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Messages - sofadoc

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The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Serrated Walking Feet
« on: September 25, 2010, 07:34:39 AM »
Years ago, I aquired several walking foot machines from a local factory that closed. Some of them had the welt feet with the serrated bottoms. Every one of them had been ground smooth (on purpose, not just due to wear).
I would think that you would risk scuffing vinyl with them.

The Business Of Upholstery / Re: I need a sounding board
« on: September 24, 2010, 09:38:41 PM »
I have intentionally left the name of the business I am not here to advertise just here to help improve our business.
It took about a nanteenth of a second to check your profile, and figure out the mystery store. :o 

The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Calculating leather requirements
« on: September 24, 2010, 07:11:46 PM »
Most hides range from 48-50 sq. ft. It is recommended that you order 18 sq. ft. of leather for every yard of fabric that you would normally get.
So. a normal sized hide is equalivent to just under 3 yards. Sounds like you would need 2 1/2-3 hides for a club chair.

The Business Of Upholstery / Re: "Old School Ways" in the 21st century
« on: September 24, 2010, 06:23:19 PM »
It seems that the general consensus of this discussion board is that blind stitching is better than nail strip, or pli-grip. So why is 90% of the furniture that I strip down not hand sewn?
I agree that some micro-suedes are difficult to pli-grip. But they're not much better to hand sew. I only hand sew when it's in an area that just isn't feasible to use nail strip or pli-grip, or a fabric that would bruise if I used a mallet or hammer. I can do just as good a job with nail strip in a fraction of the time.
I certainly don't mean to offend anyone that respects and employs the " Old school ways", but I'm afraid that I don't get it.

The Business Of Upholstery / Re: I need a sounding board
« on: September 24, 2010, 05:32:57 PM »
Many shops don't even try to mark up material anymore. They just make their money off of labor. NOT ME. I mark up the fabric, and if the customer furnishes their own fabric, I charge a higher labor rate.
So if I had your sample pack, I would not want one that has your discounted price on it.
I personally never lead my customers to any fabric websites. They start clicking around, and before you know it, they've either ordered something that I could've sold them, or something that is completely impractical for the job, or something that they can't get any more of (and they took it upon themselves to decide how much to get).   
Maybe I'm old fashioned, but give me the book with suggested retail prices. I'll decide how much below retail that I'm willing to go.

General Discussion / Re: Sewing Technology Marches On!
« on: September 23, 2010, 10:38:21 PM »
DB: The sample that I'm going to send to Gregg is a brand new cut, sewn, and stuffed arm panel straight from the showroom floor of a local retailer (it was damaged in shipping).
Really, I guess that my only question is "How do they determine in advance exactly how much to gather?" I stretch elastic as I sew it to one panel, which can lead to slightly inconsistent gathers.
All things considered, I'm happy with the results that I'm getting. But, I'm always willing to hear other ideas.
Who knows? maybe Gregg's got a "Miracle in a bottle". ;)

General Discussion / Re: Sewing Technology Marches On!
« on: September 23, 2010, 05:21:28 PM »
If you guy are really serious about finding out how they do this, or anybody else for that matter, take a sewn sample and send it to me.
I will send you a factory-sewn arm panel for a La-Z-Boy. Feel free to disect it, I don't want it back. I'll also send you a scrap piece that I gathered using the elastic method. Take note of the difference in the appearance of the gathers.
But don't spend a lot of time researching it on MY behalf. I don't do that many of them, and I'm fairly satisfied using elastic.
I think that DB's point is: They seem to have the gathering down to a science. For us, there's more trial and error involved in sewing a gathered panel to an un-gathered panel, and making them come out even.
I personally couldn't justify the cost of a different machine, or even some fairly expensive attachment.
But I think we would all like to hear your recommendation once you see the samples.

The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Sub Contracting
« on: September 22, 2010, 09:21:44 PM »
Also you need to keep your mouth shut about quality issues.  Expect to fix a lot of shoddy materials and workmanship.

Also, make sure that they really want to hire you, and not just sell you referrals. One of those places wanted me to pay THEM for referrals of people looking for someone to repair their furniture.

General Discussion / Re: trick question!
« on: September 22, 2010, 09:17:04 PM »
Have you heard of this product?
The inside backing has to be substantial for the clips to hold.

The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Sub Contracting
« on: September 22, 2010, 07:03:54 PM »
I've been approached by some of those places a time or two. Like you, I am somewhat intrigued. The snag is, they want a ton of liability insurance, which I don't have. I have so many stores bringing furniture to me now, that it just doesn't make any sense for me to become a "road warrior".
Hopefully, byhammerandhand will see this and comment. He does that sort of stuff.
If you've got the insurance, and are willing to drive all over, it might be worth looking into.

The Business Of Upholstery / Re: "Old School Ways" in the 21st century
« on: September 22, 2010, 06:51:51 PM »
Speaking of spitting tacks, we were the only kids who were encouraged to put 20 sharp objects into our mouth.
Remember when Moe swallowed the tacks, and they rammed a giant magnet down his throat? Then they funneled them into a shotgun, and shot Moe in the butt.
I tried the same thing making buttons. Didn't get hurt, though. When you're a little kid, you don't always weigh enough to press buttons , so you have to improvise. 

General Discussion / Re: Sewing Technology Marches On!
« on: September 22, 2010, 06:37:15 PM »
Bobbin: I often hear people say "They don't make them as well as they used to". Actually they DO (but the well made ones cost a fortune).
There's a ton of cheap crap on the market now.
La-Z-Boy's mechs are much softer than they used to be. They use plywood in a lot of areas that they didn't use to.
I'm not suprised that you can spot a good one from the curb.
Frankly, I don't even like recliners any more. I don't like doing them, and I don't own one myself.
I LOVE repairing them (changing mechs, fixing broken springs, frame repairs, etc..)
I average over $60 hr. doing recliner repairs. If I had enough of them, I wouldn't do anything else.

General Discussion / Re: Sewing Technology Marches On!
« on: September 22, 2010, 06:08:39 PM »
I would be hard pressed to believe that La Z Boy would be using elastic to gather anything in a manufacturing setting.
Some of the seams sewn in a La-Z-Boy factory ARE sewn with elastic. Such as the seat on a chaise recliner, or a gathered footrest. But many of the seams do seem to employ some type of shirring method.
Many of their techniques I don't even attempt to duplicate. I've never had any complaints about the difference.
As it is now I have to charge nearly as much as a new one. If I had to duplicate every single seam, I would have to charge even more.

The Business Of Upholstery / Re: "Old School Ways" in the 21st century
« on: September 22, 2010, 05:59:08 PM »
I'm 52. I still have to whip out the curve needle every now and then. I was sewing simple seams on my grandmother's old Singer at the age of 10. I was the official buttonmaker from 7 on.
One thing that's different now, a lot of today's fabrics really aren't strong enough to hand sew. Back in the day, EVERY fabric was. Frames were sturdier, and designs were simpler and more practical.

General Discussion / Re: Sewing Technology Marches On!
« on: September 22, 2010, 05:29:57 PM »
Gregg: Here is a simple example of the gathered seams on a La-Z-Boy recliner that we have to re-create:   http://www.la-z-boy.com/Furniture/Recliners/?cid=1
Look at the arms of the recliner that the man is sitting in.
I achieve the gathers on one like this using elastic.
Some of the gathered seams are MUCH more complex than this one.
Also, scroll down the page to view some with gathers on the inside back, seat, footrest,etc..

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