Leather furniture can be rather expensive, although the same look can be achieved with the use of fake leather. Thread count refers to the number of threads per square inch of fabric; just like you see when you buy linens for the bed. Polyurethane is a manmade organic polymer with high elongation and strength. Polyurethane is often used in elastic and plastic or vinyl like textiles. There are many different choices for upholstery fabric. This tough material can be gently vacuumed, wiped with a damp cloth and cleaned with leather conditioner or saddle soap. Damask is a lustrous fabric (such as linen, cotton, silk, or rayon) that is characterized by its flat, glossy pattern on a solid background. Although it requires an investment, having an extra set of drapery, slipcovers and pillow covers allows you to adapt your interior design to the changing seasons. Chenille is French for “caterpillar,” chenille has a thick, soft pile and is one of today’s most popular fabrics. It was originally used in the 1800’s to block drafts at doors and windows. Boucle can be identified by its curled or looped surface, this material is heavier than many other upholstery fabrics. Chenille is a yarn with a fuzzy pile protruding from all sides. Soiled linen upholstery must be professionally cleaned to avoid shrinking. Cotton is the most used fabric in the world. It can breathe. Determine where your upholstered pieces will be used in the home. Olefin is a good choice for furniture that will receive heavy wear; however, it lacks the pliability and movement that natural fibers offer. Because leather is a natural product, it absorbs dyes and reacts differently to treatments from hide to hide. The practice of upholstery originated in Europe, particularly London, in the 18th century. Before that, many chairs featured either bare seats or fabric coverings without padding or springs inside for cushioning. Chambray is a lightweight plain weave cotton fabric similar to denim. Chambray is woven on a colored warp with white fill yarns. Consider the style of your furniture as well as its function to help when choosing the type of upholstery fabric. Cotton can also be washed. During fall and winter, it is inviting to be surrounded by the warmth of velvet and chenille in deep and sober colors. When purchasing an upholstered piece or upholstery fabric, be aware that the higher the thread count, the more tightly woven the fabric is, and the better it will wear. Matelasse is a heavy fabric with a soft hand. Matelasse has the appearance of being puffy or quilted. Cotton is a fabric or yarn made from cotton fibers that have been obtained from the seed pod of the cotton plant. It is soft, breathable, and the most widely used natural fiber. Upholstery fabrics are designed to take more wear. When blended with wool, polyester can cause pilling. Damask can be made of cotton, silk or synthetic fabrics and is commonly used for drapery and upholstery. Upholstery fabrics are usually a little heavier and more durable than multi-purpose or drapery-weight fabrics. Velveteen is made from thick woven cotton and is available with ridges known as corduroy. Wool is obtained from sheep fleece and the term”virgin wool” denotes new, not recycled wool. A piece of furniture covered in chenille will still look new in 10 years, depending on how well you take care of it. For a slightly retro or timelessly Scottish look, tartan plaid is another superb choice for seat or couch coverings. Duck is a strong, durable, plain woven fabric made from either cotton or flax. It is characterized by a tight weave and looks similar to canvas, but is much lighter. Fabrics are versatile and allow for quick and inexpensive reinventions. Velvet has one plush side and one plain woven side. Silk has a very soft hand and can be woven into nubby informal textures and shimmering paper-thin sheets. Wool is a natural fiber obtained from the fleece of sheep, lamb, Angora goat, or Cashmere goat. Specialty wool fibers are obtained from the camel, alpaca, llama, or vicuna. Wools are characterized by their fine, soft, wavy appearance. Woven fabric patterns hold up longer than printed ones. An upholsterer typically works on home décor, but some specialize in the marine or automobile industry. Linen's downfall is that it wrinkles a lot, but some consider that its allure. Latex is a substance often used as a back coating on fabrics to make them easier to upholster. It is a milky white liquid that is extracted from the rubber tree, milkweed plant, or the poppy family. Nylon doesn’t readily soil or wrinkle, but it does tend to fade and pill. We also offer a complete line of indoor-outdoor fabrics which are perfect for upholstering furniture that will be used every day and perfect if you have kids or pets. Microfiber, which has increased in popularity over the years, is a blend of polyester and polyamide. While Chenille is extremely cozy, it's also excellent at hiding dirt. Acrylic fibers are also man made and include such brand names as Orlon, Acrilan, Dolan and Dralon. Upholstery in high traffic areas or pieces subjected to daily heavy wear need to be covered in tough, durable, tightly woven fabrics. Sheer fabric is available in silk, cotton and synthetic materials, and it's a perfect fabric for transparent or semi-transparent drapery. Linen is a very strong and sturdy fabric, even more so than cotton. Tweed and wool are direct from the world of men's fashion. Sailcloth or Canvas are rigid fabrics are normally made of cotton and used for upholstery and slipcovers. The Jacquard loom is capable of weaving intricate patterns with many layers and many threads at the same time. Linen is best suited for formal living rooms or adult areas because it soils and wrinkles easily. Wool blends can be spot-cleaned when necessary. Olefin is derived from petroleum, and can mimic wool in appearance. Polyester is a manufactured fiber that is resistant to stretching and shrinking. It is also quick drying, wrinkle resistant, and strong. Today velvet is available in both silk and cotton. The natural fabrics are cotton, linen and silk. Olefin is a manufactured fiber that is strong and very lightweight. Linen is a delicate fabric and does not withstand heavy wear; however, linen does resist pilling and fading. Depending on the weave, cotton blends can be sturdy, family-friendly fabrics. A stain-resistant finish should be applied for everyday use. Pure Aniline or Full Aniline is the most natural type of leather. Cotton is quite popular because like any natural fiber, it’s inherently strong and comfortable. Acrylic is a synthetic fiber and was developed as imitation wool. Nylon is a manufactured fiber that is exceptionally strong, elastic, and lustrous. Silk is a delicate fabric and only suitable for adult areas, such as formal living rooms and must be professionally cleaned if soiled. Linen is a natural fiber obtained from the flax plant. Linen is durable and has a natural luster. Acetate is not a good choice for furniture that will get tough everyday use. Consider the size of the pattern on the piece of fabric. Consider whether it is appropriate for the size of the furniture it is covering, as well as the room size. Microdenier / Microfiber is a yarn made of fibers that tend to be thinner than a silkworm’s web. Most microfibers are synthetics such as polyester, nylon, acrylic, or rayon. Is your furniture in a traditionally themed living room that is only used on occasion? The right upholstery can completely transform the look and feel of your furniture. Denim is a durable cotton fabric usually characterized by diagonal (twill) lines. Traditionally denim was indigo blue; however, today it is available in a wide range of colors. Developed as imitation silk, acetate can withstand mildew, pilling, and shrinking. Acetate offers only fair resistance to soil and tends to wear, wrinkle, and fade in the sun. Jacquard is a fabric having woven patterns such as tapestries, brocades, and damasks. Jacquard designs may be simple or very elaborate. Just like in fashion, you can dramatically change the look of your home by changing the fabrics that surround you. Chenille is A soft tufted cord of silk, cotton, or worsted used in embroidery or for fringing. Choosing an upholstery fabric's color is the single biggest factor in fabric selection. Velveteen or Corduroy is similar to velvet.