How to tuck & roll upholstery

Written by jennifer young
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How to tuck & roll upholstery
Carriages often feature tuck and roll upholstery. (Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images)

Tuck and roll upholstery is an upholstery method that was first used on carriages. The method is now used to customise cards and restore antique carriages and automobiles. The visual characteristics of this method are rolls separated by vertical, horizontal or diagonal channels. The materials used for this upholstery method have changed over the years due to availability and changes in material performance.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Versare
  • Fabric marker
  • Vinyl
  • Scissors
  • 1-inch-thick foam
  • X-Acto knife
  • Sewing machine
  • Button thread
  • Silicon spray

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  1. 1

    Measure the area to be upholstered. Measure a piece of versare to match the upholstery area and cut it out. This will be used as the backing.

  2. 2

    Mark 3-inch sections across the length of the backing with a measuring tape and fabric marker. Count the sections.

  3. 3

    Measure and cut one piece of foam with an X-acto knife for each of the sections you marked. The foam pieces should be 3 inches wide and 1 inch shorter than the height of the backing. Bevel the ends of the foam pieces.

  4. 4

    Measure and cut a piece of vinyl that is slightly larger than the backing. Mark four 1/2-inch sections across the length of the vinyl with a measuring tape and fabric marker. The markings should be on the dull side of the vinyl. Lay the vinyl piece on top of the backing so the shiny side faces up.

  5. 5

    Thread the sewing machine with button thread. Sew the first marked area on the right edge of the vinyl to the first marked area on the right edge of the backing.

  6. 6

    Lightly coat a piece of foam with the silicon spray. Lay the foam between the backing and vinyl against the seam created in Step 5. Center the foam so equal amounts of backing can be seen on the top and bottom. Keep the backing flat and smooth out the vinyl over the top and edges of the foam. Sew the backing and vinyl together along the next marked line.

  7. 7

    Repeat the process of laying down the foam and vinyl and securing them until all of the foam has been used and the vinyl is secured along the last section line.

  8. 8

    Sew the backing to the vinyl on the top and bottom. Smooth out the vinyl along the bevelled edges in each section while sewing. Trim away excess vinyl and backing with a pair of scissors.

Tips and warnings

  • The thickness of the foam and the width of the channels can be changed depending on the final look that you want to create.

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