So I have a super cool couch. It’s an L-shape with a snazzy ottoman and it’s as large as a full sized bed when all laid out. I’ve made a habit of taking the removable covers off every now and then and throwing them in the wash. Not just because it gets them clean, but also because it makes the whole couch seem nice and even and even looks more comfy. . . at least I think so. 😉
But there was one single problem with my couch. The couch-makers sewed the ottoman together all wrong. It looked something like this when I explored the stitch work: the top upholstery part was sewn directly to the leather and then the lining was sewn to the bottom of the leather base so if you looked at it cut out it looked like this: upholstery, leather, lining. Which is basically like saying top, bottom, middle. See the lining should have been sewn to the upholstery so it could be washed too. To make things even better, the leather is actually tacked on to the ottoman by both upholstery staples and the four feet that hold it up. Designed by a genius, I swear.
So what did I do to remedy this? I tore it apart, naturally. First I removed the stitches holding everything together and I removed the cushion and upholstery. Next, I sewed the lining to the upholstery. I didn’t have much trouble with it because it was already fitted. I just made sure the seam line marks, from where I had already taken out the stitching, matched. I threw the cover into the washing machine, and after a quick swoosh and tumble, I had the cover back on the ottoman, pronto! But then I still had the naked bottom and the cushion slid off the base so I upholstered the bottom with an old pillow case, bought some industrial strength velcro, and voilla! a new cover for the ottoman that’s washable, removable, and highly practical.
If you’re interested in re-upholstering chairs, I suggest looking at the pics where I upholstered the base. The basic principal is that you upholster one side, then the opposite side, and then the two opposite ends left open. If you’re only using one piece of fabric on an already finished surface, You’ll have to fold the raw edge under. I don’t suggest upholstering like that, but rather having the raw edge covered by a liner that requires fewer staples to stay on. If you look at the underneath of any upholstered chair, you’ll know what I mean.
Another recommendation: If you love the fabric you have your chairs upholstered with, but the fabric is dirty and you’re looking for something fresh, try removing the fabric, sewing an over-lock stitch around the raw edges, and throwing them in the wash. I recently did this with our dining room chairs because my husband was attached to the fabric and they turned out just spiffy. 🙂