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The Top Upholstery Tools for Successful Restorations

Upholstery tools are essential for those looking to create or repair furniture pieces. Whether you’re a professional upholsterer or a DIYer, having the right tools on hand is crucial for achieving the desired results. From basic staples and hammers to more specialized tools like webbing stretchers and tufting needles, there are a variety of upholstery tools available to help you complete your project with ease. In this article, we will explore some of the most common types of upholstery tools and their uses.

The Top Upholstery Tools You Need for Successful Restorations

Upholstery restoration can be a rewarding and satisfying activity, but it requires the use of appropriate tools. Having the right tools makes all the difference between a successful restoration and a shoddy one. In this section, we highlight the top upholstery tools that every upholstery enthusiast and professional should have in their toolbox. We categorize the tools into basic, advanced, and specialty tools, providing a comprehensive guide on how to choose the right tools for your project. We also offer tips on the maintenance of these tools so that they serve you for many years. Read on to discover the essential tools that you need for successful upholstery restorations.

Basic Tools

When it comes to basic upholstery tools, you’ll need a few essentials to get started. Here are some of the tools that every upholsterer should have in their toolbox:

  • Scissors: You’ll need a good pair of sharp scissors to cut through fabric, thread, and batting.
  • Needles: You’ll need a few different sizes of needles for various jobs. It’s recommended to have both straight and curved needles.
  • Thread: A high-quality thread is essential for strong seams and stitching.
  • Tape measure: You’ll need to measure fabric, foam, and furniture pieces accurately.
  • Staple gun: A staple gun is used for attaching fabric to the furniture frames. It’s recommended to have one with a long nose for hard-to-reach areas.
  • Pliers: You’ll need pliers to pull out staples and tacks from furniture frames and to twist tufting buttons.
  • Rubber mallet: It’s used to gently tap furniture pieces into place without causing damage to the wood or finishes.
  • In addition to these basic tools, you’ll also need a sturdy work surface, a variety of fabrics, and foams in various densities and thicknesses.

    Advanced Tools

    Advanced upholstery tools are usually not required for simple projects, but they are essential for more complex restoration work. Here are some of the top advanced tools you might need:

    • Electric staple gun: Unlike manual staple guns, an electric staple gun can work on large projects without causing hand strain.
    • Webbing stretcher: Used to tighten up webbing that holds springs in place, a webbing stretcher is an essential tool for repairing old furniture.
    • Upholstery regulator: Also known as a bone folder, this tool is used to push and pull stuffing material in tight spaces without damaging the fabric.
    • Curved needle: This type of needle is required for sewing buttons and tufting.
    • Specialty scissors: Precision scissors with serrated edges are needed when working with thick fabric that is difficult to cut.
    • Hog ring pliers: Used to attach springs and secure fabric to the frame, hog ring pliers are a must-have for upholsterers.
    • Hot glue gun: Since some fabrics are difficult to staple, a hot glue gun comes in handy for securing fabric to the frame.
    • Specialty Tools

      In addition to basic and advanced tools, specialty tools are also required for specific restoration projects. These tools are designed to meet unique needs and challenges associated with certain types of upholstery projects.

      Here are some of the most common specialty upholstery tools:

      • Spring stretcher: Used to stretch and secure upholstery springs
      • Fabric shaver: Used to remove pills and fuzz from fabrics
      • Button covering machine: Used to create covered buttons for upholstery projects
      • Bias tape maker: Used to create bias tape for upholstering edges
      • Cardboard tack strip: Used to create straight edges on upholstery pieces
      • Flexible tack strip: Used to create curved edges on upholstery pieces
      • Edge roll: Used to shape and soften the edges of upholstery pieces
      • Upholstery foam cutter: Used to cut foam to the correct size and shape
      • When working on upholstery restoration projects, it is important to choose the right specialty tools to ensure that the job is done correctly and efficiently. These tools may require a higher investment but will save time and effort in the long run.

        How to Choose the Right Upholstery Tools for Your Project

        Choosing the right upholstery tools can be overwhelming, especially if you are new to upholstery restoration. With so many options available in the market, it can be difficult to narrow down which tools are necessary for your specific project. However, selecting the right tools is critical for a successful restoration. In this section, we will discuss the key factors to consider when selecting upholstery tools, including the type of project, material, and skill level required. We will also provide some useful tips on where to buy upholstery tools and how to maintain them for optimal performance.

        Considerations When Selecting Upholstery Tools

        When selecting upholstery tools, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind to ensure you choose the right tools for your project. Some important factors to consider include:

        • The type of project you will be working on
        • The materials you will be working with
        • Your skill level as an upholsterer
        • The frequency with which you will be using the tools
        • Taking the time to carefully consider each of these factors before making a purchase can help ensure that you choose the right tools for your needs and get the most out of your investment.

          Where to Buy Upholstery Tools

          There are various places where you can purchase quality upholstery tools. Here are some options to consider:

          • Online retailers – There are several online stores that specialize in upholstery tools. These retailers offer a wide range of tools, from basic to specialty, and often have competitive prices.
          • Specialty stores – Some brick-and-mortar stores focus on upholstery supplies, including tools. These stores may offer value-added services, including advice from experienced upholsterers, and the ability to see and test tools before buying.
          • Hardware stores – Large hardware stores may carry basic upholstery tools, such as staple guns and pliers. However, these stores may have limited options for advanced or specialty tools.
          • Flea markets and garage sales – You may be able to find basic upholstery tools at discounted prices at flea markets or garage sales. However, it may take time to find exactly what you need, and the tools may not be in the best condition.
          • Consider your needs and budget when deciding where to buy your upholstery tools. If you’re a beginner, seeking guidance from experienced upholsterers or purchasing from specialty stores may be a good idea.

            Tips for Maintaining Your Upholstery Tools

            Taking care of your upholstery tools is essential to ensure they remain in good condition and function effectively. Proper maintenance can also extend the lifespan of your tools and prevent costly replacements. In this section, we provide helpful tips on how to clean and store your upholstery tools to keep them in top shape for your next restoration project. Neglecting proper maintenance may cause damages on the tools, which will lead to ineffective upholstery work and extra expense for the owner. Learn how to take good care of your tools and save money in the long run.

            Cleaning Your Tools

            Cleaning Your Tools

            Cleaning your upholstery tools is a crucial step in maintaining their effectiveness and longevity. Dirt and debris can cause corrosion, rust, and damage to your tools, decreasing their efficacy over time. Here are some tips on how to keep your upholstery tools clean:

            • Before starting to clean your tools, make sure to inspect them for any damage or wear and tear. If you notice any issues, consider repairing or replacing them.
            • Use a soft-bristled brush to remove any loose dirt or debris from your upholstery tools. Make sure to clean all nooks and crannies, including the blades, handles, and any other surfaces.
            • Use a mild detergent and warm water to clean your tools thoroughly. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the metal or plastic surfaces. Use a soft cloth to wipe away any soap residue and let dry completely.
            • If your tools are particularly dirty, you can use a specialized cleaning solution designed for upholstery tools. These solutions are formulated to remove dirt and grime without damaging the metal or plastic surfaces.
            • Once your tools are clean and dry, you can apply a light coat of oil or rust inhibitor to the metal surfaces to prevent corrosion. This is especially important for tools that will be exposed to moisture or humidity.

            By following these simple cleaning tips, you can keep your upholstery tools in top condition and ensure their longevity and efficacy.

            Storing Your Tools

            Storing Your Tools

            Proper storage is critical for maintaining the quality and longevity of upholstery tools. Keeping them in a dry, cool and clean environment will prevent rust, corrosion or damage. Here are some tips on how to store your upholstery tools efficiently:

            • Use a toolbox or storage bag: Keep your tools organized and stored safely in a toolbox or bag. This will protect them from dust and dirt and prevent them from getting lost or misplaced.
            • Hang your tools: Use pegboards or hooks to hang your tools on a wall. This saves space and makes them accessible and visible at all times.
            • Keep them in a dry place: Moisture can cause tools to rust and corrode. Store your tools in a dry place, away from any sources of moisture.
            • Separate sharp and delicate tools: Separate sharp and delicate tools from each other to prevent damage or injury. Place them in specially-designed compartments or cases.
            • Label your tools: Label each tool to make it easier to find and differentiate it from others. This also encourages organization.

            By following these tips, you can ensure that your upholstery tools are well-preserved and always ready for use.


            What tools do upholsterers use?

            Upholsterers use a variety of tools including staple guns, tack hammers, pliers, scissors, webbing stretchers, upholstery needles, foam cutters, and fabric measuring tapes. They may also use a sewing machine for certain projects.

            What tools do I need to reupholster a couch?

            To reupholster a couch, you will need a few basic tools such as a staple gun, pliers, scissors, fabric glue, a tape measure, upholstery needles, thread, an electric knife, and a webbing stretcher. Additionally, you may need furniture tacks, foam rubber, batting, and new fabric for the upholstery.

            What is needed to reupholster?

            To reupholster, you will need fabric, foam or batting, scissors, a staple gun, a sewing machine or needle and thread, upholstery needles, a screwdriver, pliers, and possibly glue or piping.

            What is upholstery supplies?

            Upholstery supplies refer to materials and tools used in the process of reupholstering or repairing furniture. These supplies can include fabric, foam, padding, webbing, springs, and various types of hardware such as nails, screws, and staples. Additionally, specialized tools such as staple guns, sewing machines, scissors, and hammers are often used alongside these supplies to complete upholstery projects.


            In conclusion, having the right upholstery tools is crucial for successful restorations. This article categorizes the top tools into basic, advanced, and specialty, providing tips on how to choose and maintain them. Upholsterers need essential tools like scissors, needles, thread, tape measure, staple gun, pliers, and rubber mallet, while advanced tools, such as an electric staple gun, webbing stretcher, upholstery regulator, curved needle, specialty scissors, hog ring pliers, and hot glue gun, are necessary for complex restoration projects. Specialty tools are essential for specific upholstery projects, such as spring stretchers, fabric shavers, and foam cutters. Choosing the right tool is important for a correct and efficient job, despite potentially requiring a higher investment.

            When selecting upholstery tools, consider the project type, materials, skill level, and frequency of use to choose the right ones for your needs. Consider all factors for a successful investment. You can buy upholstery tools online, at specialty stores, at hardware stores, or at flea markets/garage sales. Always consider your needs and budget, seeking advice and inquiries at specialty stores if needed. Finally, proper maintenance of upholstery tools is important for effectiveness and longevity, preventing costly replacements. Neglecting maintenance causes damages and decreases efficacy, resulting in extra expenses. Follow our tips for cleaning and storing your tools to save money and extend their lifespan.