Post by kimberwarden on Jun 25, 2016 11:33:51 GMT -8
In general, is the marine vinyl and upholstery fabric of similar quality as the stuff in a professional upholsterer's shop? I'll pay the premium for the professional stuff if it's of significantly higher quality, but I'd rather use the cheaper stuff from JoAnn's if the difference is negligible.
Post by vintagebruce on Jun 25, 2016 11:51:39 GMT -8
I think that a bit of research on the net, where you check and see the brand(s) and grades that JoAnn's offers vs the different qualities and grades of the brand(s) a professional upholstery Company offer could vary. I would think both JoAnn and the Pros are going to offer different quality materials to give the hunters of a bargain as well as high quality customers a choice. I would suggest finding what you like the look of at JoAnn's and get all the specs on it, and then visit an Upholstery shop or three and see if they can offer the same product at a reduced rate or maybe a better quality "substitute" at the JoAnn's price. Then take both offerings and see if you can go on line and order either or both direct from the supplier at a cheaper price. I have to believe the owner of the upholstery shop will know better about the actual quality and performance of their materials than a clerk in JoAnn's when it comes to material to be used to recover vintage camper cushions/seats. Personally I would find an old established Marine Upholstery Company and go in with a big smile and say how you are personally restoring your beloved vintage camper, and could they advise you on the best choices in their professional experience for coverings, while apologizing that you want to do the recovering yourself so you can say you did all the restoration yourself. I have a local upholsterer lined up who does marine upholstery who is willing to check out my old commercial grade machine and tell me what needs to be serviced, because I said I was going to reupholster my vintage camper dinette seats, but am not sure the machine is "up to the task" since it has been a while since I used it. I offered to pay him, and he said he would be glad to take a look at it free of charge and see that it is working OK.
Vintagebruce is wise. My grandmother was a seamstress, my mom sewed a lot of our clothes as did the three of us daughters for our kids. I can spot a quality fabric from ten yards away. JoAnn has some good quality fabric, and you will pay as much for it there as you will anywhere else. Unless you are buying remnants, $50/yard fabric is going to cost pretty close to that no matter where you get it. When you buy on line you can get high quality fabric from three or four years ago for a great price, and they'll send you a decent swatch to help you. What you DON'T get at JoAnn or online is service. You pay a little extra for that, but the person selling it will be able to tell you how to expect it to wear, how to clean it, hints on how to work with it, even how to measure to get the correct amount to match patterns if you want to do that. I am a lays happy to know that I am contributing to a small business, not a big conglomerate. I remember before big box stores, and think that the ridiculously large selections of everything imaginable has mad my life neither richer nor easier.
Just as an example for fabric... A heavyweight cotton tapestry wil have rich colors that will stand up to some sun, will wear better than just about anything, and can be spot cleaned, dry cleaned, or even hand washed. It will hold its shape. It's gorgeous. But you have to add maybe ten percent to the amount you get because it can ravel like crazy, and isn't easy to work with unless you are fairly confident with a sewing machine. Then, depending on the pattern, you may need to add another 30% so you can match the pattern around the edges. Most of the folks at JoAnn won't be able to help you with that. And if you buy the last eight yards of a fabric you adore and realize you will come up short... Well, let's just say you do NOT want that to happen.
On the other hand, there are thousands of fabrics out there that you can use, and the patterns are either small or it doesn't really matter whether they match or not. You can find a lot at someplace like JoAnn., just know that you're on your own.