Factors to Consider when Choosing Upholstery Fabrics


  • The choice of fabric for an upholstered furniture says a lot about a homeowner’s sense of style. If you are looking for some good advice on how you can improve your home décor, you have come to the right place.

    Some of the most important factors to consider when choosing upholstery fabrics include durability, cleanability, resistance to fading, and resistance to dirt. Another consideration is establishing how the different pieces of furniture are used and/or positioned in the house. There are pieces that are definitely subjected to daily wear and tear and there are those that are not. For pieces that will receive more abuse, you need to choose heavy duty and tightly woven fabrics. On the other hand, it is okay to use less durable fabric for the pieces with little traffic.

    When choosing fabric or buying upholstered furniture, there is an important fact to remember: if the fabric has a higher thread count, it is more tightly woven, meaning it is durable. The thread count is actually the number of threads per square inch of fabric.

    Fabrics are divided into two categories, natural and synthetic or manmade. Here is a list of the different upholstery fabrics that you can choose from.

    Natural Upholstery Fabrics

    Natural fabrics are made from all-natural ingredients, minus the chemicals and other manmade materials. Popular fabrics include:

    Linen – is a delicate fabric. It is best used on pieces that are placed in “adult areas” or in the more formal rooms of the house, where the furniture pieces are not used often. Linen soils and wrinkles easily, but it is fade-resistant. Leave their cleaning to the professionals because it has a tendency to shrink when not handled properly.

    Leather – is a tough material but it is easy to clean. You can just use damp cloth or vacuum.

    Cotton – is highly resistant to wear and fading. However, it is a little prone to wrinkling, and it is also highly flammable. The fabric’s durability depends on its finish and weave.

    Wool – is a durable and sturdy fabric. It resistant to fading, pilling, and wrinkling,

    Silk – like linen, silk is a delicate fabric that should only be used for pieces that are placed in “adult areas”.

    Synthetic Upholstery Fabrics

    Acetate – was manufactured to imitate silk. It can withstand mildew, shrinking, and pilling, but it tends to fade with too much sun exposure.

    Acrylic – was developed to mimic wool. It is resistant to wear, fading, soiling, and wrinkling.

    Nylon – is usually blended with other fabrics to make stronger blends.

    Polyester – is blended with other fabrics to make wrinkle-resistant fabrics.

    Rayon – imitates cotton, linen, and silk, and is highly durable.

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