Good Questions: "Green" Reupholstery in Chicago?

Good Questions: "Green" Reupholstery in Chicago?

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Janel Laban
Feb 1, 2007

Diana sent in a great question: "We have a great vintage sofa that just needs reupholstering. However, we're not crazy about the side-effects that come with a typical reupholstery job: new synthetic foams, flame retardant chemicals (many of which are banned in other countries, but not here), outgassing adhesives, teflon "fabric treatments," etc.

I know that we can purchase a new "green" sofa that uses natural materials and minimal chemicals, but doing that while putting our old sofa into a landfill seems absurd. Besides, we just really like this sofa. It's been perfectly solid for 60+ years, and probably has another 60 years to go if it's properly treated.

Basically, we want to find an upholsterer in the city or suburbs who uses (or is interested in and willing to use) natural materials in their reupholstery work. For us this would mean latex foams, cotton and wool battings, feathers and down, low-emission adhesives, and minimally treated upholstery fabrics. Can you or any of your knowledgeable readers point us in the right direction?"
Thanks so much! Diana

We thought Diana's question was such a good one - we had sofas reupholstered about 18 months ago and we really didn't inquire or think about the materials used beyond what they would look like...

To find an answer we contacted Greenmaker Building Supply who put us in touch (thanks, Gwen!) with Marny at Healthy Green Goods in Evanston. Marny's shop is a great resource for many eco-friendly home goods (store post coming soon) but she has yet to delve into upholstery services.

In response to our question she recommended contacting Verde Design Studio and New Leaf Interiors.

Any other suggestions or ideas for green re-upholstery options out there? Let us know....

(Image: Verde Design Studio's Gaby Chair with biodegradeable rubber foam cushioning, hand built in Chicago)

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