New Fabrics Can Refresh Aging Furniture

Furniture can have many lives by updating the fabric with new colors and patterns. Last summer, Burcraft Fabrics, 7967 N. Clinton St., Fort Wayne, doubled its showroom space with a new 5,000-square-foot building that houses leather, pillow forms, and indoor and outdoor fabric at a fraction of the manufacturer’s cost. The business also has a referral system of local upholsterers for customers who are looking to have upholstery work done.

With more than 2,000 fabrics in stock to choose from, Burcraft sells in stock Sunbrella outdoor fabrics for $12 a yard and regular upholstery fabric for $10 a yard or under. The exact same fabric ordered from a catalog normally sells for $50-$60 a yard, says Ken Worman, owner.

“We have built good relationships with furniture manufacturers and wholesalers to offer fabrics at a discounted price,” he says. “After selling online and wholesale for more than 25 years, we decided to open a retail store in 2019. With so many of the fabric stores closing over the past few years, there was nowhere to buy fabric locally.”

The typical customer has a family heirloom piece of furniture to re-cover or wants a new look for an outdated piece of good furniture. It’s often less expensive to reupholster than buying something new, and the customer has a lot more options for colors, patterns and fabrics when reupholstering as compared to readymade, Worman says.

Melissa Willingham, store manager, says more and more people are choosing solid colors for sofas and decorating with patterned accent pillows. Another trend is covering chairs with a solid back and a print on the front, she says. In general, it takes about 5-7 yards of fabric to re-cover a chair. Sofas take about 12-14 yards.

“Our fabrics can be used for anything and everything,” she says. “The stain and water-resistant outdoor fabrics are also being used for indoor furniture because of its durability and wide selection of patterns available.”