The fabric you choose will depend largely on your budget and the type of furniture you are having upholstered. Whether you choose synthetic or natural, you’ll want to be sure it is a high-quality fiber that is durable and will give you the look you want. The professionals at Burchell Upholstery can help you choose the type of fabrics that will work best for your pieces, and you’ll get beautiful results.

02 Mar 2016

In the interior fabric industry, there are typically two types of tests used to determine how durable a piece of fabric is. The Martindale and Wyzenbeek abrasion, or rub, tests tell consumers how much wear they can expect out of the fabric they choose for an upholstery job. Here’s how the tests work.

The Martindale test is the test of choice in Europe and Asia, but it’s also gaining recognition here as a very reliable test. It was developed specifically to test woven and knit fabrics. It’s seen as an accurate representation of “real life” use of fabric. The test works by mounting a piece of fabric flat and rubbing it in a figure-eight motion with a piece of worsted wool. The number of cycles the fabric can withstand without showing noticeable change is counted.

The Wyzenbeek test is the primary test used in the United States. Originally used for car tires, it was modified for all types of materials, including upholstery fabric and leather. The fabric is stretched tight on a frame and rubbed in two distinct directions with a piece of cotton duck fabric. The number of cycles before two yarns break or noticeable wear appears is measured.

What does this mean for the fabric you choose for your upholstery? Depending on the method used, you can use the test number to know how durable the fabric is. For the Martindale test, 20,000 cycles are considered sufficient for general commercial use. Anything 40,000 cycles and up is good for heavy-duty commercial use. The Wyzenbeek test numbers are a little lower; 15,000 cycles are appropriate for general commercial use, and 30,000 cycles denote fabric suitable for heavy-duty commercial use.

Depending on where in your home the fabric will be used, you can decide if you need something more heavy-duty. Fabric with higher durability is good for dining rooms and family room furniture. You can use a lower-durability fabric in areas that get lighter usage like on decorative accent pieces in a formal living room.

There are other things to consider when it comes to fabric durability like fiber content, weaves, and finishes. Other tests besides abrasion tests are used as well, like tensile strength and seam slippage. The team at Burchell Upholstery can help you choose the fabric that best suits the application you need, and they’ll ensure that you get a long life out of your new upholstery.

23 Feb 2016

When it comes to reupholstering your furniture, you may know which color to choose to match your home, but have you considered the fabric pattern? There are many different patterns available, and we’ll take a look at some of the most popular, along with the decor styles they best complement. You don’t want to get too trendy with your upholstery job unless you plan on updating it frequently, and these patterns will give your furniture a timeless look that will keep it relevant through the years.

  1. Damask

Damask is an elegant design that gets its name from the city of Damascus. It features patterns of flowers, fruit, and other designs, and it is usually monochromatic. It’s based in traditional design, and it works wonderfully in a more formal room. However, if you’re feeling bold, you can choose a damask in vibrant colors to fit into a more modern space, too.

  1. Quatrefoil

Quatrefoil comes from the Gothic and Renaissance periods, and its name means “four leaves.” It derives its name from its resemblance to a four-leaf clover. There are variations to the pattern, and it is best used in moderation. Consider quatrefoil in accent pillows, upholstered headboards, or window treatments. This pattern can add romance to a space, and it looks great in bedrooms.

  1. Houndstooth

Houndstooth comes from humble beginnings as it was first worn by shepherds in the Scottish lowlands. It’s a timeless pattern that offers a lot of personality, even in its simplicity. When used in a bright color, it adds a touch of fun and quirkiness to a room, which would be great for a playroom or casual living area. Houndstooth works great in eclectic design styles with its contrast in colors and unmistakable pattern. Consider it for things like ottomans, barstools, or accent chairs.

  1. Chevron

Chevron is a zig-zag stripe pattern that has been popular for decades. It’s a fun and playful fabric that tends to be a bit trendy. To keep from going overboard, use it for smaller pieces like accent pillows, footstools, or a bench cushion. The colors you choose will determine the style of room it fits in. Chevrons in neutrals are great for more serene and calm areas, and bright chevrons are fun for more lively spaces like kid’s rooms.

  1. Paisley

The paisley pattern represents a teardrop or tadpole shape, and its origin is Indian or Persian. The British East India Company brought this pattern to Great Britain. Paisley never seems to go out of style. Presented in neutral tones; Paisley can give an elegant texture to a sitting room or formal dining room. In brighter shades, it’ll cheer up a child’s room or living room.

Patterns are an excellent way to add texture and personality to a room. For most patterns, it’s best to use them in moderation as accent pieces. Whichever pattern best fits your decor style, you can find ways to liven up your home by using it for your next upholstery project

15 Feb 2016

If you’re the type of person who enjoys browsing antique and thrift shops, garage sales, or “free” signs on the side of the road, but you’re never quite sure if a piece of furniture is a good find or not, we have some tips for you. A fresh upholstery job can give new life to one of your finds, but it’s good to know if it’ll be worth the investment before you pick up the furniture. With a few guidelines to keep in mind when you find a used piece of furniture at a great price, you can make a knowledgeable decision if it is worth it to re-do.

  1. Check for labels

Flip the furniture upside down and look for any labels you can find. If it’s something generic like Ikea or a store brand, it’s not going to be worth the money to upholster. That’s not to say you still can’t bring it home, but don’t bother investing too much time or money in it. If you come across something vintage that is labeled Thayer Coggin, then swoop that piece up immediately! Bottom line – go ahead and buy something if you like how it looks, but be smart about what you invest money in to have reupholstered.

  1. Check the construction

Some of us can’t tell one brand apart from another. If that’s you, and checking the tag doesn’t help you out a whole lot, check the materials and the quality of construction instead. Avoid anything that’s not solid wood. Things created with particle board or MDF won’t be worth the cost to reupholster. Joints are also a good giveaway on quality. If it looks like it’s held together with glue and nails instead of quality joints like dovetails, you’re safe to move on to the next piece.

  1. Look past the current state

It’s easy to walk right by a piece of furniture that is covered in stained fabric, has sunken cushions, or is in a pattern that reminds you of your grandmother’s curtains. When you’re looking for used furniture, try to look past the state it’s in and focus more on the lines it naturally has to see the potential. A good upholstery job in a luxurious velvet fabric or high-quality neutral can bring a piece with potential back to life. At Burchell Upholstery, we can work our magic to add decorative touches like tufting and craft new cushions for comfortable seating.

  1. Be wary of odors and pests

While stains and holes are easily remedied by a new upholstery job, the cause of the stains and holes may not be so easy to get rid of. Some smells like cat urine and smoke are very difficult to remove, even with the deepest cleaning. If the furniture has bed bugs or something similar, say no and move on.

  1. Overall, trust your instincts

If a piece is really calling to you, and there aren’t any obvious signs that it is unsalvageable, then go for it! You may walk away and regret it. The opposite of that is true, as well. It’s probably best to pass on a piece of furniture that seems perfect but gives you a wary feeling about making the investment to update it.

If you find a used furniture piece that’s begging for a facelift, bring it to the experts at Burchell Upholstery. With the right attention and care, a bargain find can end up being your favorite piece of furniture.