Expensive upholstered furniture is an investment and one you’re likely to have around for quite some time. Now, before you rush out and buy that red velvet chaise lounge you’ve always wanted, you might want to consider its suitability first. One factor that’s often overlooked is the upholstery fabric and weave that the piece is upholstered from. If you go wrong in choosing your fabric and weave, stains, snags and even fading could be an issue later down the line.
So, how do you select the best upholstery fabric for furniture? Well, you simply need to consider the aforementioned factors.
Before You Select an Upholstery Fabric
Most experts recommend considering your practical needs for selecting such a fabric. In short, you should consider your requirements for selecting one. For example, it makes sense to consider your lifestyle and the people who will use the furniture.
Doing so assists in choosing the right type of material. Considering the requirements also guides how to prefer a needed fabric over a wanted one whom you wish to use for life.
Considering your requirements also involves focusing on naughty kids and hairy pets. Well, gone are those days when messy kids and pets stayed confined to a specific area in the home due to the fear of spoiling the furniture’s upholstery.
Today, you will come across a variety of upholstery fabrics that are pet- and kid-friendly and durable without compromising good looks. For instance, if you have any of the two at home, consider the faux suede fabric, slipcovered upholstery, or an indoor-outdoor fabric that can resist most abuses from them. Even a distressed leather fabric does its job in keeping scratches and grazes away.
Another aspect to add to your requirements is the kind of lifestyle at home. For example, in the case of a busy life at home, avoid selecting a textured or too soft fabric such as silk. These fabrics are not resistant to abuse, especially stains and are vulnerable to pulls.
Similarly, consider the furniture’s shape. If it is evenly curved, a solid coloured upholstery fabric is your best bet. A pattern with a typical orientation might not deliver a reliable fabric. Last but not the least; keep the furniture’s size in mind. A fabric in a solid colour for a big furniture item is likely to retain your engagement and interest for years.
The colour that you choose should be the one with which you would love to live for a long time. For instance, a bold fabric colour for a big furniture item in a small room may not be interesting for a long time. In this case, a neutral colour works better.
Do consider the warm and cool colours, as they tend to influence not only your mood but also of your room. Similarly, do not go for a trendy colour if you do not really like it. It does not take much time for them to be outdated.
While You Select an Upholstery Fabric
While assessing durability, consider finding double rubs, which is a numerical indicator. If this measure is between 8,000 and 10,000, the fabric is meant for light use and is unable to resist the daily wear and tear. Do not use them in a living room. You can read more about tub tests here.
Medium-use material has 10,000 to 15,000 double rubs. These fabrics often include a mix of cotton, rayon, and polyester. You can use one such material for a couch in a living room. For best in durability, a heavy-use fabric with more than 15,000 double rubs is the best choice. This includes chenille and polyester and other fibre blends.
Once you are done with choosing the colour, material, and durability; it is time to review the style. The fabric should match with the style of the furniture item it is covering. As a rule of thumb, a traditional fabric style is better for conventional furniture.
Even pattern has its own role to play here. Its width and length should gel with the room’s size. For example, a big and repeating pattern is ideal for a furniture item in a larger room. Do also consider how a fabric shall age with time. For this, find out the material’s composition cleaning requirements.
The last piece of the puzzle is the costs. There are two options when it comes to sourcing fabric. Firstly there are running line fabrics, which are still in production are easily sourced and come in a vast variety of weaves, colours and patterns. Quantities are always in supply so you should never run into supply issues should you need more material. Finding suppliers is easy as there will plenty of stores both online and down the high street. The primary downside to this approach is the costs will be significantly higher.
The other alternative is an end of line upholstery fabric. These fabrics, as the name suggests are no longer being produced. Quantities are limited, so finding the right fabric is going to be much more difficult. The high street rarely supplies these sorts of fabrics, so you’ll often be forced to search online, which can be a potential minefield if you’re not careful. Look for specialists in supplying end of line upholstery fabric for furniture such as Selby Soft Furnishings or other suppliers on eBay and Etsy. Make the sure fabric you’re purchasing isn’t damaged stock or manufacturer rejects. The golden rule is always getting a sample before you buy.