This tough material can be gently vacuumed, wiped with a damp cloth and cleaned with leather conditioner or saddle soap. Choose an upholstery fabric based on who will be using that piece of furniture. The practice of upholstery originated in Europe, particularly London, in the 18th century. Before that, many chairs featured either bare seats or fabric coverings without padding or springs inside for cushioning. Linen is a delicate fabric and does not withstand heavy wear; however, linen does resist pilling and fading. Color is the most important reason people choose a fabric, so make sure your color choice is appropriate. Low-quality acrylic may pill excessively in areas that receive high degrees of abrasion. Tapestry is a heavy, flat-woven fabric features elaborate designs appropriate for various uses throughout the home. Avoid delicately colored fabrics around children and pets. i.e. White is going to appear dirty fast. It may make more sense to avoid a very bold fabric color for a smaller room, especially if your furniture piece is also large. Chenille is made from woven yard loops that are then cut to expose a tuft. 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. Unless you happen to really like them, try to avoid trendy colors. Color trends come and go so be careful. What if you don't consider the upholstery fabric color attractive in the first place? There is more chance you'll hate it when the fabric color is not popular? 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. The unifying element might be color, a type of print or a game of textures. Wool is a natural fiber obtained from the fleece of sheep, lamb, Angora goat, or Cashmere goat. Specialty wool fibers are obtained from the camel, alpaca, llama, or vicuna. Wools are characterized by their fine, soft, wavy appearance. Is your furniture in a traditionally themed living room that is only used on occasion? Small or dimly lit rooms benefit from the use of plain fabrics, vertically striped fabrics or fabrics with a small motif. Upholstery fabric has so many choices, colors, textures. All leathers display a variety of unique natural markings and variations in color. Upholstering for specific uses, such as in automobiles and boats, generally has a narrower set of upholstery fabric options. Toile de Jouy dates back to 18th century France, and is a cotton print. Easy-care and less expensive than leather, vinyl is ideal for busy family living and dining rooms and, durability depends on quality. Up the Bolt is a fabric that is up the bolt is applied to furniture exactly the way it is made on the roll. This is often necessary to keep designs in the proper direction. Up the bolt fabrics may result in seams on some styles. Nylon is a manufactured fiber that is exceptionally strong, elastic, and lustrous. The attractiveness of the napped suede look has lead to microsuede gaining in popularity in upholstery fabric applications, replicating the feel of real suede and adding stain resistance and durability, in addition to lower costs. Sheer fabric is available in silk, cotton and synthetic materials, and it's a perfect fabric for transparent or semi-transparent drapery. Velvet is used in everything from garments and upholstery to bedspreads and drapery. Chenille is also used for bedspreads and garments. Nylon is the generic name for a group of chemically related fibers and was introduced by DuPont in 1939. There are natural fabrics such as mohair, wools and cashmeres, which are made from sheered and woven animal fur. Damask can be made of cotton, silk or synthetic fabrics and is commonly used for drapery and upholstery. Thread count refers to the number of threads per square inch of fabric; just like you see when you buy linens for the bed. Acrylic fibers are also man made and include such brand names as Orlon, Acrilan, Dolan and Dralon. Pure Aniline or Full Aniline is the most natural type of leather. Ideally, upholstery fabric should compliment your room’s decor and the furniture itself while also proving practical for your needs. Rarely used alone, nylon is usually blended with other fibers to make it one of the strongest upholstery fabrics. Wool is obtained from sheep fleece and the term”virgin wool” denotes new, not recycled wool. Marine furniture requires a significant amount of heat and water resistance, resulting in heavy uses of vinyl and polyester. Rarely used alone in upholstery, polyester is blended with other fibers to add wrinkle resistance, eliminate crushing of napped fabrics, and reduce fading. A piece of furniture covered in chenille will still look new in 10 years, depending on how well you take care of it. Cotton can also be washed. Upholstery fabrics are designed to take more wear. 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! Tweed and wool are direct from the world of men's fashion. 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. Polyamide is a manufactured fiber that is a type of nylon. Polyamide is known for its exceptional strength, elasticity, and luster. Acetate is not a good choice for furniture that will get tough everyday use. Matelasse is a heavy fabric with a soft hand. Matelasse has the appearance of being puffy or quilted. There are many different choices for upholstery fabric. Larger rooms can carry larger prints and bolder colors and even combinations of patterns and prints. Silk is so delicate that although it can be hand-washed it is best sent to the dry-cleaners. Sailcloth or Canvas are rigid fabrics are normally made of cotton and used for upholstery and slipcovers. Just like in fashion, you can dramatically change the look of your home by changing the fabrics that surround you. 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. A large bold fabric pattern might work better in a larger room, while a smaller pattern might be a happier choice for a smaller space. Silk is derived from silk worms and has been a symbol of luxury since forever. Boucle is a fabric or yarn with a looped surface. Some fabrics appear casual, while others might look more formal. Consider the syle of the piece when choosing. Also consider the style of your interior decor. Polyester was also introduced by DuPont in the 1950’s. Jacquard is an intricate fabric that features a variegated weave or multi-color pattern. Consider the style of your furniture as well as its function to help when choosing the type of upholstery fabric. Surface treatments and blending with other fibers often atone for these weaknesses. 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). Your upholstery and drapery are what typically give your room that comfort factor that is sometimes hard to achieve. Today’s consumer is looking for “natural fabrics” and lots of textural interest. Sofas, chairs, and ottomans receiving only moderate amounts of wear will do fine with a less durable fabrics. The weight of tweed and wool fabrics makes them perfect for upholstery and drapery. Velveteen is made from thick woven cotton and is available with ridges known as corduroy.