How to Find a High-Quality Upholstery Shop

No two upholstery shops are the same. Finding a high-quality upholstery shop that will perfectly meet your requirements takes some legwork. It can be somewhat intimidating when you walk into the upholstery shop, which may be set out like a design studio or a darkened backroom in a warehouse. 

When you finally decide on the best upholstery shop to undertake your upholstery project, you want to be sure they will be able to perfectly meet your project needs. You also want to make sure they’ll produce a quality finished project, without charging you an arm and a leg for the fabric.

Kovi Fabrics can provide you with the best in upholstery fabric. We offer the widest range of upholstery fabric at mill prices, and we can even advise you on the best-recommended upholstery shops in your area. 

Partnering with Kovi Fabrics for your upholstery project makes sense as we offer great advice, best quality fabrics, best prices, and can help you avoid the sharks of the upholstery world. 

The Upholstery Shop Checklist

Being armed with a checklist is the best way to make sure you don’t have to go back to the upholstery shop again and again because you forgot to ask a question. Here are some pertinent questions to ask and things to look for:

Qualifications of the Upholsterer

While not all upholsterers are necessarily qualified professionals who studied at a specialized upholstery institute, it is still a good idea to check out the upholstery shop for framed certificates or awards. A professional upholsterer who takes pride in their work will participate in industry-related courses and showcase events. 

However, if you see no sign of qualifications anywhere, you should still ask the upholsterer where they learned their trade. Some upholsterers come from a family line of upholsterers, where their family has carried on the trade for generations. In some cases, these upholsterers may have more experience than their qualified counterparts will ever have. 

If you are unsure of whether an upholsterer’s qualifications are real or bogus, you can always check with Kovi Fabrics if we’ve worked with them before as we only work with the best upholsterers nationwide. 

Samples in the Shop

Any good upholstery shop will have samples of their work on display in their place of business. There may be a lounge suit set up in the reception area, or a covered headboard artfully displayed against a wall. Be sure to have a look at the finishing of these pieces.

Run your hand over the fabric, feeling the quality, checking the seams, and testing the natural pull and give of the padding to see how well the fabric is tensioned over the furniture piece. Be sure to examine any tufting or edging for accuracy, sturdiness, and neatness. 

Some upholsterers have a selection of upholstery fabric that they may try to push onto the unsuspecting client. There are some issues with this practice as they will not always have enough fabric of the kind you like, offer a limited selection, and may not always have the best-designed fabric in stock. Special ordering through an upholstery shop can cost a substantial fee, and you may end up paying for more than you need. 

Ordering your fabric through Kovi Fabrics means you will qualify for the best prices in the industry, free delivery on large orders, and discounts on many different upholstery fabrics. Kovi can also deliver the fabric right to your upholsterer to speed up the whole process of making your new upholstery dreams come true.

When checking out the upholsterer’s work, be sure to look at the following:

  • Attention to detail

Are all the sides of the furniture samples level and equal? Some upholsterers pad one side of the furniture more than the other. Make sure the edgings of the fabric panels are all neatly applied and there are no frayed edges showing. If there are nailheads visible, is it applied correctly and in a straight line, or do some of the nailheads float off the edging line? 

  • Check the sturdiness of sample furniture

Many upholsterers struggle with reattaching any furniture sections they had to remove. When you sit in the sample chair, push and pull the arms. Check whether the arms feel secure, or if they wobble or feel like they are coming off. If the upholsterer needs to disassemble your furniture item, you want to be sure they can put it back together again.

  • Springs and frames 

When looking at the furniture items in the workshop, you should consider whether the seat deck (or area under the seat) is properly secured. Some upholsterers don’t like having to reset seat springs, and they would rather fluff over with some sponge. 

The seat deck is like the heart of the furniture piece. If there is damage to the wood frame, a good upholsterer will repair this as well. 

What Does a Quotation Entail?

When discussing the quotation, ask the upholsterer what their quotation includes. Will they be removing the old upholstery and replacing any worn-out padding, or do they simply cover right over the current upholstery? 

Extras or Add-Ons for Upholstery Projects 

Your quotation should be subject to the inspection of the furniture item to really assess what the extras will be. You should ask the upholsterer what they charge for replacing chair legs, frames, seats, springs, and adding extra padding. This will help you to compare this upholstery shop to all the other shops in your area. 


While we don’t mind waiting for a quality upholstery job, delays and long-overdue deliveries can be vexing. When you hire an upholstery professional, you expect them to be on time in deliveries, communicate when unforeseen circumstances happened, and be honest in their original delivery timeline. 

The maxim of “underpromise and over deliver” still holds true. An upholstery shop that promises the basics, but then offers you much more is a great find. Kovi Fabrics can assist you with quality upholsterers in your area that are known for swift deliveries. 

Delivery and Collections Process 

Waiting on delivery trucks to fetch and drop off your furniture can be soul-destroying. If you have made your decision on an upholstery company, be sure to check whether they wrap your furniture item when they collect it. 

Once they return with the finished upholstery project, it is ill-advised to deliver the furniture item without wrapping it too. Nicks and dings quickly happen to furniture when in transit, so how they move your furniture is important too. 

Size of the Deposit

Some upholstery projects require a substantial delivery deposit. Deposits of 50% aren’t unheard of. However, if you are afraid of working with an unknown upholsterer, asking your fabric merchant such as Kovi Fabrics for a referral can help take some of the worries out of it. Kovi Fabrics only works with reputable upholstery companies that won’t disappear with your sizable deposit. 

Be wary of companies who want full payment upfront or demand a 75% deposit. If your upholstery project is large, this could amount to a sizable deposit. 

State of the Shop

Before you risk paying money over to an upholsterer, you should also ask to see their workshop. Some upholsterers will not want to do this, which is understandable. However, your furniture piece will be in this workshop for some time, so you have the right to ask to see that area. 

Be sure to check for basics like fire hydrants, lighting, and neatness. If the workshop is dark and dingy, chances are they won’t be producing the best work there. 

In a workshop where there are bits of furniture lying all over, they may end up losing a chair leg or misplace your costly upholstery fabric. This can be a disaster for you. Does each of the current upholstery projects have its own work area, or is it a free-for-all in the space? Be picky, or you may end up with unfortunate accidents such as “scrapes” or “fabric defects” that could have been avoided. 

Client List

A good upholsterer will have a client list they are willing to share. Usually, these clients will include commercial projects, where you can actually go see the finished upholstery item. This allows you to see their work in action, evaluate how well it’s lasted since the project was completed, and talk to the people who use these furniture items daily about how they find the quality. 

Seeing the upholsterer’s work up close is the real measure of their quality. 

Workmanship Guarantee

Any good upholsterer should be willing to give you some guarantee on their work. The minimum should be six months, meaning that if you find seams pulling or tufting coming undone in six months’ time, the upholsterer should make repairs at no extra cost to you. 

Questions Asked By the Upholsterer

If the upholsterer only asks what furniture you want upholstered and then gives you a quote, you should be very wary. A good upholsterer will ask questions such as the yards of fabric, size of the furniture items (and they may want to come measure first), pattern match sizes, age of your furniture, type of wood, and any expected internal damage they may have to deal with.

Places to Search for High-Quality Upholstery Shops

The best way to approach your upholstery project is to choose the best fabric for your furniture item, discuss your requirements with the consultants, order, then work with the recommended upholsterer in your area. Kovi Fabrics is the best place to shop for upholstery furniture as they have a huge selection. Whether for your home, your car, office, or even your boat, you will find the best options online. 

Simply order your upholstery fabric and we’ll give you a list of local upholsterers we’ve worked with before. Nothing could be easier. 

If you really don’t want any hassles, Kovi Fabrics can even arrange with the upholsterer to collect your furniture, ship your chosen fabric straight to their workshop, negotiate the best price for you, communicate with them about your requirements, and monitor the project progress. The upholsterer will return your fully upholstered furniture once the final payment is made. 

The Last Nail

With Kovi Fabrics, you can get the best quality fabric at the best prices. Unlike upholstery shops that charge a markup and may charge you for unnecessary fabric, Kovi Fabrics knows exactly how to calculate the yardage of fabric. The trained and experienced consultants will guide you in how to choose and calculate for print-match so you get the best value for money.

Make your fabric choice at Kovi Fabrics and let us guide you to the best professional local upholsterer for a hassle-free experience.

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