Monthly Archives: May 2013

Why We Light Fabric on Fire

I told him what I was looking for. He led me to the back wall, then
asked, “So, you got a swatch, maybe?” I nodded, and handed it to him.
“Now, listen, lady, I am going to do something that may look a little
strange. But, don’t worry..” He reached over onto the table, and
picked up, of all things, a cigarette lighter…

Read Cynthia’s story to see what happened:

Enter Cynthia:

Great Beckenstein story- one I have told for decades – the old pros
would love: Years ago, I was sewing a wedding dress for a young lady
whose Dad, (who had served in the American armed forces during WW2)
had brought back a length of fabric from Europe. Her Dad had passed
away by the time she was to be married and, she wanted so much to use
that silk to fashion her wedding gown. I was eager to fulfill Diane’s
wish. But sadly, there was not quite enough material to do that.

Arriving at the store on Orchard Street, I was apprehensive, because I
knew from experience that white formal fabric is one of the toughest
to match, and I needed several yards more to complete the gown.
Everything had come to a standstill for want of that silk!! When I
came in, I was greeted by a delightful little gentleman, one of those
Old World tailor types, measuring tape hanging over his shoulder, the
whole shebang.

I told him what I was looking for. He led me to the back wall, then
asked, “So, you got a swatch, maybe?” I nodded, and handed it to him.
“Now, listen, lady, I am going to do something that may look a little
strange. But, don’t worry..” He reached over onto the table, and
picked up, of all things, a cigarette lighter. He held up the corner
of the swatch, then lit it. It burned, and, as he crushed the small
flame, he muttered, “A little bit rayon..” Going over to a wall of
what looked like a hundred bolts of white silk, all of them seeming
identical to me, he pulled one out, unfurling it with a smile, and a
flourish. It was a perfect match. Diana’s dress could be finished at

I was speechless, convinced this man was some kind of magician. I have
gone to Beckenstein for years, but since that day, the status of your
establishment was elevated, in my estimation… at least tenfold. As I
said: I had been a shopper at the Orchard Street store prior to this
amazing incident, but nothing I have ever experienced, on my shopping
trips, anywhere since – quite equals that day!

I have told this story countless times, and always get the same reaction: “Wow!”

Huzzahs, and thank you,
CIndy Hawkins Legorreta/ on Union Square

We love this story, and wanted to share it with you.

We STILL have the expertise that made us famous amongst those that discovered and worked with us in the past, and we look forward to making magic for you as well.

We PROMISE we won’t light your couch on fire. 😉

Beckenstein Fabrics Featured in Design Hunting Summer 2013

cover of NY mag with text smaller

In the Summer 2013 issue of Design Hunting from New York Magazine, Beckenstein Fabrics and Interiors was featured as one of the best places for window treatments!

At this producer of stunning curtains, one of six experts )among them owner Garry Greenberg) consults with you on your first visit. Your pro helps you decide which of the store’s 100,000 fabrics will work for you, what hardware compliments it, and what design suits your space.


Osborne & Little: Embroidered Linens, Crisp Printed Cotton, and Woven Silks with Direct Wallpaper Companions

Check out these gorgeous items from Osborne & Little.

Persian Garden

The glamour and mystery of ancient Persia is evoked in this collection of embroidered linens, crisp printed cotton and woven silks. Colorways from the contemporary Osborne & Little palette include mustard, turquoise, fuchsia, coral, tomato, lavender and lime combined with cooler tones of grey, silver and taupe. These patterns have direct wallpaper companions.

osbourne 4 osbourne 3 osbourne 2 osbourne 1

View the O&L fabrics, here.

View the O&L wallpapers, here.

And when you’re ready to make orders, get in touch with us by calling 877-648-4644, or by clicking here.

Testimonial: Drapes, Roman Shades, and Solar Shades

We just received a really nice email from a client of ours. We worked on her mother-in-law’s apartment. Here’s what she had to say:

Garry, the drapes, roman shades and solar shades came out superb!… Really beautifully done – thank you! I also liked the hardware, simple and chic…

No matter how big or small the job, we love what we do. Take a look at a couple of pictures of this cozy apartment space featuring our work:

cozy-apartment-1 cozy-apartment-2

Upholstery NYC: 3 Important Things to Know

Here are some things to take into consideration with regards to upholstery and reupholstery:

Does the interior of the piece to be upholstered need work first?

Squeaky springs are a sure sign that it does. It means that replacement clips need to be replaced, usually. If coil springs are popping up to the surface, the piece will have to be stripped to the frame to make the fixes. Lastly, if foam cushions feel grainy and don’t bounce back after pressure, they will need to be replaced. This all might seem overwhelming, but it’s certainly better to take care of structural problems before making the surface look pretty. And this brings us to the next point:

There’s a difference between reupholstering and recovering. 

Recovering involves simply removing the outermost layer and replacing it with a new fabric, new leather, etc. Reupholstering, on the other hand, takes into account the structural makeup of the seat below the outermost covering. It’s a rare case, however, that when the fabric is removed, the inside doesn’t need to be replaced. So, though recovering is technically less work, and uses less materials, more often than not the structural components also need to be replaced to make the job look and feel high quality. At Beckenstein, for example, we rarely if ever just recover something. Our experience has shown that for a piece to be finished properly, the structural components do need replacing.

Find an expert to upholster or reupholster your pieces.

When done at a high level of expertise, upholstering done properly can result in years and years of excellent service and resilience. But it’s complicated, skilled work. Much of today’s modern upholstery is engineered with large, stitched-on piece covers capped onto padded frames, and only experienced, highly skilled labor gets the job done right. It doesn’t have to break the bank, but ultimately you get what you pay for. Spending a little more now means saving a lot more down the road. Plus, it’s tough to sit in a chair that’s in a workroom every year!

Beckenstein Fabrics has been in business for over one hundred years. We are THE experts for reupholstery, the best resource for fabrics, and the leader in custom furniture design and construction. We’ve worked on everything from apartments
in NYC, to penthouses, to larger commercial jobs like libraries and restaurants and more. Get in touch with us. We love what we do, and we look forward to hearing from you.