A Novice’s Guide to Upholstery Supplies

Chances are, you’ll find yourself asking ‘what is this? What does it do? And maybe even, ‘what is this called?’ After all, if you were to pick up a permanent marker without knowing what it was or what it did, how could you possibly know what it’s called?

Here at Padgham Upholstery, we get a lot of unusual requests from customers who aren’t sure what the items they’re looking for are actually called. So, when you’re struggling to find the right words to describe what you’re looking for, you can rest assured you’re not alone!

For instance, Coconut Fibre, which is used as padding in traditional upholstery, often gets called coir or even curly coir. We could be wrong, but we’re assuming novice upholsters have adopted these names because of how much coconut fibre looks like the fibrous material that’s found between the hard, internal shell and the outer coat of a coconut, which is called coir.

Some of our other favourites, include:

Upholstery Nails
Often used as a decorative trimming on upholstered chairs, upholstery nails are commonly referred to as the following:

- Upholstery pins
- Upholstery tacks
- Decorative upholstery nails
- Decorative upholstery pins; and
- Decorative upholstery tacks

The good news is, if you head into our upholstery supplies store in Melbourne and asked for any of the above, we would still know exactly what you’re after.

Hessian is popular among upholsters because is supplies a strong base to work on and can be used in all upholstery projects, both antique and modern.

The names people use to refer to hessian are actually quite practical terms, because hessian does have a few aliases, depending on what you’re using it for. The most common names we hear are:

- Burlap
- Scrim
- Jute Cloth

Lacing Twine
Lacing twine can be used in a number of arts and crafts projects, but is usually used for tying down springs when used for upholstery. It also gets called:

- Lashing twine
- Mattress twine
- Butchers twine
- Lacing cord

Webbing provides the foundation of a good upholstery job, so, chances are, you’ll probably pop in looking for some of this at some point. Even though it’s technically called webbing, if you refer to it using one of the following names we’ll still know what you’re talking about.

- Strapping
- Elastic

Dust Cover

In upholstery, a dust cover is used to conceal webbing and springs, so it’s designed to sit on the underside of upholstered chairs. This product is sometimes also described as:

- Finishing cover
- Black bottom lining
- Black cloth

We also have people commonly reference staple removers as staple lifters or staple pullers, or Coil springs as conical springs and hourglass springs. While buttoning needles get mistaken for tufting needles and bent packing needles as potato bag needles.

Have you ever mistaken an upholstery product for something with a funny name? Let us know in the comments.