Why Custom Upholstery Furniture Makers are Delayed

The “Voilà!” Makes it All Worth It

My love for custom upholstery runs deep. It is so fun to create a piece that us truly unlike any other. Once you finally place that piece into the room you designed it for, you can stand back and say, “Voilà!”

With current order delays and long upholstery lead times, ordering custom upholstered pieces may seem like the last thing you want to do. Understanding the reasons why custom upholstery furniture makers are delayed may help you see past the time spent waiting and look more towards the light at the end of the tunnel – your very own one-of-a-kind exceptional piece.

Katilin Petersen, Editor in Chief of trusted industry resource Business of Home revealed why pieces are so backed up in a recent article for House Beautiful titled, “The Waiting Game.” Below is a summary of her reveal in 5 points.

1. You start at the back of the line

As soon as you hit the “purchase” button, you are at the end of a long queue of backlogged orders, as your made-to-order piece gets scheduled into production for coming weeks.

2. Fabric Production has been disrupted

Belgium, India, Turkey, and countries throughout Asia are the main manufacturers of textile production – and their operations were shut down for months due to the pandemic. Some fabric is kept in stock, but output delays at the mills and long shipping times can hold up a piece for weeks. Mills shrank their production plans and are now short on supplies while facing an incredible surge of new orders.

3. Wood and metal parts can be hard to come by

Furniture makers and builders are at competition for attention from lumber mills. High end manufacturers use very specific kiln-dried hardwoods to frame their pieces, which means they don’t have many other options for backup as they do not want to sacrifice the quality of their pieces.

4. There is a shortage of skilled labor

Furniture factories stopped production for upwards of two months during 2020. Due to backed up orders and new safety procedures, the pace of work in factories slowed down. Staffing up to get orders into production is nearly impossible. Some sewing techniques, coil spring tying, and other upholstery work can take years for new employees to learn.

5. Suppliers are rationing foam

Think of a sofa with a firm back, squishy cushions, and a sturdy seat. Each section is made of different types of foam that are acquired from different suppliers. When the demand for furniture skyrocketed, foam vendors started rationing their supply because they were not able to replenish their supply of the chemicals needed to create more.

The challenges the industry is facing now will make it stronger, and therefore improve operations down the line. Waiting months for a piece that will last a lifetime, an heirloom piece that can be passed down for generations, is very much worth the wait. Contact us when you are ready for your very own, “Voila!” moment. (484) 223-3301