Have you ever been faced with so many choices you literally had no idea what to choose? This is what happens when you go shopping for upholstery. There is an endless array of fabrics that go from patterned to leather that you may not know what suits your home best.
The right fabric is an investment because it will not only complement your home, but you have to stay in love with it in the long run. Picking the best upholstery fabric is fun but challenging. The first line of thought is where it’ll be going.
If you intend to find the best fabric for sofa upholstery, you must look for a durable fabric and a darker palette if the sofa sits in a high-use room. Neutral fabrics go well with large furniture, while patterned fabrics go well with smaller pieces.
Beyond that, functionality is key, so assess the level of abuse the piece is likely to endure before making a choice. Let’s dig deeper and find out more about choosing the best upholstery fabric.
Different fabrics are associated with different moods and feelings. Do you want the fabric to blend in with the rest of the surrounding, or would you like it to stand out and accentuate the furniture? The secret here is to find a fabric that is cohesive with your decor.
For instance, leather gives off a masculine feel but a sleek appearance. Line, on the other hand, has a shabby but chic and rustic look. It’ll give your home a classic farmhouse look. Velvet is always dramatic and bold.
The aesthetic appeal of the fabric plays a huge role in what kind you choose. The material of the fabric may also determine the color you get because not all materials can be dyed in the colors you may be looking for.
The Fabric Content
Fabrics come in two categories, which are synthetic and natural. The content of the fabric refers to the specific threads woven to form the fabric. Some natural fabrics include linen, cotton, silk, and wool. These fabrics are much softer to the touch, but this means they are less durable as well.
When combined with synthetics threads, which include acrylic, viscose, and polyester, they become stronger but remain soft. Designers refer to the content of the fabric as the “hand” to determine how it feels to the touch.
Heavy and thick fabrics are textured and less smooth, making them a good option for casual rooms. Softer and smoother fabrics are better suited for formal settings.
The Color of the Fabric
The color is usually the first thing most people think about when choosing the best upholstery fabric.
When it comes to color, you need to answer several questions before making a choice. To start with, who’ll be using the upholstered furniture? If the area is prone to spills and stains, darker colors are much easier to manage.
Darker colors are also much suited to casual spaces that experience high traffic and are more prone to snack debris or dirty shoes. Rooms that don’t experience much natural light, like lounges or media rooms, require moody colors such as blacks, browns, or dark blues.
On the other hand, children’s rooms or game rooms are relaxed, and hence deserve bolder colors such as yellow, red, or green. Lighter colors such as whites, creams, or light grey are more suitable for low traffic spaces or formal areas.
The durability of a fabric is determined by the double rub count, which means the amount or rubs it’ll take to start showing wear. This is also where you determine what you intend to use the upholstery fabric for. The most durable upholstery fabric will have high rub counts and are more suitable for furniture, such as sofas.
Maintenance is an aspect you cannot overlook. The best upholstery fabric for your home depends on how well you can maintain it.
If you decide to settle on leather, for instance, you can wipe anything from it. If you choose to go with fabrics like velvet, you should be ready for very visible stains, and if you choose to go with delicate fabrics like silk, you should be prepared for professional cleaning.
It would help if you decided what level of maintenance you’re ready for before choosing the best upholstery fabric for your home.
Fabrics fade, and that’s a fact. Photo-degradation is caused by light, which makes the dyes in the fabrics break down. UV light is the worst, but heat may also contribute to the fading and distortion of the fabrics.
If you intend to set the upholstery in a space that’s bound to receive a generous amount of sunlight, go with fabrics that don’t fade easily.
If you have fur babies, you must think about them when choosing an upholstery fabric. Choose a fabric that’s not likely to attract pet hair and one that doesn’t stain easily. Avoid textured or loose fabrics because they’ll hook onto the claws of your pets.
If you have allergies run in the family, consider hypoallergenic fabrics as they prevent allergens from penetrating them.
The best upholstery fabrics are not cheap, and they come in a wide variety of prices depending on quality and material. Of course, not all great fabrics that have all your desirable properties will be expensive.
With modern technology, fabrics are more sophisticated and more affordable. Do some research and check out high end upholstery fabric professionals such as Marge Carson Furniture.
Heavy fabrics tend to be more dense and thicker, which means they let in less light and last longer. If you are looking for the best upholstery fabric for curtains, then heavy fabrics are a great choice. However, they are less breathable and not ideal for most furniture types.
Choosing the Best Upholstery Fabric
Choosing the best upholstery fabric means finding a balance between form and function. Most people are usually concerned about durability, comfort, and aesthetic appeal. The design and construction of the fabric, however, is also important. Try to pick timeless fabrics that will last a long time.
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