Asking the right questions
After an initial phone call, Andrew suggests that you visit his shop. He'll put you in a comfy chair and surround you with fabric books. He'll begin the investigative process by asking some simple questions.
What fabrics are you instantly attracted to: formal, informal, novelty or playful?
What role do you want your piece of furniture to play? Do you want it to be a showpiece? Do you want it to pop? Do you want it to support your other décor?
Once he has the answers, he can determine what you're looking for. You'll take the fabric books home with you to make your final decision.
JUST THE FACTS MA'AM
Beautiful design is one thing, your budget is another. At this point Andrew will provide a ballpark price for labor. If this is acceptable he'll come to your home to measure the piece and investigate further.
Once in the presence of your piece of furniture, Andrew can get to know it intimately. He will discuss style changes. Do you want to add or remove a skirt? Change the legs? Will it be necessary to replace the foam? Sometimes this is not obvious until the piece is opened up.
GATHERING THE EVIDENCE
Once back at the shop Andrew will draft a proposal. He will ask you to pre-pay for materials and the order goes in promptly. Don't worry, you will buy the yardage you need and no more. After the materials arrive and Andrew can devote his time to your piece, and your piece alone, he will pick it up.
Ever wonder how upholstering is done? Super-sleuth, Andrew Wycislak claims that there is no right way or wrong way to upholster, but agreed to reveal his secret method.
The dustcover (the black piece of fabric on the bottom of all furniture) is removed and all your secrets come out - popcorn, paper clips, money, CTA tokens, charge cards, receipts, pens and pencils.
The fabric is removed in the reverse order that it was put on, starting with the outside back, outside arms, inside back, inside arms and the decking (the part underneath the cushions). These pieces are used as a guideline for cutting the new pieces of fabric.
The springs are examined to make sure they're tight and if necessary they are re-tied. These springs are attached to webbing and burlap. Today's webbing and burlap are synthetic and last beautifully, while these in prior years were burlap and had a tendency not to last. If either the webbing or burlap has deteriorated, they will be replaced.
If there's exposed woodwork, minimal retouching with scratch cover is next. If the wood needs a major restoration it will be sent to an expert.
Synthetic burlap is also placed over the springs and stretched taut like a drum. A new half-inch thick padding blankets the springs so you don't feel them.
The new decking goes on next.
A layer of Dacron is placed over the existing padding on the arms. If necessary the foam in the arms is replaced.
Dacron is also placed over the inside back, then the new fabric goes on.
It's time to close up the piece. The outside arms get a layer of burlap to cover up the hole, then a layer of Dacron, and then the fabric. This is done to give the outer fabric a little more support so you can't push your hand through them. The process is repeated on the outside back.
If there's cording along the way it's put on as the piece is being upholstered. If it has exposed decorative wood, the edge where the fabric touches the wood needs to be covered with double cording to mask the staples.
A layer of Dacron is placed over the existing foam cushion before the new cushion cover is cut and sewn.
The skirt goes on next (if needed). And last but not least, the dustcover is attached and your furniture is good as new!
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE
Andrew can usually finish a chair within a week and a sofa within two weeks. He will then deliver it to your home.