Upholstery includes materials like fabric, webbings, springs, and padding to create the things we use on a daily basis – couches, chairs, and even headboards and other furniture. Choosing the right upholstery fabric is entirely dependent on where the intended piece will live. Things like household traffic, the amount of light a room receives, and natural fabric aging are factors to take into consideration. Because of this, there are fabrics that are better suited for specific uses than others. We’ll cover the most popular needs of homeowners to help you determine which type of upholstery fabric you need for the project at hand.
Natural and Synthetic Upholstery Fabrics
First, let’s talk about the different types of upholstery fabric. Natural fabrics are not man-made, but rather manufactured with natural materials like animal hide or plant matter. These include fibers like cotton, wool, silk, leather, and linen. Because of the way they’re produced, natural fabrics can be more costly than synthetic fabrics. Plus, options like cotton and linen can be easily stained. However, they often provide some of the most striking looks in upholstery. Synthetic fabrics are designed for performance using man-made materials. These fabrics include fibers like polypropylene, polyester, rayon, and acrylic. When used in fabrics, these fibers are typically quite durable and can be kept clean without much trouble. Many choose these fabrics for outdoor and high traffic furniture. One type is not necessarily better than the other. The choice between the two comes down to application.
The Busy Living Room and Other High Traffic Areas
Your living room is the area where your family comes together. You, your spouse, kids, and pets may watch TV, play games, or simply relax in this area of your home. Because of this, it’s considered a high traffic location and needs upholstery fabric that can stand up to constant wear and tear.
If you’d like to stick to natural fabrics, we recommend leather. Not only is it durable, but it’s super easy to clean and has a nice luxurious feel. Over time, leather will patina, which will be something you either love or hate. Many enjoy the natural darkening of leather, as it gives the impression of luxury. Wool is another great option for your high traffic areas. It won’t pill or stain, so your furniture will be in great shape year-round.
Fabrics like silk simply will not suffice for high traffic areas as they’re much too delicate. These are better suited for low traffic locations. If you don’t have children or pets, then silk may be an option for your living room. Want that silk or linen look without getting the real thing? Choose an upholstery fabric with rayon. Rayon was developed to imitate linen, silk, and cotton, so it’ll look wonderful without being as fragile as the fabrics it resembles.
While your living room and other high traffics areas may present restrictions in upholstery fabric options, your bedroom is likely free game! In general, your bedroom is probably a low traffic location since it’s mostly just for you and your spouse. In fact, you may not let kids or pets in there, so it stays tidy. This opens up the door to many more possibilities for upholstery!
You can go for luxurious fabrics like silk and velvet or lightly colored cotton and linen. Here, you can upholster a stylish headboard to match the room décor and re-upholster the chairs and other furniture to coordinate. The possibilities are endless since the danger of messy kids and pets is decreased (though if you know your bedroom is a hot spot, maybe stick with safer fabrics). You can also take advantage of synthetic fabrics like velvet that features nylon to help with crushing or other fabrics with polyester for wrinkle protection.
Outdoor Patio and Deck
Thinking about building new or re-upholstering outdoor furniture? Chairs and small sofas can really come in handy for those summer nights in the backyard with the family. You’ll need upholstery fabrics that perform well in the elements, since these pieces will be exposed to rain, humidity, and snow in some locations.
Synthetic fabrics are ideal for outdoor upholstery. Search for a fabric that uses fibers like olefin or polypropylene. These are synthetic fibers are incredibly durable and can be cleaned with the use of stain treatments. Acrylic is another synthetic fiber to look for in your fabric. It’s beloved for outdoor applications because it features great fade resistance and does well in resisting wrinkles and stains.
When shopping for the best upholstery fabric, there simply isn’t one answer! The right choice for your couches, chairs, ottomans, benches, and other furniture depends on many different factors that vary from household to household. Before starting a new upholstery project, take a moment to determine which fabric options will be the best for the room they’ll be living in. Note the light that the room receives, the typical amount of foot and paw traffic, and other factors. This will help you make the right choice the first time! Looks are important, but when selecting upholstery fabrics, the type of fibers in the natural or synthetic fabrics matter!
At Best Fabric Store, we carry hundreds of high-quality upholstery fabrics that will perfectly suit every room in your home. Whether you need options that suit bustling households or you’re searching for a very luxurious fabric for a few chairs in your dining or sunroom, we have a wide selection to choose from. In fact, our upholstery fabric (LINK https://bestfabricstore.com/fabric/home-decor-fabric/upholstery-fabric.html) collection has over 3,000 products! You’ll find beautiful, eye-catching fabrics for light, standard, and heavy-duty needs. If you’re simply repairing a worn chair or other piece of furniture, you can easily find a fabric option that closely resembles the one you’re replacing. No matter what, Best Fabric Store has you 100% covered!