brokenHow do you know when DIY leather chair repair is not enough, and it’s time to professionally reupholster a chair? Sometimes minor scratches on leather can be made less noticeable with a quick swipe of orange or olive oil, and stain removers may be enough to remove stubborn stains from upholstered chairs. For example, if your cat scratched your leather chair or a guest spilled red wine on the fabric of your recliner, you might be able to fix or reduce the damage with at-home repairs. However, there are some mishaps that should be addressed by a professional upholsterer. Here are a few:

Permanent stains. If your chair has a noticeably stain that just won’t come out , it’s time to have an upholsterer look at it. A professional will tell you whether the stain can be lifted through professional cleaning, or whether you should consider reupholstery or leather chair repair. Reupholstery gives you the freedom to redecorate your chair by changing the material, and both cleaning and reupholstery will be less expensive options than buying a brand new chair.

Large punctures, rips or tears. If there are large rips or other forms of noticeable damage on your furniture, you probably need to call a furniture repair company. A professional can remove the ripped or torn material, and can repair a chair so skillfully that no one will ever know it was damaged at all.

Pet soiling. Sometimes a professional cleaning can reduce or remove pet odor, but the scent of pet urine is often difficult to remove from leather or upholstery. The scent of cat urine is a well-known example, and a chair permeated with this odor will almost certainly need professional attention if it is to be saved.

Damage to a set. If one of your dining room chairs suffers a cigarette burn or a damaged arm and needs to be reupholstered, that chair may now stand out from the rest of the set. This situation may lead the owner to have the whole set reupholstered, to preserve the unity of the set.

Antique or unusual designs. If the damaged chair is a valuable antique or has uncommon materials or designs, going to a professional for repairs may be the best option. Professional upholsterers have access to specialized tools and a wide range of materials that allow them to match unusual or hard-to-find fabrics, woods, and accessories. Owners who wish to modify the design of antiques may also want to consult with a professional, rather than attempt to reupholster a chair themselves.

If the damage to your chair falls into one of these categories, it may be a good idea to consult a professional about your options. Often, professional cleaning or reupholstery can make a damaged chair look and feel like new. There are many professional reupholsters in the NYC area that will not just repair a chair, but take care of its transport as well.