How to Repair Upholstered Furniture

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Upholstered furniture is characterized as any padded furniture that is covered with fabric, leather or vinyl. Because a simple wood frame usually sets the shape of and provides all of the support to the upholstered furniture, many things can go wrong--especially if you've had the piece for many years. The most common problem with this kind of furniture is the appearance of holes that show up over time. The problem can easily be fixed with a simple trip to the fabric store and some common household tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Electric iron
  • Iron-on patch
  • Fabric adhesive
  • Scissors
  • Slide an iron-on patch, which can be found an any upholstery supply or fabric store, under the tear.

  • Remove a piece of excess upholstered furniture from a hidden location to use in addition to the iron-on patch if the hole is larger than just a small tear. Place the piece of upholstery over the iron-on patch, and make sure it covers the hole completely. Trim away the excess.

  • Heat the patch with an electric iron on one side of the tear once you are sure that the patch is in position. Only iron one side at a time so that you can make small adjustments as needed.

  • Heat the other side down once the already-ironed side of the tear is firmly attached to the patch and the tear is smoothed over.

  • Apply a small amount of fabric adhesive to the underside of the fabric if the tear isn't smoothed out or if it is not remaining attached to the iron-on patch.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always allow any adhesive to fully dry before using the furniture. Smaller tears in upholstery can sometimes be repaired by sewing the material back together.
  • Never leave a hot iron unattended and be sure not to leave it pressed against the upholstery for too long.

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