Choosing the right materials for making upholstery for your furniture can be a difficult process if you are new to it and you do not know where to begin. There are plenty of fabrics available in the market and choosing the right one for your upholstery can be quite challenging. How do you choose the right fabric? Here at LCR Services, we will be discussing how to choose the best material for your upholstery. Check out the information on different types of fabric and make an informed decision when choosing the right fabric for your upholstery.

What is Upholstery?

Upholstery refers to the materials or items that make up the coverings of furniture like chairs and sofas. It includes the fabric, padding, springs, and webbing of the furniture. Different types of materials can be used in the upholstery of furniture. Nowadays, the structure of modern furniture also includes metal springs and foam because of their durability. 

What Are the Important Aspects to Consider When Choosing the Right Fabric for Your Upholstery?

Durability

When choosing a fabric for your upholstery, you should make sure to consider its durability. It’s to be expected that your furniture will be used a lot of times, so it will be prone to wear and tear. The fabric’s durability is usually determined by how it is rated on the manufacturer-administered double rub test. This test is done by performing a back and forth motion that resembles wear and tear, which is caused by someone sitting on the seat a lot of times. If the fabric gets a high number of double rubs, then it means the quality is great, is durable, and can withstand heavy use. 

Treated for Performance

You must choose a fabric that can withstand heavy use. It is normal to experience accidents like drink spills if you have visitors or small children in the home. Your fabric must be water-repellent and stain-resistant. If the seat will be regularly exposed to direct sunlight, then you need to choose a fabric that has been treated for UV resistance. 

If you are going to design an upholstery project that is not commonly used, like decorative or heirloom pieces, for example, then its durability may not be an important factor to consider since it will not be subjected to heavy use. You can choose different types of fabrics like wool, linen, cotton, and silk. Keep in mind to choose fabrics that belong to the medium and heavyweight range. 

Consider the Furniture

When choosing fabrics and materials for your furniture, you should also consider its shape. If you have furniture that is designed with a lot of curves, then you can opt for fabrics with solid colors. Fabrics with textures and patterns that have distinct directions may not work for curved designs. You also need to take into consideration the size of the furniture piece. A large sofa can be used with a solid color or neutral classic colors. If you own a smaller piece, then you can beautify it with fabrics that have striking colors, shades, or patterns. You should also make sure to consider the other pieces in the room so that you can create harmony and balance by choosing the right colors, patterns, and textures. 

Color

The color of the fabric will depend on the type of use your furniture will endure. You can opt for a beige-colored fabric as it can help hide dirt. Since it is a neutral color, it can be combined with various décor styles for your room. You can also consider light, solid colors for a bright and airy appearance in the room. Dark colors and patterns are usually recommended for hiding excessive wear and dirt. Bright and fun colors or patterns should be considered if you want to make your furniture pop or be a centerpiece or focal point in the room.  

Fabric Care

Upholstery fabric is usually not suited for traditional washing or dry cleaning once it is placed on the furniture, so you need to make sure to consider the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions. You should consider stain-resistant fabrics for heavy-use seats. Spot cleaners are recommended for the cleaning of upholstery fabrics. However, if you don’t want to fuss with cleaning, you can use fabric protectant spray over your furniture to protect it from spills. 

What Are the Different Fabric Types to Use for Upholstery? 

Upholstery fabrics come in varying colors, fibers, weights, and treatments so you must make sure to choose the right fabric for your furniture’s upholstery. 

Acetate

This type of fabric is developed to imitate silk. It is not prone to pilling, does not shrink, and can withstand mildew. It is not recommended for everyday use or heavy use furniture. 

Basketweave

This type of fabric has texture and can be effective in hiding stains and can withstand long use. It can be used in upholstery, but you must check its double rub rating. The higher the number of double rubs, the better it reduces the pulling and pilling of the fabric. 

Canvas

This type of fabric is a strong plain weave suitable for upholstery with printed designs. If it is made of cotton fibers, its shape can be deformed after a while if used heavily. It is recommended to be used for moderate-use seats, pillow accents, throw pillows, and other decorative pieces. 

Chenille

This type of fabric is a great choice for upholstery used in homes and is recommended for heavy-use seats. It shares the same characteristic as velvet, contains a cut pile that helps in abrasion resistance, and provides comfort for the user. 

Faux Leather

This type of fabric is easy to clean. It is usually recommended for children’s furniture and heavy use seats. You must make sure to care and clean for it properly to prevent it from cracking. 

Jacquard

This type of fabric is heavier than common fabrics. It is consists of yarn-dyed fibers which creates a pattern, texture, and style. It is recommended for pieces commonly used in homes, such as decorative pieces and moderately used furniture. 

Leather

This type of fabric is tough and durable. It can be vacuumed and wiped if there are spills or stains and can be cleaned with a leather conditioner.

Marine Vinyl

This type of fabric is typically recommended for heavy use and furniture exposed to ever-changing weather and harsh elements. It is a leather-look vinyl, quite durable, and easy to care for and clean. 

Ultra Suede

This type of fabric is often made from polyester fibers with multi-weave. It is usually treated with surface abrasion that gives it a fuzzy and suede pile that resembles real suede fabric. It is recommended for heavy use furniture in family rooms. It is quite strong and durable, has abrasion resistance properties, and is easy to care for and clean. 

Velvet

This type of fabric has a dense cut pile which gives it a luxurious look and feel. It has a sheen and it can be used for furniture with heavy use. It is popular for home use. If it is exposed to spills and stains, it must be immediately cleaned to prevent them from staining. 

Vinyl

This type of fabric costs less than leather. It is durable but depends on the quality. It is recommended for busy and heavy use furniture such as in dining and living rooms.

What are the different fibers used in upholstery fabrics? 

Fibers are either pure or 100% or blended with other fibers to combine their properties. The fibers are used to create different types of fabrics which also affect their performance when used in upholstery fabrics. Here are some of the most common fibers used for upholstery fabrics. 

  • Acrylic: This type of fiber is quite durable, colorfast, and easy to care for, and clean and it is recommended for heavy use furniture.
  • Cotton: This type of fiber is comfortable to use, breathable, and cost-effective. Keep in mind it is not durable and may fade over time.
  • Linen: This type of fiber is quite durable and strong. It is also breathable and adds a classy look to your furniture pieces. However, it is not resistant to fading and stains. It must not be used for heavy use furniture and recommended only for heirloom or decoration pieces.
  • Nylon: This type of fiber is durable, with high abrasion resistance, and easy to care for, and clean.
  • Olefin: This type of fiber is quite durable, colorfast, and easy to care for, and clean. It is recommended for heavy use furniture.
  • Polyester: This type of fiber is strong and durable, with low-moderate abrasion resistance, easy to care for, and clean.
  • Rayon: This type of fiber is soft, usually blended with other fibers because it is not durable.
  • Silk: This type of fiber is strong and adds a luxurious feel and effect to any furniture’s upholstery. It is recommended for decorative purposes such as decorative pillows.
  • Wool: This type of fiber is flame-resistant, luxurious, feels great and has a nice texture, has less resistance to spills and stains. It is recommended to be blended with other fibers. Make sure to search for a stain resistance treatment version or blend.

If you need upholstery material, make sure to check out LCR Services. We can provide different sewn materials such as ultra-leather, leather, canvas, muslin, vinyl, etc. You can check our services by clicking this link here. If you have any inquiries regarding our services please fill up this contact form hereIf you are based in Phoenix, Arizona, you must check out LCR Services. We are a minority-owned company and one of our renowned clients is the United States Military.

We have been manufacturing high-volume cut and sew products such as sewn materials for upholstery. If you want to know more information about our company or the services that we offer please contact us as soon as possible! You can contact us by calling 602 200 4277 or you can send us an inquiry email at [email protected] You can customize your orders just let us know the specifications that you want; we are looking forward to hearing from you. Contact us today!