Five Upholstery Terms You Should Know

There are so many reasons why you may need new upholstery in NYC. Perhaps your furniture has seen better days, or maybe you’re excited about giving your style a big boost. Either way, it’s important that you search for the best upholstery in NYC, and equally so that you do your homework and know about some of the most commonly used upholstery terms. Here are five examples of commonly used terms in the upholstery industry that you should add to your vocab for your next furniture project or purchase!


When you explore options for upholstery in NYC, you may hear references to a bias-cut. This refers to the practice of diagonally trimming fabric from one corner to the other following a 45-degree angle. Bias refers to the angle where the warp and weft of the fabric meet. Bias-cut allows for better elasticity and fluidity for dynamic draping effects.


Gimp is a small ornamental piece made with tight stitches that can be used to cover areas where fabric attaches to the wooden frame. Unsightly details like nailheads, seams, and tacks are properly concealed by these decorative additions, often made from cotton, wool or silk. This allows for a polished, professional finish.


If you’ve ever noticed a decorative ornament that resembles the head of a nail, this is what the upholstery term “nailhead” is referring to. Nailheads are used to define the curves of edges and disguise seams in the upholstery. You can choose nailheads of many different designs and colors. For example, gold, silver and brass nailheads create a more vintage look.


When an upholstery expert speaks about selvage, they are talking about a tightly woven seam edge of a particular fabric. Selvage is the self-finished edge that prevents fabric threads from becoming distorted and frayed over time. Protecting the threads is important and that’s what you can do with selvage. For smooth draping, upholsterers may cut off selvage edges during the upholstering process.


Also known as filling, weft are the horizontal yarns that interlace with warp to create wonderfully woven fabric. Keep in mind that warp and weft run perpendicular to one another as the two big components of fabric weaving. A single unit of the weft thread is labeled a pick. Next time you’re ready to buy the best upholstery in NYC, you can ask the experts about weft and warp and the best methods of creating amazing upholstery.

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