Color is the most important reason people choose an upholstery fabric, so make sure your color choice is appropriate. Silk is so delicate that although it can be hand-washed it is best sent to the dry-cleaners. Full grain leather is a top grain leather with all its natural texture (grain) intact. This natural fiber provides good resistance to wear, fading, and pilling. It is less resistant to soil, wrinkling, and fire. Linen is a very strong and sturdy fabric, even more so than cotton. Some aspects of choosing upholstery fabric might seem pretty obvious like selecting a color. Washable is a fabric that is washable resists fading and shrinking during the laundering process, using cold water or dry cleaning method. Tapestry is a heavy, flat-woven fabric features elaborate designs appropriate for various uses throughout the home. Velveteen or Corduroy is similar to velvet. Silk is derived from silk worms and has been a symbol of luxury since forever. Olefin is a good choice for furniture that will receive heavy wear; however, it lacks the pliability and movement that natural fibers offer. 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. 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. The unifying element might be color, a type of print or a game of textures. Boucle can be identified by its curled or looped surface, this material is heavier than many other upholstery fabrics. Just like in fashion, you can dramatically change the look of your home by changing the fabrics that surround you. Today velvet is available in both silk and cotton. Fabrics are versatile and allow for quick and inexpensive reinventions. Upholstery fabrics can be used for arts and crafts. Upholstering for specific uses, such as in automobiles and boats, generally has a narrower set of upholstery fabric options. Upholstery is the art of providing furniture with padding and covering. Consider higher thread counts when purchasing a designer upholstery fabric. 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. Consider the luxuries of silk upholstery fabric and its gorgeous appeal. 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. Low-quality acrylic may pill excessively in areas that receive high degrees of abrasion. Dry Cleanable is a fabric that is dry cleanable, can be cleaned with chemical solvents instead of water. Acetate is not a good choice for furniture that will get tough everyday use. 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. Nylon is a manufactured fiber that is exceptionally strong, elastic, and lustrous. The Jacquard loom is capable of weaving intricate patterns with many layers and many threads at the same time. Leather is a very popular choice as an upholstery fabric, as it is delightfully soft yet resistant to spills and stains. 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. Microfiber, which has increased in popularity over the years, is a blend of polyester and polyamide. Thread count refers to the number of threads per square inch of fabric; just like you see when you buy linens for the bed. Chambray is a lightweight plain weave cotton fabric similar to denim. Chambray is woven on a colored warp with white fill yarns. Dye Lot is a batch of fabric or yarn that has been dyed at the same time. There may be some color variation from lot to lot. Spandex is a manufactured fiber known for its high elasticity. When executed properly, a mix of fabrics can be beautiful. The challenge is to find a few fabrics with a common thread that ties the combination together. Damask can be made of cotton, silk or synthetic fabrics and is commonly used for drapery and upholstery. Linen is best suited for formal living rooms or adult areas because it soils and wrinkles easily. Choose an upholstery fabric based on who will be using that piece of furniture. Rarely used alone in upholstery, polyester is blended with other fibers to add wrinkle resistance, eliminate crushing of napped fabrics, and reduce fading. Faux Suede is a fabric woven with a nap to resemble suede. Today’s faux suede is primarily made of microdenier polyester. Surface treatments and blending with other fibers often atone for these weaknesses. 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. Woven fabric patterns hold up longer than printed ones. Nylon doesn’t readily soil or wrinkle, but it does tend to fade and pill. Olefin is a manufactured fiber that is strong and very lightweight. Acrylic is a synthetic fiber and was developed as imitation wool. There are many different choices for upholstery fabric. Upholstery fabrics are sometimes light enough for window treatments and slipcovers. Cotton can also be washed. Acetate offers only fair resistance to soil and tends to wear, wrinkle, and fade in the sun. Muslin is a plain woven fabric that comes in various weights. Ideally, upholstery fabric should compliment your room’s decor and the furniture itself while also proving practical for your needs. Cotton is the most used fabric in the world. It can breathe. What type of upholstery fabric should you choose? Damask is a sophisticated, floral-patterned fabric, damask has reversed colors on opposing sides. Chenille tends to be a family favorite upholstery fabric.