Recovers Offers More Opportunity for Revenue

Mike Cornell

Patio cushion recovers have taken off this year, perhaps because more people are creating their ultimate "staycation" places in their back yards, or they just want to update their existing patio sets with the latest outdoor fabrics. In any case, whether you are an awning or marine shop, being able to offer patio recovers is a great way to increase sales and offer another service to your customers - and many times the cushions are basic and easy to build.

Many sets have box cushions with softer pillow backs. The backs are usually not as fitted, and they build up very quickly. The inner pillow cushion just slips inside through a zipper on the bottom. The cushion styles vary, and they can have trim (welting/piping) along the edges in the same or contrasting color. Attachments of the cushions to the framework of the seating vary as well - most often, they are rectangle ties. These ties can take time to make and may require an additional tool for the shop, such as an iron.

The biggest challenge when making a patio set occurs when the customer picks a fabric with a pattern, which requires aligning the pattern correctly on all the seats and backs. Be sure to ask your customer to specify which way the pattern is to run, and then make notes on the cushions before you remove them. This way, when you get them back to the shop and they all look the same, you will know how the pattern should run on each of them and what cushion goes where. There can be up to 14 cushions, or more on larger sets, so it is important tao keep careful track of them!

Once the set is installed, your customer will probably invite their neighbors for dinner or cocktails. After viewing your shop’s handiwork, they are likely to give you another patio set order! 

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