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Messages - sofadoc

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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..

General Discussion / Re: Sewing Technology Marches On!
« on: September 20, 2010, 05:47:39 PM »
According to my wife, my skivvies haven't had much "pop" in YEARS!!
(Double entendre) ;)

General Discussion / Re: Sewing Technology Marches On!
« on: September 20, 2010, 05:21:08 PM »
What size elastic do you guys use when you're using it to achieve and even gather? my guess would be 1/2" but maybe you prefer something narrower?   
I usually just wait until my Fruit of the Looms are wore out, and save the elastic :D
If it's a rush job, I have to "go commando" for the rest of the day!

General Discussion / Re: Sewing Technology Marches On!
« on: September 20, 2010, 07:58:44 AM »
Like Rich, I use elastic. I don't have any special attachment, though.
Like both of you, I explain to the customer that the job may not be cost effective if price is their only concern.
20 years ago, I was doing over 50 La-Z-Boys a year. Now I do less than 20 of them.
In terms of quality, La-Z-Boy used to be head and shoulders above the other brands. But the other brands got a little better, while La-Z-boy got a lot worse. Now, they've all kinda met in the middle.

General Discussion / Re: You can lead a horse to water......
« on: September 18, 2010, 12:32:05 PM »
I actually got stuck in typing class for 2 weeks back in high school. My first choice, Radio & TV Repair was full. I had stupidly put down typing as my first alternate. Now, I wish I had stayed in it. I got kicked out for typing with no paper in the carriage (heck, I didn't know that would damage the roller). 
I thought that Radio & TV Repair would be a lifelong career. NOBODY fixes that junk anymore.

General Discussion / Re: This Internet Thing
« on: September 18, 2010, 12:19:14 PM »
It's funny how e-mail is the new "snail mail". I've asked my kids. "Why do you text every few seconds? Why don't you just call that person and talk to them?"
They answer "Because texting takes away the awkward silence in a conversation". Good point, I guess.
I know that a lot of you out there in upholstery land have a Facebook page.
So, please don't take offense to this, but I've noticed that many people only have a Facebook page so they can star in their own movie (I'm NOT aiming that statement at anyone here).
Believe it or not, this discussion board is the FULL extent of my social networking. Pathetic, huh?

General Discussion / Re: This Internet Thing
« on: September 18, 2010, 07:42:32 AM »
Hey, I still say that this whole "internet" thing is just a passing fad. ;)
It'll be gone in a year or two.
BTW, when's the last time any of you got an old fashioned personal letter from someone UNDER the age of 60?
Just kidding about the internet. It's probably here until Al Gore comes up with something even better. 

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