The most effective component of
a piece of upholstered furniture is the fabric. From prints
to solids, cloths to leather to high-tech synthetics, the
options are endless for customizing your favorite furniture
piece and making adding an exciting look to your home.
Fabric is undoubtedly the life of an upholstered piece,
but it’s also the aspect of the furniture that gets
the most wear and tear. How do you pick a fabric that is
durable and that also makes the fashion statement that you
First, let’s look at some basic considerations:
Typically, it’s best if the fabric you choose matches
the style and character of the piece of furniture it is
to be covering. If the frame of your piece is rather traditional,
a more traditional fabric will probably pair well with it.
It’s also important to take into account where in
the house your furniture piece will be going and whether
the pattern fits with the overall style and size of the
room. Is your room big enough to handle a pattern? What
type of mood or color scheme does your room have? Does it
make more sense to use a warm color or a cool color?
When choosing a color, consider where the furniture piece
is going to be placed and who is going to be using it. If
you have small children, for example, a lighter color might
quickly lead to staining. For high traffic areas where staining
is typical, darker colors may be best. Similarly, you should
choose a fabric type that is appropriate for the traffic
level to the piece. If your furniture piece is going to
be experiencing daily use by multiple people, a durable,
tightly woven fabric is the best choice. In general, woven
fabrics wear better than printed fabrics.
Thread count refers to the number of threads per square
inch of fabric. More threads means more durability, so the
higher the thread count, the better the chances for long
If your furniture will be placed in direct sunlight, it’s
important to consider purchasing fade resistant fabric to
protect the piece.
Some common types of available fabrics are:
Cotton is a natural fiber and is resistant to fading, pilling,
and overall wear. However, cotton does soil easily. The
durability of cotton is wide ranging and depends on its
weave and finish.
The weave of cotton blends will affect the durability, but
in general cotton blends are sturdy and are good for homes
with children or high traffic levels.
Leather is extremely tough and also softens with age. It’s
available in a variety of colors making it a rather customizable
A fresh fabric, linen is best suited for formal or more
adult-oriented areas due to its tendency to wrinkle. It
also soils easily.
With a wide range of durability and look options, synthetic
fibers are very commonly used. Some synthetics include polyester,
rayon, and vinyl.