It may seem exciting to have an abundance of fabric options to choose from, but without some basic knowledge, the search for the right upholstery can become overwhelming. We hope this guide will help you find the best fabric for your upholstery that will meet both your needs and your style.
Now, onto the basicsâ€¦
When it comes to fabric, itâ€™s necessary to have some knowledge about fabric content, fabric types and pattern types. Letâ€™s break those down a bit.
Fabrics can be broken down into two categories: natural fibers and synthetic (man-made) fibers. Here weâ€™ll go through a brief look at the pros and cons of each.
- Cotton: soft, absorbent, breathable and durable, but fades easily.
- Linen: airy, breathable and light, but tends to have hard plant fibers and wrinkles easily.
- Wool: warm, durable but not the best for upholstery.
- Silk: strong with a beautiful sheen but prone to fading if placed in direct sun.
- Leather: tough, easy to clean and ages well.
- Hemp: durable but wrinkles easily.
- Acrylic: inexpensive, maintains shape and resists sunlight however, it builds static electricity and pills easily.
- Polyester: very durable and comes in a variety of patterns, colors and textures; great for stains, yet doesnâ€™t handle oils (from bodies or food) very well.
- Nylon: durable and stain resistant.
- Olefin: durable but can pill easily.
- Rayon: fairly strong and affordable but stretches easily.
Fibers are turned into fabric through several different processes. Two popular fabric types are woven, non-woven and printed.
- Woven fabrics are woven together on a loom and can be made with intricate designs of multiple colors to simple designs of few colors.
- Non-woven fabrics are bonded, rather than woven together, and are often adhered to a knit backing for stability.
There is a wide variety of patterned upholstery fabric, but here are some common terms to become familiarized with:
- Florals (sometimes called Jacquards)
- Paisleys (tear-drop shape)
- Body cloths (solid colors and textures)
- Geometrics (squares, circles, etc)
- Stripes (includes pinstripes and ombres
- Plaids (includes checks, ginghams and houndâ€™s tooth
- Novelties (unusual designs)
Before you start making decisions, there are a few things to consider. Something very important to keep in mind is how the furniture will be used and where it will be located. This will help determine just how tough your fabric needs to be. Two other things to think about are the style of the furniture and the size of the room. This will help you narrow down pattern and color. Most importantly however, is that you need to love the fabric. Upholstering a piece of furniture is an investment, so make sure that itâ€™s a fabric you will enjoy for many years to come.
Need to find a fabric store nearby in northern Houston? Stop by Interior Fabrics located at 6705 Fm 1960 Rd W Houston, Tx 77069, where you will find endless discount designer fabrics for any project!