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Started by SteveA, March 07, 2019, 05:39:52 pm

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A customer has a backrest cushion with velcro.  The opposing tight back is a fabric that accepts the male velcro.  I've only seem velcro in strips - does it come in fabric sizes ?


March 08, 2019, 12:02:08 am #1 Last Edit: March 08, 2019, 12:03:02 am by gene
Velcro is a trade name. Hook and loop is what it is and what other brands are called in general. One part is tiny hooks and the other part is tiny loops. The loops are the softer part.

You can tell which is hook and which is loop by looking at them closely, or just by feeling them. The loop is softer and the hook feels more abrasive.

Yes, hook strips can stick to many fabrics. The fabric will have a nap on it that functions the same as a loop, or may be actual loops. If the fabric on the sofa feels soft it is loop and if the strip sewn on the cushion is more ruff then that is the hook.

Many fabrics stick to the hook strip unintentionally because of their nap. The fabric on the back of the sofa was made to stick to hook strips and is made to be more durable for that purpose.

Here's how to open velcro (hook and loop) so no one can hear it. I'm sure Chris (Mojo), a former Marine, is aware of this technique.




Ditto what Gene said. Your customer will be somewhat limited in the type of fabric she can use.

Without knowing exactly how this back is setup I would suggest making the back cushion the traditional way. Fabric on both sides and simply leans against the back of the chair. I would point out the advantage of being able to flip the cushion for better ware and to help it maintain its shape. And if a stain ever appears on one side she will still have the other side to face out.
There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.


This fabric is not seen. The cushion - a one sided leather cushion attaches to the tight back with velcro.  It's not strips of velcro - rather a piece 20 in. x 15 in.  sewn into the tight back.  That fabric ripped out and I need to replace it with a velco compatible fabric I can stitch in.





March 09, 2019, 02:24:37 pm #4 Last Edit: March 09, 2019, 02:39:13 pm by baileyuph
What you are dealing with - velcro (same product as strips).  It is used industrially.  The panel attached
to the sofa inside back (tight back your term) does appear much larger than usual, but 15 X 20 inches?
The 20 inch dimension looks less - definitely a size that large isn't required. 

Never-the-less, that said could help bail you out.  Since a piece of velcro as big as it is isn't needed -
try cleaning the hook (on tight back you said) and downsize it.  There will still be plenty to grip the
back of the cushion, this will lead to more resizing and repositioning of both hook & loop - removal cutting and repositional sewing.  I have cleaned velcro pieces (hooks) with a stiff brush sufficiently to reuse.

BTW, the inside of the cushion appears to have some leather coverage (photos can be difficult sometimes, however).

In the equation, the inside back (tight back again) will have to be removed for sewing/repositioning!

Probably the same for the velcro on the inside back of the cushion - the filler, as I know you know,
at least will require removal.  So, try the brush technique on the hook  (can't think of a solvent that would help a bit?).

BTW, if velcro hook or loop is absolutely required - I have seen panels of both sewn to achieve a
larger panel.

Just a comment:  I see new furniture with backrest cushions attached to inside backs with the
velcro product - effectively and with much smaller strips - some with only a couple inches wide
going across (side to side but not the complete width extent). 

Industrial customers will use larger pieces of velcro (hook/loop).  A large quantity of such can't
be justified by this project.

So, the possibility of removing/unsewing/resizing both velcro pieces/resewing after cleaning the existing loop/hook looks achievable, especially since based on existing dimensions look over killing.

At least your post is mind probing - for some anyway.

Upholstery can get you into a project some times!

Good luck,



Thanks for the reply Doyle ...... sorry for the confusion - tight back - inside back - I know the difference but sometimes I just get forgetful.  Example the recliner job last week with arrows - I'm going to mention these memory issues during my next physical. 
I was planning to obtain some replacement fabric and sew it in place into the backrest with a curved needle. The loops on the cushion are still good and undamaged.  I thought the most difficult part would be getting the needle through the leather - not getting the fabric - 


Darren Henry

QuoteI thought the most difficult part would be getting the needle through the leather

It very likely will be,sorry to say.

I have never found a source for chisel pointed curve needles so I make my own. Basically I take a 3" or so curve needle and make a three sided point instead of the round one. This allows it to cut the leather like an awl. Lets call the side of the needle over top of the curve 0 degrees. I grind the tip (point of needle on stone at angle) at 120 degrees from zero until the edge is in the centre of the needle at o. I repeat at 240 degrees. When viewed from the tip there will be a sharp inverted "v" at the front of the tip and a sharp line at 90 degrees to the back of the needle.

Next up on the list of options is to use an awl to pre-punch the holes. On leather that thin you can use a straight awl with a curved needle. Holding the needle against the awl tip as you pull it back out can make it easier to follow the hole.
Life is a short one way trip, don't blow it!Live hard,die young and leave no ill regrets!


That is a concern not knowing how that needle will pierce the leather and if I'd be working with a needle nose plyers to pull through each stitch.  Years ago I purchased a box of razor knives that fit in my exacto handle knife from the surgical supply store.  I use them for trimming leather when doing leather desk tops.  There is nothing like having the right tool for the job you're right about that.  I will try to sharpen the curved needle as you mention. 
Glad to hear from you - do you happen to have a go fund me page or anything like that ? 


March 17, 2019, 12:18:54 am #8 Last Edit: March 17, 2019, 12:21:34 am by kodydog
The whole sofa is a wreck not just the inside back. The manufacturer took a cheap short cut and used Velcro instead of patterning and sewing semi-attached back cushions.

Steve, you are now trying to fix a bad flaw in the manufactures design and that is never a good scenario. If your repair fails are you on the hook to repair it time and time again? Your repair will not make this badly worn sofa look any better. I'm not trying to give you a hard time. I'm speaking from experience. I'm speaking as a friend when I say, personally I would pass on this job.
There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.


Yes I agree - I also mentioned to them about putting money into this Sofa considering the cosmetic condition but they swear they love it, want to fix it and want to keep it.
They probably overpaid when they purchased it equating purchase cost with quality. 

Darren Henry

Hopefully just sharpening the needle works on that leather. Doing it with pliers is no fun. A small stitching awl and haft might be a handy investment.

No go fund me or anything. Our health care system covered the bills for the hospital part and employment insurance is giving me some money to life on. I'm only out the cost for all the trips into Winnipeg to see spet etc... and will have to invest in a blender as they won't replace my dentures now that I have a new profile. I shudder to think about someone with no insurance getting hit with all this. A working stiff in the States would be screwed wouldn't (s)he?
Life is a short one way trip, don't blow it!Live hard,die young and leave no ill regrets!