Slouchy, sliding cushions leave your sofa looking past its prime and require annoying adjustment and straightening every time you take or leave your seat. Applying hook-and-loop tape can take care of the sloppy looking cushion even if you're not very handy with a needle and thread. The tape comes in both adhesive-backed and sew-on varieties -- even a combination of the two -- so you can use the type that best fits your DIY skill set and cushion material.
Things You'll Need
- Ruler or measuring tape
- Hook-and-loop tape
- Hand-sewing needle, fine point
- Curved upholstery needle, if needed
- Heavy duty polyester thread
Measure across the back edge of the sofa cushion and cut two strips of the hook-and-loop tape that are 4 inches shorter than the measurement. Use a product with a sew-on loop tape and adhesive-back hook tape if your sofa cushions are made of fabric. For a smooth vinyl or leather, use a tape with adhesive backing on both halves.
Locate a solid spot on the sofa deck that would be under the cushion you want to secure; this usually is near the front and back of the sofa frame. Peel off the adhesive backing of the hook side of the closure tape and apply it to the sofa deck, one at the back and one at the front, centering each piece from side to side in the space for the cushion. Press down the tape firmly along its length.
Measure the distance from the edges of the sofa frame in toward the tape on each side.
Flip over the sofa cushion, ensuring you know which edge is which, and which side you want to have facing up. Once you apply the tape, you won't be able to flip your sofa cushions unless you remove the tape.
Measure in from the front and back edges of the underside of the cushion and center the loop tape on the fabric the same distance from the edge of the cushion that the hook tape on the deck of the sofa is from the frame. Pin the tape in place and do a test fit to ensure the two pieces line up.
Unzip the back of the cushion if possible and remove the insert to make it easier to sew. Thread a sharp needle with heavy duty polyester thread in a coordinating color. Use the the smallest size that can accommodate the thread; the smaller the needle, the easier it passes through the slightly stiff backing on the loop tape, and the smaller the hole it makes in the cushion fabric. If you can't remove the cushion insert, use a curved upholstery needle.
Tie a knot in the end of the thread and stitch around all four sides of each loop tape. Knot the end of the thread and trim it off neatly.
Put the cushion insert back inside and zip the cushion closed. Line up the tapes on the frame and on the cushion and press the cushion in place.
Tips & Warnings
- Vacuum the deck of the sofa to remove any dust before placing the adhesive strips to get the best hold.
- Use a thimble to make pressing the end of the needle through the heavy cushion fabric and tape backing less of a pain in the thumb. Small rubbery patches called needle pullers also are available to help you grip the needle.
- When you can remove the cushion insert, you can use your sewing machine to attach the loop tape, although this makes it slightly more difficult to remove it without leaving marks if you ever want to flip the cushion.
- You can use adhesive strips on a leather or vinyl cushion, but they will damage the surface when you remove them.
- Don't attempt to sew through adhesive-backed hook-and-loop tape; it makes the needle gummy and hard to manipulate.
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