upholstery finishing treatments; welting, gimp and nails
when and why are upholstery edge treatments needed?
On upholstered furniture with an exposed wood frame the fabric is tacked or stapled up to the edge of the frame. Sometimes there is an edge or a lip cut into the frame to accommodate the thickness of the upholstery materials. Concealing and protecting the raw cut edge of the fabric is the purpose of edge treatments. Click on the picture to see the raw edge and the frame lip. Edge treatments provide a clean finished look and reinforce the stapled edge from pulling and fraying. A number of techniques have evolved to address this need. Several of the more common techniques are shown in this article.
the basic trimming treatment - gimp
gimp with nails - decorative and functional
head to head nails
welting (also known as cording)
Welting - or cording - is made from a strip of fabric sewn around a light braided cord. As a finishing treatment, "double welt" is most commonly used. Double welt is made with two cords as shown in the picture. Single cord welt can be used where the furniture has a groove cut into the frame to hide the 'tail' of the sewn assembly. Welting is stapled, tacked or glued over the raw fabric edge, snugging against the exposed frame. The visual weight of the welting is determined by the size of the cord used and the thickness of the fabric. Again, exploiting the decorating possibilities of welting is realized by using coordinating or contrasting fabrics or by reversing the face fabric where possible. Double welting with a heavy cord can overpower delicate frames - yielding a bulky look.
explore decorative upholstery nails
Image courtesy D.A.D.S. Nails