A Guide to Professional Upholstery Tools & Accessories

The art of upholstery has existed for as long as we can remember. What’s interesting here is that, regardless of how much time has gone by, many of the tools that we have today have remained relatively unchanged. Of course, there have been additions with the likes of electronic cutting machines, but many of the tools are almost identical to what you may have got your hands on 100 years ago.
What has changed is the quality of these tools. When you’re willing to invest in professional-grade tools, you can be sure that you’re buying something that’s going to last. Here’s a look at the tools and accessories that any professional will need.

A look at the upholstery essentials

While there are an array of tools that are a ‘nice to have’, the kind that makes things that bit easier, there are also plenty of tools to consider that you just can’t do without. These are the things that are a must for any upholstery tool kit.

A precision hammer

To make sure that you can easily fix your fabric in place, you’re going to need a good-quality precision hammer. While upholstering, you’ll be dealing with an abundance of nails and tacks. A good quality hammer will ensure that these go full secured. It’s also worth exploring a magnetic hammer. You can be sure that you’re going to drop the odd nail and tack along the way, and a hammer with a magnetic head just makes things so much easier.

Staple remover

You may well be a professional but, let’s be honest, we still all make the odd mistake here and there. If you’ve looked to simplify your projects there’s a good chance that you’re using a stapler. Using a precision staple remover means that you can do away with the odd mistake here and there, without causing any damage to your project.

Tack lifter

Again, there’s always the chance that you may make the odd mistake. If tacks are in the wrong place, you need to make sure that you can easily remove them. Even if your work is fault-free, this tack lifter is still handy to remove the old fabric before you start to reupholster.

High-quality fabric scissors

Just having a pair of scissors isn’t enough. As a professional, you need to ensure that you’ve got an array of types that are suitable for different projects. Poor quality scissors, or those that are meant for other tasks, can make your project so much harder. Opt for high-quality upholstery scissors, with extra sturdy blades, especially if you are working with heavy materials.

Curved needles

Used for slipping, sewing springs and coils to webbing and burlap, as well as stitching bridle ties, curved needles are an essential part of your kit. You’ll find that these come in a range of sizes and it’s a good idea to have a good selection of these.

Upholstery regulator

By using an upholstery regulator, you can rearrange the stuffing from the outside. This piece of kit allows you to reach through your fabric cover with minimal damage being caused.

Marking Chalk

Frequently used by Tailors, but often a forgotten gem of an upholstery kit, marking chalks are designed so any marks made will stay on the material whilst work is still in progress, but are easy as possible to brush off when work has finished. Marking chalks come in a variety of colours and are suitable for marking virtually all textiles.

Cutting machines

These are a must if you’re operating on an industrial scale. Electronic cutting machines offer the ultimate in precision as well as speed. What really makes a cutting machine a great addition is the fact that they’re suitable for a wide range of fabrics. Whether you’re working with cotton, silk, wool, or a wide range of other fabrics, a cutting machine will meet your needs.

Useful additions

When it comes to a professional kit, the truth is that the number of tools and accessories are endless. There are so many other things that exist that can all make life that much easier. Here’s a look at just some that you might want to consider.

Wooden mallet

A wooden mallet is a lightweight alternative to the precision hammers that we considered earlier. They’re ideal for hammering tack strips into place. While lacking the power of other hammers, the softer face means that they don’t cause damage to your fabric.


Let’s be honest, a stapler may not be the traditional approach but they’re a life saver when it comes to protecting your hands from getting sore and tired. Pneumatic staple guns are lightweight, affordable, and extremely easy to use.

Sewing machine

When you consider the majority of upholstery projects that you’ve undertaken, there’s probably been a fair bit of dragging and fastening fabric in place involved. If you want to maybe go a step further and offer a more personalised touch, a sewing machine is the answer. Selecting a good quality sewing machine is a must, but the right one will allow you to do things such as sewing your own traditional piping. Another time when a sewing machine can come in handy is if you want to compliment your project with a cushion cover that’s been made from matching fabric.

Tips for if you’re just starting out

If you’re new to upholstery then you’re probably already finding that there is a steep learning curve. It’s worth investing in the best equipment that you can afford from the oft. Poor quality tools will only hinder your progress and lead to a finish that you’re not happy with. Other tips worth considering include the below.

Never run low on pins

Pins are a must for practically every project and you never want to run out. They’re handy to hold sewing together as well as to mark fabric if you’re trying to pattern match.

Upholstery nail strips are great for easy edging

A nail strip is a great alternative to attaching numerous individual decorative nails. These nail strips come in an array of styles and lengths and make your job much less time-consuming.

Find the best supplier

When you’re building your upholstery toolkit, you need to be sure that you’re only buying tools that are fit for the job. You also want to be sure that your supplier understands exactly how your projects work. That’s where we come in. Why not explore our range and see how we can help? If you can't find what you are looking for, please contact us and we will be happy to source products for you.

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