Why are replacement loose sofa covers so expensive???? Where can I get cheaper ones????

(81 Posts)
BoffinMum Sat 21-Mar-09 03:20:34

We have two ten-year old John Lewis sofas that are in perfect nick, apart from the loose covers are now threadbare, so I wanted to get some replacements. I have mended them several times, but now they are really giving up the ghost. The covers are the kind you can put in the washing machine.

I got a local firm in to quote, and also spoke to John Lewis, and all these people quoted four figure prices for replacement covers well in excess of what the two entire sofas had cost in the first place, and probably equivalent to what it would cost to buy two brand new sofas now.

I am loath to put two perfectly good pieces of furniture into landfill, so I want to get them recovered. But if I can't afford to shell out ££££ how do I go about this? There must be a way of getting covers done cheaper or nobody would be able to afford to buy sofas at all. BTW just putting a rug over the top of them won't work for us as the kids are over them all the time and I would spend my entire life replacing the rug.

Clement Sat 21-Mar-09 03:37:20

you could get a local sewing person to quote for making replacement covers. Or these might be worth a shot...

BoffinMum Sat 21-Mar-09 09:18:37

Isn't it incredible that on MN you can post a decorating problem at 3 am and within 20 minutes have a possible solution??? I emailed a possible local sewing person as suggested and I am waiting to hear back now.

TsarChasm Sat 21-Mar-09 09:37:02

I agree about the cost. A few years ago in the same position I tried to find out about replacement covers.

A very glamorous woman from Plumbs came round and came up with a price that could've bought me a new sofashock. I can't remember what she quoted but it was soo expensive.

It's so annoying when basically the sofa is still ok. I hope you find a solution. We seem to live in such a chuck it away and buy a new one age <old gimmer emoticongrin>

I can't get along with throws either. They look like crumpled bedding once anyone (especially the dc) have been near them.

BoffinMum Sat 21-Mar-09 09:49:47

Woman after my own heart, TsarChasm. I had thought of Plumbs but it sounds like I would be wasting my time.

I can sew, and would make my own, but I am scared of wrecking hundreds of pounds worth of upholstery fabric, tbh. It's hard to do projects like that as a one-off.

BoffinMum Sat 21-Mar-09 19:11:47

Local sewing person quoted £900 plus fabric (32 metres)shock. I mean, on what planet are these people?????

KatyMac Sat 21-Mar-09 19:14:58

I have made loose covers & it is a hard & long job

Is it worth buying dust sheets & dying them then using that material

That way if it's a disaster you haven't wasted loads

You should be able to use your existing covers as a pattern

Lilymaid Sat 21-Mar-09 19:17:35

I spent over £2000 having new covers (and of course I needed new fillings for cushions and some replacement of the calico underneath etc.
The fabric cost £558 and the labour and other costs was £1500 - then there was VAT on top of that. This was from a not very posh shop in neighbouring village.

BoffinMum Sat 21-Mar-09 19:22:39

<faints>

I think we might just go down the new sofa route. I can get 2 quality new ones from Kirkdale for under £700.

SoupDragon Sat 21-Mar-09 19:26:33

The new covers for mine cost around £250 for 2 2seater sofas and an armchair. It's because they're Ikea ones... I just bought a new set of covers in a different colour.

I remember getting a quote for new covers for another sofa though and it was extortionate as you say.

Clement Sun 22-Mar-09 00:50:28

me again. up too late again. did you see my link to house linen uk? i'd try those before i did anything else, personally. they look ok... the website doesn't have prices on it but click on the ebay link to see what they sell them for.

BoffinMum Sun 22-Mar-09 06:28:56

I did have a click but I was worried they wouldn't tuck in enough and would look a bit messy.

Clement Sun 22-Mar-09 21:35:14

you're right. also the fabric looked old ladyish with its chunky swirls. however on amazon they do some more modern stripey ones. it's a bugger isn't it. i'm SICK of my sofa but it's still very comfy and holding up well to the children. we bought it 10 years ago when i was expecting the first one.

BoffinMum Mon 23-Mar-09 08:18:03

I had an interesting chat with my mum about this yesterday, and we reckon it's probably worth me deconstructing the loose covers that are already there, to create enough bits of material to patch the cushions up nicely. If it all goes tits up, then I can save up for new sofas.

Alternatively mum said why not pick a contrasting fabric and get all the seat cushions covered in that, but that would still cost £££, I think.

I suppose another option, insanely enough, might be for me to go on an upholstery course at the local FE college!! My great aunt did this once (she's too old to do them for me now, unfortunately).

If someone managed to set up a business making cheap replacement sofa covers in a factory in China, I am sure they would make their million, especially in these straightened times when people want more value for money.

BoffinMum Mon 23-Mar-09 08:20:00

BTW I did have a look on the Littlewoods website and they had some better quality stuff. I am not sure they would look right in our room but you might like them, Clement.

southeastastra Mon 23-Mar-09 08:22:39

i have the same problem. thinking of cutting a big chunk out of the back bit (which isn't seen) then sewing it onto the big hole we have on the armrest. it's so annoying.

BoffinMum Mon 23-Mar-09 08:30:47

This is the sort of stuff they should have taught us at school, IMO. Real life skills that save money.

BoffinMum Mon 23-Mar-09 08:33:29

BTW mum advised if cutting chunks out the back to replace them with fabric of a similar colour and thickness, so if the cushion flopped down or whatever it wouldn't be so obvious what had been done.

brimfull Mon 23-Mar-09 08:55:49

It is a nightmare ,we have recently replaced our sofa with ikea ones as they are cheap to recover.

It's all very well having a sofa that lasts a hundred yrs but you either get sick of the cover or they end up in tatters.

I used a compant called bemz that does ikea covers.
If I were you I would sell the sofas and replace with ikea ones that you can easliy buy covers for.

Not an eco-fiendly option though

DaisyMooSteiner Mon 23-Mar-09 08:58:19

Boffinmum - you live in Cambridge, right? I know of a couple of sewing people who I've been told are very reasonable. They might be as expensive as the person you contacted, but if you're interested I could get hold of their numbers?

BoffinMum Mon 23-Mar-09 09:14:04

Yes please Daisy. That would be terrific. Do you think they might be game for helping me reconstruct new cushions from the existing fabric that's on there? I say that because since my last post, between you and me, I think I might go into labour sometime in the next couple of days (will not go into details here!! grin) so perhaps ought to hand over the nesting project with the sofas.

Ggirl, funnily enough I was thinking of your solution last night, and also considering Kirkdale again because you can buy reasonably priced duplicate covers at the same time as buying your sofas, thereby future proofing them.

DaisyMooSteiner Mon 23-Mar-09 12:34:09

BoffinMum - can you email me nappymad @ yahoo .com?

morningpaper Mon 24-Aug-09 19:47:04

I have had some quotes for re-covering my sofa from the company that MADE the sofa, and they covers cost 1.5X the cost of the sofas BRAND NEW.

HOW THE HELL DOES THAT WORK?

bibbitybobbityhat Mon 24-Aug-09 19:52:06

We waited for Plumbs sale. iirc it was £700 for two sofas (which have four big cushions each iyswim) about 7 years ago. In a plain washable fine needlecord type fabric.

Trenni Thu 02-Aug-12 14:14:04

I've just come across this thread by accident and was disappointed to read all the threads.. I studied for 4 years full time for a degree in soft furnishings and upholstery and loose covers are one of the more difficult things to make properly taking an average of 4 days for an arm chair.. if you add the cost of the fabric to the skill required I don't see why you think the quotes are so expensive and these are not skills that can be self taught. Most of the courses in soft furnishing and upholstery are now discontinued because so many people buy cheap imported sofas badly made that can't be recovered anyway because they'd fall to bits if you took off the cover. It's sad that British craftsman ship is so undervalued.

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