Tweed and wool are direct from the world of men's fashion. Just like in fashion, you can dramatically change the look of your home by changing the fabrics that surround you. Silk is derived from silk worms and has been a symbol of luxury since forever. Sheer fabric is commonly known as tulle or mesh. Small or dimly lit rooms benefit from the use of plain fabrics, vertically striped fabrics or fabrics with a small motif. Consider the style of your furniture as well as its function to help when choosing the type of upholstery fabric. Sofas, chairs, and ottomans receiving only moderate amounts of wear will do fine with a less durable fabrics. Sailcloth or Canvas are available in solids, stripes and prints. Sailcloth or Canvas are rigid fabrics are normally made of cotton and used for upholstery and slipcovers. What type of fabric should you choose? As spring and summer bloom, linen and cotton in bright, happy tones suit the mood. This natural fiber provides good resistance to wear, fading, and pilling. It is less resistant to soil, wrinkling, and fire. Full grain leather is a top grain leather with all its natural texture (grain) intact. Damask can be made of cotton, silk or synthetic fabrics and is commonly used for drapery and upholstery. Chenille is commonly used for bedspreads or rugs, but makes an excellent choice for upholstery. Velvet is used in everything from garments and upholstery to bedspreads and drapery. 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 fabric. Acrylic is a manufactured fiber made with synthetic materials. Acrylic may have the look of wool, cotton, or other fabric blends. It is colorfast, moth resistant, quick drying, and retains shape. Upholstery in high traffic areas or pieces subjected to daily heavy wear need to be covered in tough, durable, tightly woven fabrics. Upholstery fabrics are sometimes light enough for window treatments and slipcovers. Acetate is not a good choice for furniture that will get tough everyday use. Surface treatments and blending with other fibers often atone for these weaknesses. Because leather is a natural product, it absorbs dyes and reacts differently to treatments from hide to hide. Nylon is the generic name for a group of chemically related fibers and was introduced by DuPont in 1939. Olefin is a manufactured fiber that is strong and very lightweight. Your upholstery and drapery are what typically give your room that comfort factor that is sometimes hard to achieve. Spandex is a manufactured fiber known for its high elasticity. The Jacquard loom is capable of weaving intricate patterns with many layers and many threads at the same time. Depending on the weave, cotton blends can be sturdy, family-friendly fabrics. A stain-resistant finish should be applied for everyday use. 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. Ideally, upholstery fabric should compliment your room’s decor and the furniture itself while also proving practical for your needs. Some aspects of choosing upholstery fabric might seem pretty obvious like selecting a color. Determine where your upholstered pieces will be used in the home. 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. Wool blends can be spot-cleaned when necessary. Chenille tends to be a family favorite. Damask is a lustrous fabric (such as linen, cotton, silk, or rayon) that is characterized by its flat, glossy pattern on a solid background. Velvet has one plush side and one plain woven side. Sturdy and durable, wool and wool blends offer good resistance to pilling, fading, wrinkling, and soil. A piece of furniture covered in chenille will still look new in 10 years, depending on how well you take care of it. Our broad assortment of jacquards, florals, stripes, damasks, chenilles, velvets, tapestries, faux suedes and solid textures will help you create fabulous furniture and great pillows! Matelasse is a heavy fabric with a soft hand. Matelasse has the appearance of being puffy or quilted. Polyurethane is a manmade organic polymer with high elongation and strength. Polyurethane is often used in elastic and plastic or vinyl like textiles. Railroaded is a fabric that is railroaded is applied to furniture at a 90 degree angle from the way it appears on the roll. All leathers display a variety of unique natural markings and variations in color. Tapestry is a heavy, flat-woven fabric features elaborate designs appropriate for various uses throughout the home. Durability and use depend on the weave and finish. Damask weaves are formal; canvas (duck and sailcloth) is more casual and more durable. Toile de Jouy dates back to 18th century France, and is a cotton print. Linen is a delicate fabric and does not withstand heavy wear; however, linen does resist pilling and fading. Today’s consumer is looking for “natural fabrics” and lots of textural interest. 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. Consider higher thread counts when purchasing a designer upholstery fabric. Velveteen or Corduroy is similar to velvet.