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The Business Of Upholstery => The Business Of Upholstery => Topic started by: sofadoc on August 27, 2015, 05:06:35 PM

Title: Vinyl jobs
Post by: sofadoc on August 27, 2015, 05:06:35 PM
Over the years, I've never done as much vinyl work as I have this year.

Just off the top of my head, I can think of at least 600 yards so far this year.

Hospital sofas, restaurant booth seats, patient exam tables, beauty shop/barber chairs, and other miscellaneous items.

For the most part, vinyl jobs are quick, easy, and my favorite.......profitable.

Sure, the mark-up on vinyl usually isn't what it is on cloth, and vinyl jobs have consumed a great deal of time that would've normally been spent on cloth work.
But that really doesn't really bother me, since most cloth jobs are COM anyway.

Are you furniture guys seeing a lot of vinyl work?
Title: Re: Vinyl jobs
Post by: MinUph on August 27, 2015, 06:10:04 PM
Average amount of vinyl here. I did do a cornice out of vinyl today. Don't like it for this use.
Title: Re: Vinyl jobs
Post by: sofadoc on August 28, 2015, 09:06:37 AM
One thing I've noticed, is that customers with vinyl jobs are far less likely to furnish their own vinyl than cloth job customers. Even though vinyl is readily available at retail stores like JoAnns.

Title: Re: Vinyl jobs
Post by: cajunpedaler on August 28, 2015, 09:22:59 AM
I try like the dickens to furnish the vinyl for vinyl jobs...in my area anyway, what is available at a retail level and called vinyl is crap...I would much rather sell the vinyl than to use COM on vinyl jobs...
And quite the opposite for cloth.
Perry
Title: Re: Vinyl jobs
Post by: gene on August 28, 2015, 03:59:01 PM
I'm not seeing an increase in vinyl work. It tends to pick up before the summer moths in general anyway each year.

Most of my work is residential and not commercial.

gene

Title: Re: Vinyl jobs
Post by: sofadoc on August 28, 2015, 05:52:47 PM
Most of my work is residential and not commercial.
Up until the last couple of years, I would've said the same thing.

I haven't made any conscious effort to transition over to commercial. It has just naturally evolved.
Other than my staunch refusal to bend over for ID's, I've done nothing to discourage residential work.

About 5 years ago, a fledgling company began operation in Dallas. They were located in 2 buildings separated by a busy street. Their forklift drivers were constantly given citations by the city police for darting across traffic.

The company got tired of being harassed by DPD, so they bought some land just down the road from my shop, and moved their operations there. That's when they looked me up in the phone book.

It started out with little odds and ends. They were the world's leading manufacturer of shoeshine stands (which means they built about a dozen of them). I did the padded seating for them.

Over the next few years, the orders gradually grew more meaningful.

Now, my seating is in more than 300 department stores across the country. And some VERY important government buildings. A non-disclosure agreement prevents me from naming them.

At the same time, the number of restaurant booths, salon seating, and other local commercial jobs have dramatically increased.

In a way, I'm kinda glad. There's so much junk residential furniture flooding the market, it gets harder every year to convince customers to reupholster. With vinyl commercial jobs, I see more of a stable, predictable future.
Title: Re: Vinyl jobs
Post by: MinUph on August 28, 2015, 08:50:56 PM
We do some contract work I like it for the reasons you mentioned Dennis. More quality products to work with and better $$. I am trying to grow that side of the business. One contact at a time.
  Good for you. Maybe I sat on one of your shoe shine seats LOL. Doubt it I think I've had my shoes shined maybe twice in my live by a ss person.
Title: Re: Vinyl jobs
Post by: Rich on October 28, 2015, 06:19:42 PM
Sofa,
What are you making that's selling in dept. stores?

One aspect of working with vinyl (my work is almost exclusively vinyl) is that you have to heat it whereas most fabrics you do not. This adds time to the job. Also, once you've made marks in vinyl like a line of staple holes or stitch holes and need to make adjustments, unlike many fabrics, it's there for all to see. I've had to replace the whole piece on occasion.
Rich
Title: Re: Vinyl jobs
Post by: sofadoc on October 28, 2015, 09:42:29 PM
Sofa,
What are you making that's selling in dept. stores?
My product isn't for sale. It's customer seating, such as in dressing rooms.
Title: Re: Vinyl jobs
Post by: kodydog on November 04, 2015, 01:08:40 PM
Just looked at photos of furniture I've completed this year and to my surprise I haven't done one vinyl job.
Title: Re: Vinyl jobs
Post by: Mojo on November 13, 2015, 09:35:13 AM
When I first started in this trade I did alot of vinyl work. I despised the stuff and hated working with it. Then I started learning some tricks from Mike and June and a few others here and enjoyed working with it.

I have forgotten alot of what I learned because I haven't worked with vinyl in a while. But I did get to enjoy it. I would love to get a vinyl seat/cushion job now as I am so sick and tired of seeing acrylic and vinyl awnings.

It is the one thing I really envy you guys for. Every job you get is a bit different. Different layouts, different fabric, different cushions, foam, etc. I stare at the same colors, fabrics etc. week after week after week. It is repetitive, monotonous and boring work.

You furniture and marine guys at least get some different things popping up every week with each new order.

Chris
Title: Re: Vinyl jobs
Post by: MinUph on November 13, 2015, 07:50:11 PM
Yes Chris we do have a multitude of different pieces and fabrics. I hear ya when you say it is boring working with the same stuff all the time. I couldn't do that. Today and yesterday I had the privilege of working with rebonded leather on a tuff to cover chair. I hate the stuff. Is doesn't work like fabric and doesn't work like vinyl. Real crap from the manufacturing to the end use to the peeling it ends up as.
  Such is live in the Upholstery business. Cornices next week. I just love cutting wood.
  If you'd like I'll send you my next vinyl seat to do. Breakup your day a little.
Title: Re: Vinyl jobs
Post by: Mojo on November 15, 2015, 08:36:06 AM
Paul:

I would love to do a seat but never have time. I have six prayer cushions ready to be sewn. Vinyl is cut, welting made, foam cut but no time to put them together. They have been sitting in a couple boxes for over a year. :(

Whats a prayer cushion you ask ? I make them with 4 inch foam. They are about 2 ft long x 10 inches wide. I use them whenever I have to get down on my knees to do something like working on a tire, weeding the garden or planting flowers, etc. I call them prayer cushions because at our age you get down on your knees and then pray you can stand back up again. :)

Coach owners, mechanics and gardeners love them. They make being on your knees much easier.
I have never sold them, just made a few for myself and friends.

Chris
Title: Re: Vinyl jobs
Post by: Rich on November 17, 2015, 07:05:54 AM
When I first started in this trade I did alot of vinyl work. I despised the stuff and hated working with it. Then I started learning some tricks from Mike and June and a few others here and enjoyed working with it.

I have forgotten alot of what I learned because I haven't worked with vinyl in a while. But I did get to enjoy it. I would love to get a vinyl seat/cushion job now as I am so sick and tired of seeing acrylic and vinyl awnings.

It is the one thing I really envy you guys for. Every job you get is a bit different. Different layouts, different fabric, different cushions, foam, etc. I stare at the same colors, fabrics etc. week after week after week. It is repetitive, monotonous and boring work.

You furniture and marine guys at least get some different things popping up every week with each new order.

Chris

Here's my experience; Each job different=low efficiency=low profit. Boring and repetitive=high efficiency=higher profit.
Rich
Title: Re: Vinyl jobs
Post by: baileyuph on November 17, 2015, 09:00:20 AM
Rich - spot on!  What could be boring about seeing greater profits.  Efficiency definitely is higher (I have a rather large project that is paying the bills - large motel chain items with the same experience).

Doyle
Title: Re: Vinyl jobs
Post by: sofadoc on November 17, 2015, 09:18:37 AM
Here's my experience; Each job different=low efficiency=low profit. Boring and repetitive=high efficiency=higher profit.
Totally agree. If some of you guys don't want your "trained monkey" work, send it to me. I'll take those boring, repetitive big paychecks.

I'm at the point in my life now where I no longer covet those "new and exciting challenges" on every job that comes through the door.

I've done more repetitive work in 2015 so far, than in any year of my career. And I'm on course to have my highest grossing, and most profitable year ever. Even though I don't put in nearly as many hours as I did 20-30 years ago.

The commercial vinyl jobs have slowed down lately, probably won't pick back up until after the holidays. I'm back to doing all those stupid little chairs that absolutely, positively must be done in time for family get-togethers or it will surely spell the end of western civilization.
Title: Re: Vinyl jobs
Post by: byhammerandhand on November 17, 2015, 09:23:06 AM
Spent a day at Henry Ford Museum last month.   Epitome of that in his early concepts of assembly line, time and motion studies, etc.   Seeing some of the footage of his assembly line though, arg, shoulder-to-shoulder work at breakneck pace.