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Upholstery craft: buying foam for personal projects


upcycling  craft project

Whether you're an avid furniture craft hobbyist or a total beginner, upholstery is taking the craft sector by storm. There are now a huge range of possibilities for those looking to turn their hand to upholstery as a hobby, with the UK's retail upholstery market now valued at around £3.2 million. At eFoam, about half of our customers are independent buyers - a fair number of whom are looking for foam to refresh their furniture.

In part, the growing popularity of upholstery craft is the result of our latest "upcycling" trend. People are now looking for new ways to reinvent old furniture, even recycling used pallets as a conscious means to re-use and prolong the life of existing items, instead of buying new. On the other hand, for some people, re-upholstering furniture is a way to keep hold of much-cherished memories in various items that they would prefer not to part with.

Two of the most popular pieces of furniture regularly used for upholstery craft are dining chairs and armchairs. From the excitement of choosing a new fabric to realising your new item, it's easy to get carried away with not giving thought to other requirements. For example, if you've got an armchair that's sagging a little and could do with a fresh lease of life, you'll need to think about new foam inserts. This may be the same scenario with your dining chair, which isn't as comfortable as it once used to be.

upcycling  craft project 2

You may be saying, "Where do I start with foam?" Well, selecting foam inserts is just as easy as picking the fabric and colour scheme for your project. Firstly, you must consider whether your upholstered item is for occasional or daily use, as this will influence whether you'll need a softer or firmer type of foam. Our most popular grade of foam for upholstery projects tends to be the high-firm upholstery grade. In case of doubt, our "Foam cut to size" page has a handy drop-down selector tool which quickly shows what types of foam we recommend for various items depending on the thickness.

There are also optional additions to consider with your foam inserts. Stockinette undercovers can help to protect your newly-chosen cover fabric from the abrasive surface of the foam and can also make it easier to insert the foam into your cover. Additionally, polyfibre (Dacron) wrap for your foam helps to prolong its life, preventing permanent creasing of the outer cover. There are a huge variety of options - all of which can be tailored to your needs by an eFoam professional.

Measuring up your item for its new foam insert is just as easy, too. You can in fact measure your item with its old foam insert still inside, though if it has collapsed or is deformed it is best to remove it and measure just the fabric cover. If you are unsure with measuring correctly, eFoam has video guides for measuring accurately and also provides an easy hassle free cushion refilling service to make things even simpler for you and your projects.

If you are still unsure on the best foam insert for your upholstery project, do take advantage of our sample service which will enable you to test various grades and cuts. Of course, we are also more than happy to assist with all queries - both big and small - so do not hesitate to contact us for expert guidance.

Happy upholstering!

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