Ripped, torn, or cut vinyl on your Pilates equipment may not be a safety issue, but it sure ages the equipment. For most Balanced Body equipment replacing the foam and vinyl is easy and doesn’t require any upholstery skills! Click here to read more about the replacements you can do yourself. But for other pieces, custom upholstery is the only option besides buying a whole new one!
These pieces can include:
- – Sitting boxes
- – Mat conversions
- – Raised mats
- – Vinyl Moonboxes
As a maintenance tech, I’ve dabbled in custom re-upholstery. It was a lot of work, even though I had the right tools and am quite handy! By the end of the weekend the pads of my fingers were tender to the touch because they were pulled away from my fingernails so much, stretching the vinyl tight over the contours of the equipment. Since then I only refer my clients to local upholsterers for these kinds of jobs.
Upholstery is tough. Not only is it hard on your body, but if you don’t get it quite right it shows pretty darn quickly! Not being able to pull the vinyl tight enough can stretch out areas where clients kneel or sit very quickly. Sewing commercial-grade vinyl requires special sewing machines. Not using a high enough grade of vinyl can cause it to discolor, wear down, or rip prematurely.
To avoid these pitfalls, what do I recommend instead? Your local automotive upholsterer!
There are often several mobile automotive upholsterers in your area who are more than capable of coming to you and working on your equipment on-site. These professionals are often able to source vinyl for you if you don’t want to order by the yard,from the manufacturer. They can sew when needed, and they can do it quickly!
Still nervous about trusting someone from outside the Pilates industry? Go look at your car seat. Look at all those curves! Automotive upholsterers work with complicated geometry all day long. The relative squareness of Pilates equipment is so much less tricky than that.
If you can’t find a mobile upholsterer, you can also take pieces of your equipment to the upholsterer. Usually, this means that particular piece of equipment might be out of commission for a day or more, but if you do one piece at a time you can minimize the impact on your studio.
Remember, when looking for an upholsterer be sure to check their reviews on a website like Yelp and talk to them in-person or over the phone. They’ll often need some photos of the equipment to get an idea of what they’d be working on before giving you a quote.
As always, if you have any questions feel free to send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m happy to help.