There is a certain satisfaction that comes with completing a project yourself. Whether it’s hammering a nail for the first time or sewing a button back on, that feeling of accomplishment is undeniable. When it comes to upholstery, there are few things more gratifying than taking an old, tired piece of furniture and breathing new life into it with your own two hands.
And while some might be tempted to try and do it all themselves, upholstery can be a complex process – one that’s best left to the pros. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get in on the fun! There are plenty of unique upholstery supplies out there that will let you take on smaller projects and add your personal touch.
Provincial Fabric Houses Supplies
We have recently added some upholstery supplies to the shop and explained why our collections are unique.
Since we have a unique bulk supply of these materials, we decided to extend our offering online to sell to the industry. Here’s the lowdown on what makes our upholstery supplies so special.
Traditional upholstery requires a lot more than just knowing how to use traditional materials and techniques! One must learn about the origin and characteristics of the right upholstery supplies and where to source them.
Provincial Upholstery was located in the Southern Highlands of NSW in 1994 by Carlos Rodrigues; however, his experience dates back to his childhood in Portugal.
Carlos has cleaned the upholstery trade inside out and has exclusive contacts worldwide. His expertise and knowledge have allowed him to source and import the highest quality trade upholstery supplies and materials worldwide to ensure his traditional upholstery is the best in Australia.
With his wife Fernanda, Carlos has worked closely with the Australian Government over the space of many decades on various historic upholstery restorations, including work for Government House.
We are proud to offer trade access to our unique industry supplies, including Mongolian Horsehair, European Flax Stitching Twine, Lacing cord, and Jute Scrim.
Unique And Traditional Upholstery Supplies:
Horsehair was used in upholstery centuries ago, well before springs were produced. Climatic conditions have a significant effect on natural products.
The ideal horsehair needs thick upholstery for stuffing/padding or bed making.
You can find wide horsehair in parts of the world where climates are hard, cold and windy (so animals must develop a thick fur/coat for protection); places like Mongolia.
The horsehair we supply is Mongolian horsehair, processed in Europe and the UK, where traditional knowledge is strong, and demand is still relatively high.
Processing of the hair involves combing and careful cleaning from grasses and insects and washing it at high temperatures (120 degrees Celsius).
It is then plaited and steamed to permanently keep the curls -whichever the spring effect to the padding.
Flax is a natural fibre used to create the highest quality stitching twine and lacing cord (much thicker) on the market.
As discussed in our blog post about European Linen, Western Europe’s unique climatic conditions produce long, strong fibres, making high-quality strong twine with a very high breakage point.
Linen/flax producers in other parts of the world are affected by different climatic conditions, which are not as favourable to the growth of flax fibres.
For example, flax plants grown in North Africa produce a shorter thread, where the climactic conditions are dry and hot. When these fibres are processed into fabrics or twines, they tend to break at lower thresholds.
This results in a poorer quality finished product, leading many to turn away from traditional flax/linen. The alternative is polyester twine, and while there isn’t anything wrong with its use, Provincial Upholstery prefers to use high-quality traditional materials wherever we can.
Jute Scrim is a derivative of a plant very well cultivated in India and Bangladesh. Instead of hessian, we use Jute Scrim in our work simply because its weave is more delicate. A regular weave will give a better and smoother edge when stitching horsehair.
Vegetal or Vegetable Hair
This plant fibre is used as an alternative to horsehair, which we do not stock. It comes from a tiny palm tree found in Morocco and processed in Europe for the furniture industry. Provincial Fabric House does not stock or use Vegetal as it is susceptible to humidity.
This fibre will also discolour to black, and most critically, it absorbs an odour of mould, making importation risky due to its necessity to be transported by sea.
Unique Trade Upholstery Supplies
As you can see, there are many different types of upholstery products used in furniture. We hope this article has provided some insights into the options available to you and how they differ from one another.
If you have any additional questions about which type might be best for your project, please don’t hesitate to contact us! Our team is always happy to help answer all your upholstery-related queries, so feel free to reach out anytime.
You can also visit our online store if you want a closer look at what we offer or need more information on horsehair vs twine before deciding which material will work best for you.