Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Michael does exist. At 16 years old he apprenticed at an upholstery shop in Nevada where his mother was a seamstress. As a young man he moved to the Bay Area and worked in several different upholstery shops. Opening Michael’s in San Rafael in 1983. He still enjoys the creative nature and the challenges of the business that confront him daily.

The sofa that you already own may have a value to it that is hard to put a price on. Your sofa may fit the space perfectly, it may be comfortable or it may have some sentimental value. Frequently when you shop for a new sofa to replace your old, you find that the new ones are too wide, too tall, too small, too soft or too hard. Often your sofa is really just perfect and you did not realize it until you try to replace it. Maybe the only thing wrong with your sofa is the fabric. Cheap new furniture is achieved using inferior low-priced frames, fabric, and padding. Good quality furniture will perform superbly many years after the discount pieces have been hauled to the dump. If the style of your piece fits the space and your needs and is no longer available new, having it recovered can make any sows ear into a silk purse!

A well-made frame is always a good value to reupholster. Older furniture is usually made from solid hardwood unlike much of the new furniture being sold today. In fact, an old sound frame upholstered with a wonderful new fabric can rival or be superior to any new high-end piece.

If your furniture is worn out and needs the springs and fillings worked on, then you should reupholster it. If your furniture is in good condition and you like the fabric but it just doesn’t go with your current color scheme, then maybe a slipcover is a good idea. Other good reasons to slipcover include; your pets and/or your children use your furniture and you want to be able to clean it easily; you want the option of two “looks” for your room, light colored in the summer, dark in the winter or you just really like the more casual look of a slipcover.

Right here at Michael’s! We can build an ottoman or any other type of upholstered furniture. We can duplicate your favorite chair or copy the sofa you found in a magazine. We build new sofas, chairs, loveseats and ottomans as well as headboards, upholstered beds and banquettes.

  • We remove all the old fabric.
  • We re-web and retie the springs as needed.
  • We re-pad the frame and apply the new fabric.
  • We recover the cushions and replace the fill if needed using a variety of products (down/feather, Dacron, cotton, and foam) depending on the wishes of the clients.
  • We add the finishing touches, decorative trims, skirts, and toss pillows.
  • Finally, each piece is personally inspected for quality workmanship.

Our showroom displays over 400 fabric sample books. We have accounts with most of the major designer fabric companies. You can borrow books to view in your own home. We also can order larger fabric samples to help make your selection easier.

Your average sofa will need between 18 and 22 yards of fabric. A loveseat usually needs between 16 to 18 yards; a club chair will need 7 to 9 yards and an ottoman about 4 yards. Remember that the size and style of the furniture and the fabric can affect the amount of fabric needed.

Each workroom will have it’s own style of cutting, the layout will differ and so will the yardage. Large prints and plaids will also affect the total yardage.

Yes, the yardage includes welt cord or piping. When using a contrasting welt, your basic yardage may remain the same with additional yardage for the welt.

Yes, It is not necessary to purchase fabric from us. We do not charge a cutting or COM (customers own fabric) fee.

We can give you a ball-park estimate via email, over the phone or here in our office based on a photo or a description and measurements.

If your project is unusual, you have a lot of pieces or you are unable to send us a photo, we are happy to make a house call. 

Our estimates are based on the information provided to us. We can give you an accurate price on the cost of the labor to recover your furniture but due to the nature of most upholstered furniture, we may not be able to tell you exactly what type of work will be required to the springs, frame and padding until we remove the old fabric. We try to include the different options at the estimate stage so that there are no big surprises during the reupholstery process.

 In-home design and fabric consultations are available for 75.00 per hour. Our staff has over 25 years experience working with fabric and color and can help guide you in making your decision on what type of fabric and color is going to be best for your home.