Upholstery fabrics are usually a little heavier and more durable than multi-purpose or drapery-weight fabrics. Just like in fashion, you can dramatically change the look of your home by changing the fabrics that surround you. Acrylic fibers are also man made and include such brand names as Orlon, Acrilan, Dolan and Dralon. Velvet is used in everything from garments and upholstery to bedspreads and drapery. Small or dimly lit rooms benefit from the use of plain fabrics, vertically striped fabrics or fabrics with a small motif. Choose an upholstery fabric based on who will be using that piece of furniture. Cotton is quite popular because like any natural fiber, it’s inherently strong and comfortable. Durability and use depend on the weave and finish. Damask weaves are formal; canvas (duck and sailcloth) is more casual and more durable. Surface treatments and blending with other fibers often atone for these weaknesses. Some aspects of choosing upholstery fabric might seem pretty obvious like selecting a color. As spring and summer bloom, linen and cotton in bright, happy tones suit the mood. 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). Full grain leather is a top grain leather with all its natural texture (grain) intact. Chenille is also used for bedspreads and garments. Upholstery in high traffic areas or pieces subjected to daily heavy wear need to be covered in tough, durable, tightly woven upholstery fabrics. Velvet has one plush side and one plain woven side. Consider the luxuries of silk upholstery fabric and its gorgeous appeal. Boucle is a fabric or yarn with a looped surface. 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. Silk is derived from silk worms and has been a symbol of luxury since forever. 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. High-quality acrylics are manufactured to pill significantly less. Wool blends can be spot-cleaned when necessary.