Tools Used by the Upholsterer

Upholstery tools

MALLET  A 4-inch cabinet maker's mallet is well balanced to work with a ripping chisel for ripping old upholstery

RIPPING CHISEL  This is used with a mallet for the removing of tacks from the old upholstery when preparing to reupholster. Care should be taken to work in the direction of the grain of the wood at all times

SCISSORS  Size is a matter of personal preference. The most important thing about upholstery scissors is that they cut along the blades right to the tips and, as with so many things, it is the good quality ones that give the best service

REGULATOR  The upholsterer's third hand, used for holding difficult corners while tacking, forming pleats with the blunt end when buttoning, and regulation of the fillings
HAMMER  The upholsterer's hammer has changed over the last few years, and today the 'Osbourne 33' is the most popular

NEEDLES  A large variety of needles is available. The main types are mattress needle, spring needle, curved needle and cording needle. Many sizes are available in all types - a fine gauge, 2-2.5 inches long is often used, depending on the job in hand

SKEWERS  Long pins with a ring with a ringed end, 3-4 inches long, used to hold materials in a temporary position before the final tacking or stitching

WEBBING STRETCHER  Webbing is threaded through the split and secured by a piece of wood attached. The stretcher is tipped down and away from the seat to provide the required tension. Beech is the best wood to make this out of
OTHER TOOLS  A number of other tools are either helpful or essential to the effectiveness of the upholsterer's trade. A wood rasp is useful for taking off a tacking edge if it is not already champhered. A trimming knife is invaluable for trimming the top cover to show the wood frame. And a tack-lifter has a self-explanatory function, while a punch is useful for hitting home tacks in awkward crevices