Using Customer's Own Materials

Like any other business, we are in business to make money enough to pay our bills and to support our living expenses. Our charges and extra fees are carefully determined to help us pay for our time and expenses that go into each job. 

Selling both labor and materials to the clients is a standard business process. The labor alone is not enough to pay all the associated expenses and costs that go into doing each upholstery job and operating our business. The profit that we make on fabric sales is part of our needed income to keep us going. Other businesses also sell materials, parts, and supplies at a profit as part of their process, for example auto mechanics sell parts at a profit to their clients to repair their vehicles. Construction contractors purchase the materials for each job and sell those items at a profit to their clients. Each of these businesses, and other business, use this business model. That is all part of the cost of their service to keep their business profitable and healthy.

Many clients like to purchase their fabrics at a discount fabric store so that they can save money. Buying discounted fabric is especially helpful when a do-it-yourselfer is purchasing the fabric for their own use. We all like to save money, which is a good thing. However, there is a lot of work involved in doing high quality upholstery work. We make part of our labor for reupholstering your furniture from the profit we make in selling the fabrics for each job. This profit on the fabric helps to subsidize the labor cost of us doing the high quality work. We would not be able to reupholster the furniture for our labor prices if it wasn't for the additional profit that we make from selling the fabric. With that said, we have no problem using your fabric, subject to a C.O.M. fee as explained above and below.

The additional charge for C.O.M. is usually about $20* up per yard for using first quality standard medium to heavy weight (non-designer high-end) upholstery fabric or vinyl. (COM leather is at a higher rate, priced per job). However, there are some factors that can affect the amount we charge (see below*). (Note the C.O.M. charge applies both to people who purchase their own fabric and when we have to purchase fabrics for our clients through an online  retail outlet (or discount store/website).

In addition to the previously mention labor subsidy, here are some of the things that the COM helps to compensate for: When we receive a fabric from the client:

  • the clients are excited about their fabric purchase and want to see how it looks spread out in their home. They often have unrolled it and spread it out on the floor or over the furniture. Since they are not experienced at rolling fabric, the fabric is often either folded up or rolled "loosely", which leaves wrinkles and creases for us to have to deal with.
  • The fabric is often folded when it is sold at the fabric store, leaving many creases and wrinkles that we have to deal with. We have to spend extra time either ironing or steaming it trying to get the wrinkles out. Or we have to spend extra time rearrange our cuts to cut around the wrinkles.
  • If it was flat-folded for display at the fabric store, this leaves a crease down the entire length of the fabric.
  • Fabric purchased at discount stores is often seconds or closeouts, etc. which have more flaws that we have to cut around. This causes us extra time because we have to re-roll the fabric, check for and mark the flaws. Then when we do our layout, we have to measure the location of the flaws so we can put that in our layout.
  • is sometimes rolled with the face side out on the roll. This causes
    • extra work to have to re-roll the fabric.
    • increases the possibility of the fabric being put on the chair with the different side that what the client expects, which increases the likelihood that we may have to take the fabric of the chair and put it back on the other side up. We have had to redo several jobs because of this because the client brought their fabric into us rolled incorrectly.

In addition: It is much easier for us to work with our own fabrics because there is less work in handling the fabrics. For example, when we sell the fabrics to the clients, and then receive the fabrics from our suppliers:

  • it is generally neatly rolled on a cardboard tube, which minimizes wrinkles and creases
  • the face of the fabric is on the inside of the roll. This makes it easy for us to just lay it on the table and roll it out.
  • the fabric is first quality goods, with very few, if any, flaws, discolorations, or wrinkles

*Here are some other things that can change the amount we charge for C.O.M.:

  • If the fabric is especially wrinkled, soiled, or otherwise affected.
  • Working with expensive, high-end fabrics, or any fabrics requiring extra care and attention: Since this increases our liability risk, the C.O.M. charge would be higher, depending upon the value of the fabric.
  • Very thin fabrics: in addition to the C.O.M. charge, we often will have to cover the furniture in a muslin/lining fabric before we cover it in the customer's fabric. In this case there would be additional labor charges, as well as the cost for the muslin/lining fabric.
  • For working in client's leather: Working in leather is much more difficult than using upholstery fabrics. Besides an adjusted C.O.M. charge, there would be an adjusted labor charge as well. Labor and COM charges are considerably more when working in leather.
  • Fabrics needing to be washed or preshrunk.
  • Any fabric that requires extra work or extra preparation.
  • Using white fabrics. White fabrics require that we do additional cleaning AND continued extra care throughout the reupholstery process.
  • Pattern Matching will have an additional charge
  • Using leather will add considerably to the labor and other costs.