Cushion reupholstery: Making the old new again

May 1, 2013

In our first how-to article, we demonstrated Trevor’s method for fabricating cushions from scratch by making new patterns. We discussed how this strategy gives the fabricator total control over the quality of the finished product; however, it is labor intensive and also requires all new materials, which can make it cost-prohibitive in certain instances. On …

Tips for better fitting tops

At Hood Canvas, as with any marine canvas shop, we like our tops to be tight and wrinkle-free. To accomplish this, certain rules must be followed in order to get consistent results, regardless of fabrication style. Fabric terminology Getting tops to fit correctly with the proper tension requires an even pull of the fabric fore …

Little white lies at work

March 1, 2013

Do you lie? “Of course not,” you’d probably respond to a question like this. You likely consider yourself a person of honesty and candor, someone who would never speak a falsehood. But what about those innocent “little white lies?” Those slight mistruths you proclaim in an effort to be polite or wiggle your way out …

Fabricating small side curtains

At Hood Canvas we fabricate our small side curtains with overlays of fabric along the bottom edges. The reason we do this is twofold. First, to minimize stretch and to facilitate folding, we cut our bottom attachments along the width of the fabric, selvage edge to selvage edge. Second, since most fabrics are only 60 …

Design techniques for interior fabrication

In our last article (Jan/Feb 2013 issue), we tackled cushion patterning. This story focuses on the design side of what Trevor and I do at Kennedy Custom Upholstery. There will always be those extremely straightforward jobs where plain white vinyl or gray canvas is the only choice. But for more complex jobs an informed design …

Made in the shade

January 1, 2013

A decade ago, shading on boats was relegated to permanent or semi-permanent structures. Marine fabricators, however, started to experiment with removable shade structures, and boaters got on board. “With all the concern about sun exposure and skin cancer, shade tops have really come to the forefront of people’s minds,” says Keith Purves of Riverside Covers …

Applying binding cutouts

At Hood Canvas, we use binders large and small in all our canvas fabrications. Some fabricators we know apply smaller edge bindings around corners by hand and get excellent results. Every shop has its method of applying edge bindings around cutouts, but it can be difficult, especially for new fabricators. In this article we are …

Patterning a cushion for the perfect fit

At Kennedy Custom Upholstery, we make cushions in every size and shape and for every use. And they all start with a good pattern. Some customers want to just drop off their old cushions for the fabricator to use as the template for the new ones, but for the most control over the result it …

First contact with customers

That first transaction with a new customer is all-important. It can cement the new relationship and lead to a lifetime of mutually profitable sales—if it’s managed right. That first transaction might be big or small, in-person or online. It might involve a purchase or it might center on a freebie. Make each first contact count …

Exceptional boat exteriors

September 1, 2012

The economic downturn left nearly every market in a state of unrest, and the boating industry is no exception. In the past several years, fewer boats have been built, but the news isn’t all bad, as fabricators and OEMs are turning a sluggish marketplace into opportunity. “The volume of units is not what it was, …