The upholstery fabric for the furniture in your home or office is definitely a big investment, thus you cannot afford to be second-guessing your choice several months after purchasing it. It is essential to establish what your real needs are in terms of the desired outcome upon the installation of the upholstery fabric, to minimize the chances of regret or the wastage of resources.

Different fabrics, with their different colors and designs, present different pros and cons, and you should be well-informed about which one to pick before you pay a single dime. Below are some of the very crucial fabric elements that you should consider.

Durability is important

Regardless of the amount of money you are willing to put into the purchase of the upholstery fabric, all your efforts will go down the drain if you select a fabric that is not durable. You can determine the durability of the upholstery fabric you want to purchase by checking its rating on the double rub test that is administered by the manufacturer. The double rub test usually mimics the wear and tear that results from a person sitting on the upholstered fabric on a seat, over a given period.
Durability is important
Fabrics that have a higher number of double rubs are perceived to be more durable and of better quality. For example, an upholstery fabric that has a 100,000 double rubs is more durable than the one having 10,000 double rubs. Once you have established that the upholstery fabric has higher double rubs, you can proceed to inquire about other indicators of durability, such as whether is it is:

  • Treated to last
  • Stain-resistant
  • Water repellant
  • UV resistant

Some of the above-listed factors may not necessarily be important, depending on the manner that the seats you want to install the upholstery fabric on will be used. If the seat is simply for decorative purposes, then you can simply settle on any type of fabric, provided that it presents you with the much-needed aesthetic value.

Caring for fabric

Upon picking the perfect upholstery fabric it will be necessary for you to take care of it in the right manner so that it can serve you for long. You, therefore, cannot rely on traditional washing approaches such as dry cleaning. This is why it is crucial, in the first place, to choose stain repellent upholstery fabric that will not get need regular cleaning. If you want to dry clean the upholstery fabric, you can do so before using it on your furniture.

Afterward, you can use spot cleaners that are meant to be used on upholstery fabric, or you can simply outsource cleaning services from upholstery cleaning service provider. Fabric protectant spray will also come in handy in the maintenance of the upholstery fabric in the best condition possible.

Get the right fabric (types)

Get the right fabric
There is a wide variety of upholstery fabrics in the market. Each comes in a different color, unique weight, and specific treatment approach. Some of the most common types of upholstery fabric include:

  • Chenille – if you are looking for fabric that will withstand heavy use by those who sit on your furniture, then chenille will do the magic for you. This fabric is similar to velvet but has a cut pile, which helps in abrasion resistance, and the provision of comfort.
  • Faux suede – This is essentially a polyester multi-weave upholstery fabric that has a surface abrasion treatment meant to give it a fuzzy suede-like look and feel. It is perfect for use in homes where there are many couch users, as well as pets. Its strength, abrasion resistance, and easy-to-clean characteristics make it a favorite amongst many homeowners.
  • Velvet – Velvet presents a luxuriously soft feel. It can withstand heavy usage while still presenting an aesthetic feel to any living room. If you take care of all spills immediately, you will have no problem maintaining the velvet fabric on your couches.
  • Basketweave/ tweed – Basketweave fabric with a high double rub rating is perfect for use in any home setting. If it has a lower double rub rating, however, you should not install it on furniture that is bound to have heavy usage.
  • Faux leather –This fabric is typically easy to clean, and is an excellent choice for those who want to install upholstery fabric on their children’s furniture. The fabric can also be used on high-usage pieces of furniture.
  • Canvas – This fabric is ideal for those who want to showcase any form of art or creative pattern on their furniture. It is, however, more suitable for moderate-use furniture, and other decorative pieces such as pillows.

Common Fibers used

Upholstery fabrics are made using certain types of fibers. Each fiber has unique characteristics. Manufacturers, therefore, have the option of blending the fibers to combine the characteristics. Some of the main fibers that are used to make upholstery fabrics include:

1. Olefin

  • Durable
  • Colorfast
  • Easy to clean
  • Excellent for heavy-use upholstery

2. Acrylic

  • Durable
  • Colorfast
  • Easy to clean
  • Excellent for heavy-use upholstery

3. Wool

  • Luxurious
  • Has a great texture and feel
  • Does not lose its shape
  • Less resistant to most stains ( Stain resistance treatment or blending with other fabrics can solve this problem)

4. Cotton

  • It is breathable and comfortable
  • It is budget-friendly
  • It is not fade resistant

5. Nylon

  • Durable
  • Has high abrasion resistance
  • It is easy to clean

6. Linen

  • It is very strong
  • It is classic
  • Breathable
  • Less resistant to stains
  • Less resistant to fading
  • Not good for heavy use
  • Excellent for heirloom pieces

7. Polyester

  • Durable
  • Easy to clean
  • Low to moderate abrasion resistance

Color choice to make a statement

Color choice to make a statement
The color choice you make is fully dependent on several factors, including:

1. The anticipated use of furniture

Depending on how heavily or lightly you expect to use your furniture, you should settle on an upholstery fabric that will serve you best. Natural beige has for instance been perceived as a color that is excellent at hiding dirt. The same goes for dark colors.

2. The mood you want to create

You can choose your upholstery fabric depending on the mood that you intend to bring up. In most cases, an airy and inviting mood is what most homeowners are looking for. Light colors are excellent mood elevators, and can, therefore, be used in any home setting.