Holiday Gift Guide (2021)
Got an upholstery student on your Christmas list?
These are a few of our personal favorite gift items.
The right staple gun is ESSENTIAL for working on furniture. Made in Germany, this is the one professionals use most. Light-yet-sturdy, with plenty of drive for hardwood frames – but easy on your hands, requiring very little force to operate. This is a tool that often lasts the length of a career – there are no equivalent brands. Staple gun is shipped with a thread-to-male fitting and can be operated at 90 PSI off any compressor. THIS IS THE FIRST TOOL WE RECOMMEND SERIOUS STUDENTS INVEST IN.
Our best seller! At exactly 1.5″ wide, this ruler is designed to eliminate the time-intensive task of marking out individual welt strips. It’s also long enough to go across a 54″ fabric width, which is very helpful in upholstery. Like all C.S. Osborne tools, it’s sturdy enough to withstand years of professional use.
These are the big guys we recommend at the cutting table. With a longer blade, you’ll take less cuts to get across the bolt. These scissors are specially sturdy enough to work on upholstery textiles, and can be sharpened repeatedly for many years of continued work. Expect scissors to arrive “stiff” with a short breaking in period.
In case you haven’t figured this out yet, everything C.S. Osborne makes is a good tool. Curved needles are one of the most versatile tools in an upholsterer’s arsenal, and in a pinch can override the need for several other more specific tools or supplies – one could almost hand sew an entire chair together, if nothing else was available. A variety pack allows students to explore several sizes for preference.
These are like T-Pins that got bit by a radioactive spider. One of Cynthia’s personal favorite gift items, because most upholsterers won’t treat themselves to such an indulgent basic tool. They are delightful at the bench because they won’t bend under aggressive strain, which makes them ideal for heavy duty upholstery-specific tasks like hand sewing outsides of frames. These pins will stay true going through layers of fabric, padding, cardboard strip, running into pli-grip, hitting frame, etc, where lesser pins would crumple. One box is probably all you’ll ever need.
A specific “hand-sewing thread” makes the work exponentially easier. Heavier than machine thread and waxed, it grips for less back sliding, and resists tangles. Buy a few colors if you’re feeling fancy – but if you have to choose one, Beaver is the most versatile color match.