Upholstery Tools I can’t live without!

Right, so you’ve got a tack hammer, a mallet, tack lifter, a regulator, button needle and curved needle…but what if you want to grow your upholstery business and do a few commercial jobs or a more complicated piece of furniture, or perhaps you’ve had someone come to you who wants you to design their own piece? These are some of my favourite upholstery tools I just can’t live without.

At the beginning of the year I decided to start the look for a pneumatic stapler. The only ones that I had seen where these massive contraptions with wires coming from the ceiling and this huge cylinder. I was starting to wonder where I might put such a thing, when someone on instagram posted a picture of their portable pneumatic stapler. And after some enquiries I ended up with this:

Upholstery Tools Pneumatic Stapler

BEA are a UK based company and extremely helpful. When I enquired they asked me all sorts of questions from speed to quantity of commissions and they came back with the best stapler for me. Something like this with staples will set you back about £450.00.

My second ‘can’t do without’ tool is my wooden metre ruler. I don’t think it needs much explanation but I use it every day. You can buy these on eBay for around £5.00 

Upholstery Tools Wooden Ruler

Recently I came across a question on a facebook group I follow about what table to start with as an upholsterer. If you follow my blog, you will know that I had this one made from scaffold boards and its been the most amazing piece of kit I’ve ever had – completely life changing when it comes to large commercial jobs which require metres and metres of fabric to cut (It’s back breaking crawling around on the floor cutting fabric!). This was designed with storage in mind as I wanted to keep all my materials below it, but a lot of people use trestle tables, both high a low which fold away. My table cost about £200 in scaffold boards and £400 for a carpenter to build (so an absolute bargain I think!). 

Upholstery Tools Workshop Table

One of my next purchases is going to be an industrial sewing machine – I’m currently using a New Home semi industrial machine from the 1980’s which is fine but I need something a little more heavy duty. Any advice you can give me on this would be greatly appreciated.

I’m also keen to buy a button making machine which can take heavy twill and wool fabrics. I would love to have your suggestions on this too.


About Vicky Grubb

Once a kitchen table Upholsterer, now a fully fledged tutor, author and hoarder of vintage fabrics. My Upholstery studio is based in Bournemouth, Dorset, where I live with my husband and two tinkers.

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