Acetate is a synthetic fiber made from cellulose acetate. Jacquard is a heavier fabric that tends to be multicolored and used for upholstery, as well as drapery. Depending on the weave, cotton blends can be sturdy, family-friendly fabrics. A stain-resistant finish should be applied for everyday use. Backing is a sprayed coating or another layer of fabric applied to the back of fabric. A backing may be needed to give the face fabric more body or to make it more appropriate for upholstery. Acrylic is a synthetic fiber and was developed as imitation wool. Mohair is a very desirable fabric or yarn made from the long silky hair of the Angora goat. Mohair is characterized by its luster and exceptional strength. Cotton is a fiber that grows out of a plant and is woven in many forms. For a slightly retro or timelessly Scottish look, tartan plaid is another superb choice for seat or couch coverings. Leather furniture can be rather expensive, although the same look can be achieved with the use of fake leather. 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. Upholstery fabrics are usually a little heavier and more durable than multi-purpose or drapery-weight fabrics. For the ultimate in spill and stain resistance, however, synthetic fibers such as vinyl are used extensively. Velveteen or Corduroy is similar to velvet. Some aspects of choosing upholstery fabric might seem pretty obvious like selecting a color. Velvet is used in everything from garments and upholstery to bedspreads and drapery. Sturdy and durable, wool and wool blends offer good resistance to pilling, fading, wrinkling, and soil. Consider the style of your furniture as well as its function to help when choosing the type of upholstery fabric. To set the mood, take the color temperature into consideration. Since warm and cool colors affect the mood of the room, try choosing the right upholstery fabric for the right mood. Linen is a natural fiber obtained from the flax plant. Linen is durable and has a natural luster. Rarely used alone, nylon is usually blended with other fibers to make it one of the strongest upholstery fabrics. Easy-care and less expensive than leather, vinyl is ideal for busy family living and dining rooms and, durability depends on quality. Upholstery fabrics are designed to take more wear as they're usually a little more heavy and more durable than multi-purpose or drapery and curtain weight fabrics. Damask is a lustrous fabric (such as linen, cotton, silk, or rayon) that is characterized by its flat, glossy pattern on a solid background. Upholstering for specific uses, such as in automobiles and boats, generally has a narrower set of upholstery fabric options. Full grain leather is a top grain leather with all its natural texture (grain) intact. Today’s consumer is looking for “natural fabrics” and lots of textural interest. There are many different choices for upholstery fabric. Upholstery in high traffic areas or pieces subjected to daily heavy wear need to be covered in tough, durable, tightly woven upholstery fabrics. Linen is best suited for formal living rooms or adult areas because it soils and wrinkles easily. Tapestry is a heavy, flat-woven fabric features elaborate designs appropriate for various uses throughout the home. Nylon is a manufactured fiber that is exceptionally strong, elastic, and lustrous. When blended with wool, polyester can cause pilling. Upholstery fabrics are designed to take more wear. Soiled linen upholstery must be professionally cleaned to avoid shrinking. What type of upholstery fabric should you choose? Nylon doesn’t readily soil or wrinkle, but it does tend to fade and pill. This natural fiber provides good resistance to wear, fading, and pilling. It is less resistant to soil, wrinkling, and fire. Consider the size of the pattern on the piece of upholstery fabric. Consider whether it is appropriate for the size of the furniture it is covering, as well as the room size. Trevira is a manufactured fiber belonging to the polyester group of fibers. Trevira fabrics are durable, lightfast, and drape well. A special type of Trevira, Trevira CS, is inherently and permanently flame retardant. Silks are manufactured by worms. Silk is so delicate that although it can be hand-washed it is best sent to the dry-cleaners. Linen is a very strong and sturdy fabric, even more so than cotton. Wool blends can be spot-cleaned when necessary. Chenille is soft to the touch and very popular as an upholstery fabric for sofas and chairs. Matelasse is a heavy fabric with a soft hand. Matelasse has the appearance of being puffy or quilted. Linen's downfall is that it wrinkles a lot, but some consider that its allure. Microfiber, which has increased in popularity over the years, is a blend of polyester and polyamide. Sofas, chairs, and ottomans receiving only moderate amounts of wear will do fine with a less durable fabrics. This tough material can be gently vacuumed, wiped with a damp cloth and cleaned with leather conditioner or saddle soap. Cotton is a popular plant based fiber that is used extensively for many kinds of upholstery fabric. Chenille is also used for bedspreads and garments. Muslin is a plain woven fabric that comes in various weights. If you’re considering purchasing designer upholstery fabric for your furniture, do some research and consider the following to make sure you decide on the right upholstery fabric. Developed as an imitation silk, linen, and cotton, rayon is durable, yet wrinkles easily. Recent developments have made high-quality rayon very practical. Velvet has one plush side and one plain woven side. Choosing an upholstery fabric's color is the single biggest factor in fabric selection. Marine furniture requires a significant amount of heat and water resistance, resulting in heavy uses of vinyl and polyester. The Jacquard loom is capable of weaving intricate patterns with many layers and many threads at the same time. The nap (or hand) of chenille lasts forever. Rayon is a manufactured fiber composed of regenerated cellulose which is processed from wood pulp. Rayon is characterized by it high absorbency, soft hand, and drapability. It can imitate the feel and texture of silk, wool, cotton, or linen. Upholstery fabrics are sometimes light enough for window treatments and slipcovers. Autos typically are clad in either leather or cloth, ranging from ultra expensive to the very basic. Determine where your upholstered pieces will be used in the home.