Button-Tucking Dos and Don’ts

Reuphostering a button-tucked chair is a great way to give new life to an old piece. However, it is important to take into consideration not only your chosen fabric's durability, but also how it will appear once tucked into place. DO keep these rules in mind so you DON'T distort the design.

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Above: Fabric images from Designer Fabrics.

DO neutrals.
Upholstery-grade material with a slight tonal fleck is your fabric fail-safe.

Wide stripes DON'T work.
Upholstering accent chairs in a wide stripe is very in vogue right now, but if the chair has multiple buttons, the pattern will be seriously distorted when tucked.

But skinny stripes DO.
Thinner stripes, on the other hand, won't distort and can hold their own against the button detailing.

DON'T dig deep.
When working with a striped fabric, request that the button be tucked at a shallow depth, no more than one inch.

DO beware bold prints.
Bold prints are tricky. Be sure to clearly set out your expectations with the upholsterer as you will lose some elements of the pattern to the button-tucking.

DON't go graphic.
This is not a hard and fast rule, but we strongly discourage using large geometric prints as the pattern will inevitably be distorted in the tucking process.

DO accent with abstracts.
With an abstract print, the button-tucking actually adds interest to the loose pattern. No need to worry about the tuck depth either; go as deep as you like!

This edition of Ask S&C was inspired by one of our viewers, Julie, who wanted to know which fabric she should use to reupholster her button-tucked occassional chair.

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