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Brand New Furnitue Upholstery Repairs on Heavy/Large Scale Stitching

Started by baileyuph, January 21, 2020, 06:34:45 am

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Over the last few months, maybe a year, customer calls for repairs on subject stitching --
which most can't be properly repaired by hand stitching using our conventional shop
upholstery machines.  On many occasions (my shop)  - much of that type of repair has been deferred
to ordering replacement components from the manufacturer, which I did replace the problem
with new.

In perspective, this type of repair going into the future is not a "practical" solution for the consumer
because of the cost of labor and replacement components.  Looks like changes ahead.

I am sure shops doing a lot of work for the retail customers (retail furniture & manufacturers of same) can identify with what is said -- it is going to be costly to do this type of work "right" - so I am surmising how it is going to play out?  So far, I have been involved doing factory replacements -- which is costly but usually the best way to duplicate originality and keeping the cost off the consumer. 

So, that said, it could be very logical that the outcome for consumers is not going to make
them happy - for their warranty help from retailers/factory will not last a "lifetime".

The machines used in the factory work just can't be duplicated on traditional repair shop tools.  Factory work is done often on much larger machines with more needles.  The thread used in furniture production, which is part of the issue, is much heavier and incorporates multiple needles, and longer stitches, like I said.

Any ideas or experiences in these issues?  (as a note--Dennis down in Texas is about as experienced
in this market as any, I know - - I am sure his experience would be interesting and good for other
shops to share.  Maybe, like me, he does like me and the rest is in the hands of the suppliers/retailes.



I have done one repair with this type of top stitching. Thick threads and long stitch length. My 1541 does a stitch length that comes close. And the thread I ordered special. I forget the weight but it is actually thicker than recommended by my mechanic. He said using it will eat up the bobbin race. So I will not be doing that again.
  I was really wishing to be able to do this. Not for repair work, I don't take much repair work but for reupholstery it would be nice to be able to offer it. But that's ok I'm sure that fad will die quickly as the threads wear and break.
Minichillo's Upholstery


Thanks Paul for the input, you were another one I recall posting some very pertinent comments
that actually warned me about using heavier threads in my machine.  I have a Juki very similar to
yours (the 1541).

Also Paul, in general I have pulled back on accepting some of the newer furniture w/flaws in the
thread.  I can't get enough for my time removing that stuff to sew on a machine.  Those cases were
factory warranty anyway, so I encouraged the idea of the factory providing an upholstery component
(like an entire backrest upholstery system) rather have me remove, try to repair on a machine, and then reinstall.  Rather, given the complaint is under warranty anyway - directed them to just ship an upholstery system (integrated with more than I needed) - just fixed the problem and threw the rest away.  In a word - the coverage by the mfg paid me to remove and replace.  No sewing at all.

Your point of the manufactures technique may change - sooner or later I also agree.  That is their
smarter thing to do.

Thanks again Paul,



From a business viewpoint the cost of a machine to do these occasional repairs is prohibitive. And even if you had a machine that could sew the thick thread you would have to set it up to the exact stitch length to hit every hole.

Hand sewing would be a time consuming and labor intensive endeavor. But not completely out of the question for these occasional repairs. Finding an exact thread match may be a challenge.

If the furniture is under warranty give the customer an estimate that includes the replacement part from the manufacturer. If these manufactures are going to continue to produce items that can not be replicated in an average shop then let the manufacturer bare the majority of the cost.

We are at the point in our careers where we stick to the tried and tested jobs. Any jobs that come our way that we have never attempted before we pass on. We've been doing this long enough to know some jobs just are not worth the hassle. That's why we don't do boats or cars or airplanes. Even when the customer says, "it a simple job". We simply don't have those skills and we are busy enough doing the jobs we know we can make a few bucks on.

Speaking of doing jobs outside of your skill level. We just picked up cushions from a long time customer. The cushions are for her sister who lives in Vero Beach. She had an awning shop make them. Took 9 months to get them back, looks like a 3 year did them, they ran out of fabric and used what they had laying around, the boxing on one cushion is different than the other three. We couldn't believe a shop would deliver such a mess.

I'm not saying to never learn new skills but the right tools and lots of practice before a new service is offered is a must.
There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.