Acrylic fibers are also man made and include such brand names as Orlon, Acrilan, Dolan and Dralon. Generally, wool is blended with a synthetic fiber to make it easier to clean and to reduce the possibility of felting the fibers (causing them to bond together until they resemble felt). Velvet is a short, dense, cut-pile woven fabric with a luxurious feel and appearance. Marine furniture requires a significant amount of heat and water resistance, resulting in heavy uses of vinyl and polyester. Developed as imitation silk, acetate can withstand mildew, pilling, and shrinking. Linen is a natural fiber obtained from the flax plant. Linen is durable and has a natural luster. 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. Leather is a very popular choice as an upholstery fabric, as it is delightfully soft yet resistant to spills and stains. The practice of upholstery originated in Europe, particularly London, in the 18th century. Before that, many chairs featuwred either bare seats or fabric coverings without padding or springs inside for cushioning. It may make more sense to avoid a very bold upholstery fabric color for a smaller room, especially if your furniture piece is also large. Cotton can also be washed. Acrylic is a synthetic fiber and was developed as imitation wool. As spring and summer bloom, linen and cotton in bright, happy tones suit the mood. Consider the style of your furniture as well as its function to help when choosing the type of upholstery fabric. Sturdy and durable, wool and wool blends offer good resistance to pilling, fading, wrinkling, and soil. Velvet was originally made from silk for royalty. This natural fiber provides good resistance to wear, fading, and pilling. It is less resistant to soil, wrinkling, and fire. Nylon is very resilient; in a blend, it helps eliminate the crushing of napped fabrics such as velvet. Velvet has one plush side and one plain woven side. Pure Aniline or Full Aniline is the most natural type of leather. 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. 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. The Jacquard loom is capable of weaving intricate patterns with many layers and many threads at the same time. Full grain leather is a top grain leather with all its natural texture (grain) intact. Chenille tends to be a family favorite upholstery fabric. 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. Consider higher thread counts when purchasing a designer upholstery fabric. The nap (or hand) of chenille lasts forever. Avoid delicately colored upholstery fabrics around children and pets. i.e. White is going to appear dirty fast. Silk is a delicate fabric and only suitable for adult areas, such as formal living rooms and must be professionally cleaned if soiled.