Polyester is a manufactured fiber that is resistant to stretching and shrinking. It is also quick drying, wrinkle resistant, and strong. Jacquard is an intricate fabric that features a variegated weave or multi-color pattern. Cotton can also be washed. 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. Cotton is best ironed when the fabric is damp. Avoid delicately colored upholstery fabrics around children and pets. i.e. White is going to appear dirty fast. The nap (or hand) of chenille lasts forever. Linen's downfall is that it wrinkles a lot, but some consider that its allure. Linen is a very strong and sturdy fabric, even more so than cotton. 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. Silk is a delicate fabric and only suitable for adult areas, such as formal living rooms and must be professionally cleaned if soiled. Silks are manufactured by worms. This natural fiber provides good resistance to wear, fading, and pilling. It is less resistant to soil, wrinkling, and fire. 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. Cotton is the most used fabric in the world. It can breathe. Microfiber upholstery fabric, which has increased in popularity over the years, is a blend of polyester and polyamide. Chenille is soft to the touch and very popular as an upholstery fabric for sofas and chairs. Velvet is used in everything from garments and upholstery to bedspreads and drapery. 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. 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. A piece of furniture covered in chenille upholstery fabric will still look new in 10 years, depending on how well you take care of it. 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. Spandex is a manufactured fiber known for its high elasticity. 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. 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. 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. Matelasse is a heavy fabric with a soft hand. Matelasse has the appearance of being puffy or quilted. Chenille is also used for bedspreads and garments. Jacquard is a fabric having woven patterns such as tapestries, brocades, and damasks. Jacquard designs may be simple or very elaborate. 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. Chenille tends to be a family favorite upholstery fabric. Low-quality acrylic may pill excessively in areas that receive high degrees of abrasion. Linen is a delicate fabric and does not withstand heavy wear; however, linen does resist pilling and fading. Silk is derived from silk worms and has been a symbol of luxury since forever. For a slightly retro or timelessly Scottish look, tartan plaid is another superb choice for seat or couch coverings. Chenille is made from woven yard loops that are then cut to expose a tuft. Today’s consumer is looking for “natural fabrics” and lots of textural interest. Wool is obtained from sheep fleece and the term "virgin wool" denotes new, not recycled wool. Velveteen is made from thick woven cotton and is available with ridges known as corduroy. Linen is a natural fiber obtained from the flax plant. Linen is durable and has a natural luster. Dry Cleanable is a fabric that is dry cleanable, can be cleaned with chemical solvents instead of water. 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. Nylon is very resilient; in a blend, it helps eliminate the crushing of napped fabrics such as velvet. Nylon doesn’t readily soil or wrinkle, but it does tend to fade and pill. Upholstery fabrics are designed to take more wear. Determine where your upholstered pieces will be used in the home before buying your upholstery fabric. Chenille is commonly used for bedspreads or rugs, but makes an excellent fabric choice for upholstery. Marine furniture requires a significant amount of heat and water resistance, resulting in heavy uses of vinyl and polyester. Faux Suede is a fabric woven with a nap to resemble suede. Today’s faux suede is primarily made of microdenier polyester. Linen is best to wash it in cold water to avoid shrinkage.