When thinking about upholstering your sofas, chairs, and other furniture pieces, the wide array of choices (one example of which is Crevin Chic upholstery fabric) can make choosing the right material a bit confusing and difficult. Should you pick a neutral color or bold? Solid or pattern? Leather or fabric? There are endless possibilities to showcase your personality while setting the mode and tone of a room with upholstery.
Undertaking an upholstery project is a huge investment. The last thing you want is to invest in the wrong material, pattern, or color, which can end up ruining the whole room instead of making it more attractive and comfortable.
Here are the four essential considerations when choosing upholstery fabric:
The durability of the fabric is crucial if you are to upholster a piece that receives constant wear and tear. This is determined by double rub ratings – the higher the number of double rubs, the more durable the fabric is.
Unless you need upholstery fabrics for decorative details like curtains and pillows, consider buying those with at least 15,000 double rubs. That way, your furniture won’t quickly look worn out and old, thus avoiding the need to reupholster or replace your furnishings each year.
Apart from higher double runs, you must also look for upholstery fabrics treated for performance, such as water repellent properties, stain resistance, and UV resistance.
2. Fabric type
There are many different upholstery fabric options, with each having its own charm and distinctive impact. Knowing how one fabric differs from another can help you decide which type is best for your furniture pieces.
Polyester is a commonly used upholstery fabric because it offers the comfort that most homeowners desire. It is also available in many colors, easy to clean, stain-resistant, and dries up fast in case of washing or spills.
But polyester is a tensile fabric, meaning it stretches over time. It can also crack easily when exposed to fluctuating or extreme temperatures.
Leather is also a widely used upholstery fabric because it looks luxurious, smells expensive, and feels grand. It is easy to maintain and highly durable, and doesn’t absorb spilled materials.
But compared to other upholstery fabric options, leather is harder and more expensive.
Wool is a natural fabric that is available in many varieties. It is warm and soft, making it one of the most comfortable upholstery fabric options. It is also eco-friendly, water- and fire-resistant, and durable. It does not fade nor wrinkle. Most importantly, it has an insulating property.
But like leather, wool is an expensive fabric type.
Cotton makes the most durable upholstery. You can find it in any color because it can easily be dyed. It also comes in different grades, which makes it the most budget-friendly upholstery fabric type. Moreover, it is comfortable, soft, breathable, and can withstand abrasion and pilling. Above all, it is hypoallergenic, making it suitable for people suffering from different types of allergies.
However, cotton easily wrinkles and soaks in spills. And since it is easy to dye, it can catch unintended tones from your garments and other tinting objects.
Silk is a luxurious fiber with unmatched softness and shine, making it a great investment for formal decorations. When cared for and maintained well, it will last for a long time. It also comes in different patterns, designs, and colors. Most importantly, it retains its shape very well.
But silk is a delicate fabric that often needs dry-cleaning. It is also susceptible to sun damage and is very receptive to fading and spills.
Linen comes from the flax plant but is often mixed with synthetic fibers to enhance its characteristics. It is a super comfortable material because it is very soft and smooth to the touch. It is also among the strongest and most affordable fabrics. It even gets stronger as it becomes wet. Moreover, it is highly resistant to fading and mildew.
However, like cotton, linen is prone to soiling and wrinkling. It even requires professional cleaning to prevent shrinkage.
Rayon is a semi-synthetic fiber that offers similar comfort to that provided by true natural fibers. Its newer varieties are commonly used in upholstered home furnishings. Besides being affordable, rayon is also comfortable, soft, and resistant to mildew and moths.
But rayon can’t retain its original look and feel for a long time, especially if it gets wet frequently. It is also prone to wrinkling and scratches.
Olefin is a synthetic fiber that is highly durable and well suited for areas where furniture is exposed to constant wear. It is resistant to water, fire, chemicals, and fading.
However, olefin is vulnerable to light, heat, and oil. Oil-based stains are too difficult to remove. And when overexposed to sunlight, the fabric becomes brittle.
Acetate is a synthetic fabric that looks like silk because of its shine and luster. It gives any furniture an elegant feel. It is also resistant to pilling, humidity, and mildew.
But acetate wrinkles easily, lacks strength and elasticity, catches stains quickly, and is not suitable for daily use.
Acrylic is a synthetic fiber that mimics wool. It is sun-safe, easy to clean, and dries fast.
However, it melts when exposed to flame and heat. It may also develop extreme pilling and trigger allergies.
Chenille is a naturally sourced fabric that is highly stretchable, making it one of the best upholstery fabrics for children’s furniture pieces.
However, chenille is not good for homes with pets. Debris and dust may also accumulate in the long fibers easily.
3. Fabric care
Most upholstery fabrics are not suitable for traditional washing. The key is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and opt for fabrics that are easy to clean and resistant to spills and stains.
Generally, have the fabric dry-cleaned before use. Once upholstered, make sure to use only the recommended spot cleaners of each fabric type.
The best color for the fabric you must buy will greatly depend on the furniture’s function. Going neutral guarantees that the furnishing goes well with almost all decoration styles. Darker shades can help hide wear and dirt. Lighter hues create an inviting, airy mood in the room.
There are plenty of options for upholstery fabrics in the market. The trick to choosing the perfect material for your upholstery project is to look into all the possible choices and decide which among them caters to your needs and the purposes of your living spaces.
Understanding the fabric’s durability level, types, and care instructions can go a long way when it comes to picking fabric that is not just budget-friendly and stunning, but can also last for many years to come.