Upholstery Materials and Fabrics: Which to Use Upholstery Materials and Fabrics: Which to Use

Upholstery is available in so many different materials and fabrics that making a choice is often confusing. To make the best choice for your home, you must consider your unique needs, the surrounding decor, amount of use the upholstery will be subject to, weather conditions and also the placement of the furniture.

Points to Consider when Purchasing Upholstery Fabric

How much wear and tear will your upholstery be subjected to? If you are purchasing the upholstery fabric for furniture that will be used everyday by your family, choose a tough fabric that has a high stain resistance. High thread count is also a factor that will work in your favor, as it indicates better resistance to wear and tear. Silk and linen are examples of fabrics that will not take too much abuse. If you have pets with claws, expensive leather is not a good option. Otherwise, it is a tough and durable material that lasts long and gets better with age.

Will the upholstery fabric selected achieve the mood you desire? Keeping in mind the mood and ambiance you want to achieve in your room, you must be careful about the colors you select. Upholstery fabric is available in a wide variety of colors. Warm colors can alter the ambiance and make it livelier. Similarly, cool colors can make the mood more relaxing and soothing. The pattern and style of the upholstery fabric must also match the décor of your room and home. Avoid large, bold patterns and colors for small rooms. Choose darker colors if your children or pets will also be using the upholstery.

How much sunlight and natural elements will the upholstery be subjected to? Wool, cotton, nylon and olefin are examples of materials that do not offer a high resistance to fading. If you plan to place your upholstery in an open location with plenty of sunlight, choose a fabric like olefin, polyester or acrylic. Some fabrics also have sunlight resistant properties added during the process of manufacturing. Labeled ‘fade resistant’ or ‘sunlight resistant’, such fabrics will last longer if kept in a bright location.

Popular Upholstery Fabrics

Leather is probably the most popular upholstery fabric ever. It is tough and long lasting and looks better as it ages. It also offers the ultimate in comfort. It is however, one of the more expensive choices, which is why it must be taken care of properly. Scratches or tears on the surface can lead to very expensive repairs.

Silk is a luxurious type of upholstery fabric. It is also available in artificial versions and blends. It is suitable for formal occasions, and can not withstand the wear and tear of daily use. It also requires professional cleaning from time to time.

Cotton and cotton blends are also good choices for upholstery, and are available in a wide variety of weaves. It can however, absorb spills very quickly, leading to stains. Wool is another natural material that is popular in colder climates. It is also available in blends, which are generally easier to clean.

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