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| | |-+  Pricing Slipcovers (couch)
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: Pricing Slipcovers (couch)  ( 276 )
D3Gilmore
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« : July 10, 2017, 05:42:16 PM »

I have a new opportunity to slipcover a couch for a previous client.  I have never done a slipcover, but I feel like I have to start sometime!  My business is relatively new, although I have been doing upholstery work on the side for the past couple of years.  My first project was a total teardown and rebuilding of a wingback, 8-way tying of springs, edge rolls, hand-sewn arms using cotton stuffed in the webbing, button tufted back w/a contrasting side arms/back, decorative tacks and pattern matching.  I say all that because I'm not afraid to take on a project and figure it out.  This year,  I've added outdoor cushions, pillows, panel drapes, ottomans, dining chair seats, barstools, cane back chair to my portfolio of work.

That being said, this client's couch is a two-cushion seat with rolled arms and attached back cushions.

After having torn down a number of chairs and reupholstering them, it all seems pretty much the same, except I realize I'm oversimplifying (in my head) what I do know, and don't realize what I DON'T know about slipcovers.

I have poured through the Forum's previous posts to get an idea if anyone else has posed this same questions and I understand rates can vary based on a per project basis or an hourly rate.  This being my first slipcover project, I know I will take more time than as seasoned upholsterer.  So, I was thinking of quoting based on what I feel all my time WOULD be worth.

I was looking at quoting $1,200 but now that I know the client's back cushions are attached, that added a whole new level of complexity.  I'm not even sure how to attack it, other than I have seen pillow top ottomans are essentially similar in principle?

My husband says $1,800 - the price of the new Juki I want (lol).

Attached is the photo of the couch.  I'm curious what a seasoned upholster would think this should take (time-wise) and complexity.
What would YOU charge to do the job?

Also, I was reading about the must-haves for slipcovers: i.e. preshrunk fabric, fiberflex cording so it doesn't shrink....

Any other suggestions to help me navigate this potentially new project?

Thanks!

Deana
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_b-s34UOXi1ZHJYTmd0WGNPVkU/view?usp=sharing
 
kodydog
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North Central Florida


« #1 : July 10, 2017, 07:19:26 PM »

A few years back our work load was slow so we took on a few slip covers. Like you said, the first ones were really slow. Lots of cussing while ripping out seams trying to make them perfect. Then work picked up and after a bad experience we abandoned the whole idea. I'm not trying to dissuade you, just some things to think about.

We were working with a designer for a wealthy client. The client liked slip covers because she had dogs. She washed these covers weekly. The designer asked us if we would preshrink 30 yards of fabric. We told her we have no way to do that. She said she would have it done. Long story short she never preshrank the fabric and we refused the job.

My point is find out if the client will be washing these covers often and is the fabric preshrunk. Most customers like slip covers because they can throw them into the machine and wash them. Some customers never wash them and others dry clean them.

Talking about throwing them into a washing machine, with most fabrics these days something will have to be done with the seams to prevent unraveling. Surging perhaps.

There is money to be made in slip covers and plenty of people who want them done but like everything else there is a learning curve. Whatever you set your mind to you can achieve. Good luck Deana.

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
D3Gilmore
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« #2 : July 10, 2017, 08:12:55 PM »

Kodydog, I didn't realize I would have to preshrink the fabric myself. I was thinking I may have to order it that way, but after reading your post, since I'm working with the client directly and not the designer, that adds another stress level.

Would you take measurements at the client's home or have the pieces in your shop? I don't really want to pick up and deliver such a big piece of furniture but I test fit things all the time.

I will do more research before I take on such a big project. I love a challenge, especially when I know there are so few in my area who will, but I don't want to underestimate my abilities.

Thanks for the response, will mull this over some more.
sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #3 : July 10, 2017, 08:20:14 PM »

I think a lot depends on the area you serve.
If you have an affluent clientele, slip cover work can be very lucrative.

But if most of your client base is more " blue collar", you might want to re- think.
The working class crowd wants slip covers for all the wrong reasons.
They may want to try and find a cheap way to salvage a worn out sofa. Or they're looking for a low budget alternative to reupholstery. They might be considering it from a practicality standpoint, something they can toss in the washer 3 times a week.

The best slip cover customer is one that doesn't even ask what it will cost, and will probably replace it without ever having sat on it.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
SteveA
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« #4 : July 11, 2017, 01:12:27 PM »

I never made a slip cover but liked watching how it done.  Take a look at Kims Upholstery on You Tube.  You'll get some visual tips
SA
kodydog
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North Central Florida


« #5 : July 11, 2017, 05:05:13 PM »

Deana, like I said I'm not trying to dissuade you. There are plenty of tutorials on Youtube. One thing we learned about the shrinking thing. You can cut the yardage into washable sizes. Wash them on hot and and dry them in the dryer. Chances are they will need ironing or steaming before you start cutting your pattern. Always test wash a sample to check for color fastness. The customer pays for all of this. Some jobs do not need to be preshrunk because some customers never wash their slipcovers. That's something you need to ask them. You may not make much money on your first slipcover but you will get faster and it will get easier over time.

We always measured for yardage at the customers house. Some upholsterers charge for this and some ask for a deposit that is subtracted from the bill when they get the job. Some customers expect you to do this for free. The Interior Designer story I told you about. Yeah, we spent a lot of time on that job and didn't charge.

Whenever we were ready to do a job we picked up the pieces to have them at the shop so we could check for fit. But I once worked for a guy who patterned at the customers house. He would bring it back to the shop and have the seamstress sew it and then deliver it back. He rarely did any re-dos. What you see is what you get. The nice thing about slip covers is they are expected to fit a little loose. Minor imperfections are acceptable. Think frumpy.

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
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