Frequently asked questions

About Upholstery

How much does it cost to upholster furniture?
The cost to upholster a piece of furniture depends on its size and age. You will find prices for the most popular types of furniture on our “Upholstery Services” page.

What is the difference between “re-upholstering” and “re-covering” a piece of furniture?
The term “re-upholstery” refers to replacing the inners (e.g. stuffing, springs, felt, foam), usually stripping furniture back to its original frame. “Re-covering” involves replacing the top layer of fabric only. The work required will depend on the condition of the furniture frame. A simple re-cover will refresh the look of your furniture, whilst repairing and rebuilding the overall structure will ensure the longevity of your furniture but isn’t always necessary.

What is the difference between traditional and modern upholstery?
Traditional upholstery techniques are usually used on furniture made before 1950. Modern techniques are used on furniture made after 1950. The processes involved in traditional upholstery generally take longer: re-building a chair’s structure with webbing, springs, hessian, coir, horsehair and twine. The method of modern upholstery is a quicker and usually more cost-effective process, using foam, staples and modern materials to refresh and reshape furniture. Hamilton and Hodson has expertise in both and will advise on the best approach for your piece of furniture.

Is it cheaper to re-upholster furniture or buy new?
It depends on the age, style, size and condition of your furniture. If the basic structure (the frame) is intact and minimal repairs are needed, this is a good start. Generally speaking, furniture made before the 1960s were of much higher quality than furniture made in the mass-produced modern era and usually worth restoring as they have a rarity value to them. In terms of modern furniture, it is usually cheaper to buy brand new. However, you are usually restricted in fabric choice whereas if you are prepared to pay a little more (and supporting an independent business at the same time!), you can have literally any fabric you want.

Is getting something reupholstered eco-friendly?
As with other areas of life, the world of interiors is seeing a drive towards sustainable living and restoring what you already have. Reupholstering rather than replacing furniture definitely reduces waste. Also, the range of materials used for upholstery (fillings, etc) are becoming more environmentally friendly all the time. And a lot of fabric companies and independent fabric designers are developing manufacturing processes that use waste products such as plastic to make high quality upholstery fabrics. If environmentally friendly upholstery is of interest to you, we can advise you on the best approach.

Commissioning Hamilton & Hodson

How long will it take to restore my furniture?
This will depend on the size of the piece. However, as a general rule, once we have your piece in the workshop, we usually finish within three to four weeks. If we encounter any problems (for example, unforeseen frame repairs or a delay in obtaining upholstery supplies), we always keep our clients informed.

How long is your waiting list?
This can vary depending on the time of year. The waiting list tends to be longer in the autumn and spring. However, no matter what time of year, it’s always worth contacting us to enquire.

Do you offer a collection and delivery service for client commissions?
Yes. We charge £20 for each separate journey within the Bristol area. Please inform us if you need this service when you enquire about an upholstery job.

Is there parking at the workshop?
Yes, but this is restricted. Clients and students who are dropping off or collecting furniture and don’t intend on staying long can drive into the station forecourt of Redland Station on South Road. Clients who are visiting the workshop to enquire about commissions or browse fabrics on weekdays from 9.00am to 5.00pm can park for up to 30 minutes for free on South Road but must get a ticket from the nearby ticket machine. Students who are attending courses on Fridays can park on the station forecourt but please tell us you’re doing this. There are no parking restrictions on Saturdays.

Buying Furniture From Hamilton & Hodson

Do we sell furniture?
Yes. We always have a small but very select range of restored furniture in our online shop. We look out for older, more unusual pieces of furniture that needs some tlc and that we can add our own twist to.

Do you source vintage/antique furniture that need restoring for clients?
We are happy to discuss with you the type of furniture you are looking for and can sign-post you to relevant online (e.g. Vinterior) and bricks-and-mortar (e.g. auction houses) outlets.

Do you charge shipping fees for the furniture you sell?
Shipping fees are added to the list price of our furniture when a potential buyer requests a quote. We use a very reliable and competitively priced team of independent couriers who can deliver nationwide (UK mainland only). We aim to keep our shipping fees as low as possible.