From Frames to Fabrics: A Recap of the Nell Hill’s Upholstery Education Event

We’re passionate about a lot of things here at Nell Hill’s – color, texture, textiles, inviting spaces, and happy elements that turn houses into homes. Upholstered furniture fits into each of these categories and is something we adore. Whether it’s creating unique pieces for our customers, finding the perfect piece to fit a family, or combining pieces to create stylish yet livable spaces, upholstery is often at the heart of what we do. To say we’re obsessed would perhaps be an understatement.  

We love it so much in fact, we’ll share it with anyone who gives us the chance! Thankfully our opportunities are many, but often there is too much information to share and not enough time in which to share it. So, we kicked off our Spring Upholstery Sale with an educational event where customers and future customers alike could come and learn about what we love and ask questions, in a no-pressure environment. Despite the chilly weather and freshly fallen snow, we had a blast educating our attendees about upholstery construction, care and fabrics, reupholstery, and custom cushions! 

The From Frames to Fabrics: Upholstery Education Event was a masterclass in the art and science of crafting timeless pieces. Stations were set up throughout the shop and guests grabbed a bite to eat before heading off to the presentations that interested them. Let’s walk through the topics we covered!

Upholstery Construction + Cushion Basics  

During our first presentation of the evening, we delved into the art and science of upholstery construction and cushion basics. Hosted by the dynamic duo, Dan from CR Laine and the talented Nell Hill’s designer Dianne, attendees delved into the intricate world of upholstery construction and cushion basics. From frame materials to the nuances of 8-way hand-tied and sinuous wire/springs, the event dissected the crucial components that shape the foundation of quality furniture.  

The spotlight on cushion materials was equally enlightening, with a showcase of CR Laine cushion samples illustrating the diverse options available. Whether it’s the luxurious full down, the balanced comfort down, or the versatile Fiber back cushion, the event provided a comprehensive understanding of materials, construction techniques, and their use cases. It was an educational journey that unraveled the secrets behind the comfort and longevity of upholstered furniture, empowering attendees to make informed choices for their homes. 

Upholstery Care  

Sarju’s presentation on Upholstery Care during our education event was a crucial guide to preserving the beauty and longevity of your upholstered furniture at home. Covering the essentials of care, from the basics like flipping and rotating to regular vacuuming, attendees gained valuable insights into maintaining their pieces for years of use and enjoyment. Sarju delved into the intricacies of spot cleaning, providing best practices and tools to address common issues effectively. The discussion on care and cleaning labels/instructions was particularly enlightening, emphasizing the importance of following manufacturer guidelines for optimal maintenance. For more information on upholstery care, check out our previous blog post on the topic, here.  

As an event highlight, attendees got a glimpse into the transformative impact of professional cleaning, showcasing the rejuvenation it brings to upholstered pieces. Sarju also decoded the mysteries of the different fiber offerings available, explaining how materials require tailored treatment, offering a holistic understanding of upholstery care for a variety of materials. It was an informative session that empowered our attendees to keep their upholstery looking great through years (and years) of use!  


Jenna’s insightful presentation on reupholstery was a masterclass in navigating the world of revitalizing furniture and provided event attendees with a wealth of knowledge for embarking on furniture revival projects. Attendees were guided through the essentials of reupholstery projects, learning key factors when working with an upholsterer, especially the importance of considering fabric repeats and how much to purchase.  

Jenna addressed the art of blending new and old pieces seamlessly, offering strategies to harmonize a room while investing in both reupholstered and new furniture. Her expertise in finding the perfect fabric was invaluable, shedding light on the process of selecting materials that not only breathe new life into a piece but also align with the overall design vision. A crucial aspect covered was the decision-making process—knowing when it’s time to bid farewell, when to embark on a reupholstery journey, and when to invest in new furniture. Jenna’s presentation left our audience well-equipped to make informed decisions about the fate of their beloved furniture pieces. 

Upholstery Fabrics  

In a captivating session led by the Fabric Department and Nell Hill’s designer Taylor, attendees delved into the intricate world of upholstery fabrics. The presentation unveiled the secrets of what makes a great upholstery fabric, with a focus on deciphering labels—understanding terms like double rubs, repeats, and more, and why these details matter in the selection process. The emphasis on performance fabrics was particularly enlightening, complete with demonstrations showcasing their durability. Taylor emphasized that while these fabrics can offer superior performance, they aren’t indestructible, and then provided invaluable insights into their proper care. The session left our audience well-versed in the art of choosing fabrics that not only elevate the aesthetic of their furniture but also stand the test of time. 

Designing with Upholstery 

In a dynamic and insightful presentation the talented trio of designers turned presenters—Liz, Rebecca, and Anne—shared their expertise on “Designing with Upholstery.” Attendees were taken on a journey of building looks in real-time, with a special emphasis on the transformative power of fabulous upholstered pieces. The session delved into layout best practices and rules of thumb, providing a solid foundation for crafting visually appealing and harmonious spaces.  

The design trio offered a set of thought-provoking questions, guiding aspiring designers and design enthusiasts alike, through the initial stages of a design journey that incorporates upholstery. From the selection of statement pieces to the nuanced considerations of layout, this session equipped our audience with valuable insights to elevate their design projects with the artistry of upholstery. 

Custom Cushions 

Lastly but certainly not least, our knowledgeable presenters Lil, Lydia, and Debbie from the Workroom Team deciphered the intricacies behind custom cushions. Attendees were immersed in the world of cushion terminology, learning the essential skills of measuring for a new cushion. The presentation also offered valuable insights into fabric rules of thumb, emphasizing the significance of factoring in pattern repeats and other considerations. With their expertise, the workroom ladies empowered our audience to navigate the realm of custom cushions, ensuring that each piece not only fits perfectly but also aligns seamlessly with the chosen upholstery fabric. The session was a brief but informative guide for those seeking to enhance the comfort and aesthetic appeal of furniture and built-ins through personalized cushion solutions. 

The event was a success and we can’t wait to host it again. We’ll be sure to publish future educational events here on the blog and on social media to be sure to follow along if this is of interest to you!