Upholstery can often time be just like the weather, Very unpredictable!
You either find a chair that you want to do for yourself or you are doing a project for a client. First, you look over the piece and make your evaluation. The frame seems tight and sturdy. Springs are a bit loose and will need to be redone. You see a few scratches that you can easily touch up. Everything looks doable so you set out to tackle the piece. If it is for a client you obviously give them an estimate on labor, supplies and how much fabric will be needed. (I booked my flight confident that the plan would be taking me where I needed to go)
What!! Wait!! Who was the idiot that reupholstered this piece last?
You’ve got the fabric, the supplies are in your studio along with the chair and you are ready to dive in. You take off the dust cover and begin to peel back the outside back and outside arms. So far so good. Now you start removing the inside back and inside arms. What!! Wait!! Who was the %^&$* that upholstered this piece last? OMG OMG OMG! As you tear back the arm fabric you find not one, not two, but 4 layers, YES 4 Layers of fabric. “GRRRR” You throw down your tools and do that no so happy stomping dance around your studio.
Even your Facebook community knows what has happened to you this morning.
An hour later you finally decide to move on with the teardown. At this point, you’ve messaged your spouse and even your best friend “Can you believe that the last upholsterer left 4 layers of fabric on this chair?” Even FB knows what has happened to you this morning and others are all chiming in as they have experienced this at one point too. Should you call your client and let them know that the last @#$%&*$ they hired did an awful job and now the cost has just gone up? Before you make that move lets think, did your client do anything wrong? (like the clerk in the airport, she didn’t choose to cancel my flight because she broke a fingernail) Is it there fault the last person was incompetent and took every short cut known to man? NO, of course, it’s not. So you, as the professional have to suck it up buttercup and do the job that you know is RIGHT!
Let’s take a deep breath and think about this for a minute
Yep, it’s going to cost you extra hours to undo what should have been undone 3 times before. “Why me?” You sputter under your breath. I agree totally this does SUCK, but one thing I can promise you is that this will happen at least a few times if you are going to be upholstering. So when life brings you lemons…. You know the rest, you make good of a bad situation.
You don’t want to be known as that upholsterer who complains to clients when the last person did a bad job.
The moral here is ALWAYS DO THE RIGHT THING!! You don’t want to be that upholsterer who complains to clients and is known for not sticking to a price you have quoted. Most definitely you don’t want to be known as the one who left the last 3 layers intact and didn’t do the job you were paid for. After you’ve stomped your feet, taken a deep breath it’s time to get to work and do a damn good job! Wasting your time letting the world know that there is a really bad upholsterer out there is just that, wasting your time. By now you could have torn down at least one layer in the time that you just lost.
You delivered the project to your client or maybe this one was for you. Stand back and look at the beautiful work you’ve done and know deep inside that YOU did a GREAT JOB. No short cuts! Your piece will make both you and/or your client very happy and stand the test of time. Do you know what they say about a happy client? They will tell 10 friends what a great job you did and how wonderful you were to work with!
Happy upholstering my friends!