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Choosing Upholstery Fabric


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 want?

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
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 term use.

Fade Resistance:
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.

Cotton Blend
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 option.

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.

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NYC Furniture Upholstery | Manhattan Commercial Upholstery | New York City Sofa Reupholstery
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